Happy customers can be advocates for your brand, make repeat purchases, and influence others to buy from your business. This type of success is the result of using data to holistically understand each customer and developing a customer-centric business strategy that engages and rewards each individual when they interact with your company.
Elevating the customer experience (CX) is a proven way to connect with customers and prevent churn. It also helps with profitability, as it’s much more expensive to acquire new customers than to keep existing ones.
How to Retain Customers and Enhance CX
1. Simplify customer onboarding.
Ensuring a fast and painless onboarding experience is essential since it’s often your first opportunity to make an impression on the customer—and first impressions shape CX. An intuitive and positive first experience sets the tone for the customer journey. Whether onboarding entails filling out an online form, activating a new product, or hands-on training on a product, delivering an engaging experience gives customers the confidence that they’re making a good decision by working with your business.
2. Deliver timely, truly meaningful CX.
One of the best ways to prevent churn is to continually provide relevant and authentic customer experiences. These experiences nurture customers by delivering the next best action at the most opportune time. With the right cloud data platform and analytics, you can accurately predict what customers want and when they want it, then delight them with the right offer at the right time and at the right price point. This is where a comprehensive CX strategy that optimizes customer data delivers ongoing value.
3. Personalize all interactions.
Personalized CX is now table stakes for companies. According to McKinsey & Company, 71% of consumers expect organizations to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% are frustrated when this doesn’t happen. Personalization improves customer outcomes—and drives more revenue. Product and service offers must be customized, too. Once you’ve built 360-degree profiles, you can segment customers for special offers. You can even personalize offers to a single customer for a truly customized experience.
4. Engage customers at all touchpoints.
CX is an ongoing journey that requires support and nurturing at every step. Customers typically have several interactions with a company before making a purchase. Understanding each touchpoint and ensuring a positive experience is essential—or the customer could abruptly end the journey. These touchpoints, such as website visits, downloading an app, or social media views, shape the way customers view your brand, company, and offerings. This is why each touchpoint is an opportunity to impress customers and guide their journey.
5. Respond promptly to complaints or concerns.
Customer journeys are not always smooth or linear. Shipping delays, product glitches, and user errors all impact CX. Unhappy customers have a higher likelihood of churn, which brings the challenges of identifying these customers and addressing their concerns. This is especially important when it’s a high-value customer. Sometimes feedback is direct, such as a call or email to a customer service desk or sales rep. Other times, you need to identify negative sentiment indirectly, like through social media. And sometimes customers won’t proactively share at all, which is where surveys and post-sales follow-up provide value. Simply connecting with a customer is sometimes enough to make a difference and make them feel valued.
6. Reward loyalty.
Loyalty programs are a great way to know and recognize your best customers. You can use the programs to gather information about customers, then reward loyalty with special offers, like free merchandise, a discount, or a chance to buy a product before it goes on sale to the public. While these programs improve CX, they also encourage customers to engage with the brand more often to accumulate points. Another benefit is loyalty programs, which can turn customers into authentic advocates for your brand. In addition, studies have shown that consumers are more likely to spend—and spend more—with companies offering a loyalty program. Gartner predicts that one in three businesses without a loyalty program today will establish one by 2027.
7. Build excitement.
When you can build customer excitement, then you know your CX strategy is excelling. This excitement can organically inspire conversations, posts, and comments on social media about your brand. Effective ways to build this excitement include giving loyal customers a sneak peek at upcoming product releases, offering “behind the scenes” content, and creating customer contests on social media that award prizes.
8. Foster trust.
People want to do business with companies they trust and that share their values. Meeting or exceeding customer expectations and resolving problems before they occur builds trust. So does making an emotional connection with customers through your content. Other ways to foster trust include demonstrating that you protect their data, showing concern for the environment through sustainable business practices, and delivering products and services when and how the customer expects.
9. Listen to customers.
Your customers have a lot to say, even if they don’t tell you directly. They might be sharing their thoughts on social media or through their browsing history. Integrating customer data from all relevant sources allows you to understand each customer. You can then listen based on their behaviors and feedback before, during, and after a sale. This can help you determine which features and price points are most effective. Also, addressing any changes in behaviors and responding to complaints quickly can help mitigate churn.
10. Find out why customers are leaving.
Understanding why customers are ending subscriptions, switching to a competitor, or no longer purchasing from your company allows you to identify churn patterns. This can help you evaluate if you’re experiencing a level of churn the business is comfortable with—some amount of churn is to be expected—or if there’s a sudden spike or ongoing problem. Churn analysis offers insights into why customers are leaving, such as products that don’t meet expectations, prices that are higher than competitors, poor customer service, or other reasons.
11. Be proactive.
It’s important to identify customers at risk of churning, then engage them before they leave. Measuring customer sentiment helps to determine areas needing improvement and creates a consistent channel for feedback. Proactively addressing customers’ concerns before they spiral into full-blown problems can encourage them to stay. Being proactive requires a robust customer retention strategy and the ability to perform granular customer analytics for insights into the early stages of churn.
12. Know what your competitors are doing.
Knowing your business and your customers is not enough. You must also know what your competitors are doing. This allows you to better understand the competitive landscape and have insights into potential market changes—or major market disruptions. A competitive analysis can help you understand key differences between your products and competitors’ offerings. This can help you update your product design and marketing strategy, and even be an opportunity to poach customers.
13. Stay relevant.
Growing the business and staying relevant are ongoing challenges. It requires continually delivering innovative products and services, regularly connecting with customers, staying ahead of changing customer preferences, and updating the brand as needed. You also need to evaluate if you have gaps in your product or service offerings, and if so, plan how to address them. As customer wants and needs change, your brand also needs to change in ways that are relevant to your customers.
Let’s Get Started
Your ability to tackle customer attrition while enhancing customer experiences starts with data. You need the right data, and you need the ability to integrate it using a single, scalable platform for analytics. The Avalanche Cloud Data Platform can help you transform your churn and CX strategies by bringing together all of the customer data you need on an easy-to-use platform. Our advanced capabilities for data integration, data management, and analytics give you the insights and confidence needed to retain and engage customers.