New customer sign-ups are essential for the health and vitality of your subscription business… but getting customers to stay can make the difference between your company’s success and failure.
Why? Increasing customer retention saves money on marketing, increases profits, and improves the quality of your services. 65% of every company’s business comes from its existing customer base.
Losing customers may seem innocent at first. However, slowly over time, those lost customers add up, and your business will feel the full effect of lost subscribers, or what’s officially called customer churn.
To stop this damage, you’ll first need to understand the extent of the problem you’re dealing with and how to create powerful retention strategies.
Voluntary vs. Involuntary Customer Churn
The term ‘customer churn rate’ refers to the percentage of your average subscribers who end or don’t renew their subscriptions during a given time frame. You can calculate this percentage by dividing the number of subscribers who have left your business by the total number of subscribers you started with.
Your customers can either end their subscriptions voluntarily or involuntarily, but both are considered customer churn.
Voluntary churn happens when a customer cancels their subscription by choice. The reasons why a subscriber may choose to leave are almost endless. Your subscription may no longer apply to their lifestyle, or maybe your product or service didn’t live up to their expectations. Regardless, at the end of the day, the customer decided to leave the subscription.
While voluntary customer churn feels disheartening, it happens in all businesses. Try not to take it personally! But there are still action steps you can take to help improve customer retention and minimize churn (more on that later).
Involuntary customer churn means you’ve lost a customer who didn’t intend to cancel their subscription. The good news is your subscriber wasn’t dissatisfied with their subscription or hoping to discontinue their use. However, involuntary churn still equals a lost customer… only, it involves a failed payment.
Possible reasons for involuntary churn include an expired credit card, incorrect credit card information, a credit card that was reported lost or stolen, a transaction flagged or blocked by the bank, or insufficient funds in the account.
Failed payments make up 50% of overall customer churn. You can help reduce this type of customer turnover by using a third-party company like Gravy that recovers failed payments with a personalized person-to-person approach — rather than resorting to ineffective AI to redeem payments.
3 Ways to Reduce Customer Churn
Ideally, every customer loves your product and uses all the best features it offers… but every customer has unique needs and wants. That’s why losing customers is a part of the business. It’s unavoidable. Your service can’t be best suited for everyone.
But you can reduce customer turnover by establishing proper expectations from marketing to purchasing — as well as creating communication and customer service that establishes trust and builds relationships. Here’s how:
You frequently speak to potential customers through emails and via social media in an attempt to get them to trust your brand and purchase your subscription. Why should communication end once they’ve done that?
One of the most important strategies to improve customer retention is consistent communication. You can use these touchpoints to reassure their purchase, encourage their journey, offer discounts as a way to say ‘thanks,’ and gather feedback to improve your services.
A company that feels like a friend by building trust and loyalty will create raving brand ambassadors, who are high-value subscribers and bring new customers to the business without you having to lift a finger.
At Gravy Solutions, we recommend using email as your primary method of communicating with your current customer base.
Quality Customer Support
By nurturing your customers throughout their customer journey through quality customer support, you’ll help keep your subscribers engaged.
With today’s unlimited access to digital communication, customers today expect a top-of-the-line customer service experience that’s straightforward and efficient.
For the best experience, make reaching your team easy for the customer. Offer an email address, instant chatbox, and phone line. This is now standard.
Effective customer service also involves proactive communication. Practice strategies such as:
- Asking for customer input to check whether your services are missing the mark or satisfying
- Send helpful onboarding and post-purchase instructions to ensure customers are getting the most out of your services. There’s nothing worse than a product you want to enjoy but can’t figure out how to use. Eliminate this problem ASAP.
In business, customer satisfaction is essential. Customers that are happy with your service are more likely to recommend you to other new potential customers. They also often become your online advocates and share your content on social media, increasing your reach.
When someone voluntarily cancels their subscription, they’re saying, “I no longer find enough value in this subscription to continue paying the price for it.”
Because you know when most people value a product or service, they’ll find the money to pay for it.
That’s why it’s your job to create a value-adding product and market it well. Let’s face it, if you don’t effectively market the value of your product, customers won’t see it. You have to paint a picture of the value for them.
Once they’ve purchased, remind them of that value. Speak to the pain points you’re addressing in their life, and illustrate how your service minimizes those pain points and offers them a better future.
Understanding the key drivers, desires, and fears of your customer base is essential to properly communicating your company’s value to them. So, take endless surveys, dive into the data, and communicate the value of your services.
Successful, thriving companies take their business to the next level by honing in on what so many ignore: their existing customers. Every business needs to focus on the factors contributing to a high customer churn rate because losing loyal customers greatly affects the health of the business over time. By implementing these three strategies, you can start reducing customer churn throughout the customer journey.