Welcome to part two of this series on reducing churn rate. Let’s jump
right into a few methods for keeping customer retention high and making
sure no one is jumping ship!
Savvy businessmen and women know that keeping an eye on the competition
is key, and nowhere is this more important than in customer acquisition
and churn rate assessments. Take time out of every day, week, or month
– depending on the cycle time and speed of your market – to research
what your competitors have been up to. Are they doing something that
you aren’t? If so, is it something that you, as a customer, would want
and benefit from? Be honest here. If the answer is “yes,” think about
how you could not only implement something similar, but how you could
improve on it.
This is simply part of the process of continuously adding value to a
business, and keeping an eye on competition helps you to gauge the rate
at which you should be doing so. Rather than trying to slowly dole out
new goodies to your customers, challenge yourself to give away new value
as it comes about in real time. This also means that you won’t be able
to rest on your laurels, and will have to constantly innovate in order
to have bigger and better offers for your customers. Seem like tough
work? It is – and it’s also how industry leaders get to the top.
Get Personal, Don’t Automate
Automation is one of the trickiest things to master when your business
begins to grow. You want to be able to manage everything at once, but
losing the personal touch you may have begun with can be detrimental to
your relationship with leads and customers.
As a rule of thumb, it’s ok to automate, but don’t fake it. This means
that things like post-purchase emails, etc. can be automated, and are
expected to be. By the same token, don’t fake communications so that
they are automated but are actually canned, pre-written, and going out
to 5,000 people.
For example, let’s say you write an email for your list to announce a
new offer. Don’t use silly name tagging to fake personalization.
People see straight through that, and it is (rightfully) perceived as
phony. People understand that they are part of a mailing list, so don’t
try to convince them otherwise.
If they write to you, however, respond personally. If that becomes
logistically impossible, then make it clear that a support team is the
one helping to field questions and concerns. Also, keep in mind that
“impossible” should mean something different to you as an entrepreneur.
You should be a time management ninja, and also realize that your work
day might be 10 12, or 16 hours, not eight.
Ride the Wave, Don’t Chase It
Even more important than watching the competition is to keep your finger
on the pulse of your industry and the context within which it exists.
Recently, Facebook noticed (and has helped champion) the bringing of
rudimentary mobile internet to new countries that have never had such
services. The company launched a stripped-down, Facebook Lite app to
better accommodate these low-bandwidth markets. As soon as new mobile
plans hit these countries, Facebook will be one of the first apps
Be the Facebook of your industry. Sound like big shoes to fill? They
are! But the point is that you should be looking to ride along with new
trends as they crest, and leave everyone else to chase after you. That
is, of course, the mark of an industry leader after all, isn’t it?