For every small business, finding the right balance between acquiring new customers and retaining existing ones can be difficult. Especially when you consider the seemingly limitless options available to customers today, business owners are often fighting against the tide. Thankfully, with the right customer retention strategy, you can eliminate customer churn and work towards providing for your customer base instead of worrying about expanding it.

In this article, we are going to cover 6 strategies for tackling customer churn in 2018. Each of these tactics is specifically designed to help you treat your customers well and keep them coming back again and again. After all, according to Walker, by 2020, customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator. Instead of waiting for this to happen, why not get a leg up on your competition by diving in now? Let’s take get started.

customer churn

Know your customers

The first part of tackling customer churn is to spend time getting to know your customers. Unless you do this early on, how do you expect to create a campaign that adequately meets their needs? By taking time to understand both the patterns in which your customers operate and how you can improve their experience, you will be walking through the woods without a map.

Instead of getting lost, begin by analyzing user engagement metrics and mapping your customer’s journey from start to finish. This will help you understand both the parts of your campaign that work and more importantly, the ones that don’t. From there, you can decide where to focus your attention based on what your customer’s indicate is most important. From here, you are ready to employ the following 6 strategies to combat customer churn.

Read also: Relationship Marketing and SMS: A Match Made in Heaven

1. Segmentation FTW

Now that you have analyzed the behavior of your customers, the next step is to create different customer personas correlating to the different segments of your audience. These personas are vital to the success of your campaign, as each type of customer warrants a different approach. For example, you wouldn’t want to send the same text blast to a group of former customers as you do new leads.

As you place each of these customers into their different segments, try picturing in your mind what tactics you can use to combat churn with that specific customer. While these tactics may never actually be used, getting into the mind of your customer can give you valuable insight into how you can better serve them.  

2. Optimize the onboarding process

When you are getting to know your customers and putting them in different segments, you may start to notice a trend early on in the customer journey. That trend being a sharp dip in customer engagement during the onboarding process. Don’t worry, this isn’t unique, as close to 86% of new mobile users never return to an app after the initial download. All this means is that the onboarding process needs to be optimized to the best of your ability.

This is another scenario where some good ol’ fashioned analytics will help you make the best decision. Monitor where customers are falling off during the onboarding process and work with your team to find a better solution. Making a good first impression is a powerful indicator to your audience that you care about their success.

3. Monitor at-risk customers

Another tactic similar to maximizing the onboarding process when tackling customer churn is finding at-risk customers before they leave and prioritizing them. In the same way that there are often indicators or hurdles your customers are having to overcome early on, there can be aspects of the customer journey that show customers about to look elsewhere.

However, identifying these customers is only half the battle. From there, you can use engagement tools like SMS marketing to reach out to these customers and find out what you can be doing better. If you can keep around simply 10%-20% of customers that would have churned, it will be worth the extra effort.

4. Ask for input

Although this is often part of the “get to know your customers” part of this process, asking them for input is the best way to uncover user stories and analyze problem areas. As a rule of thumb, sending out customer satisfaction surveys should be a regular part of your customer retention marketing campaign. What better way to know what your customers want then to simply ask them?

Additionally, there are now more ways of doing this than ever before that lead to good results. For instance, some companies have had success running support and asking for customer opinions through their text message marketing campaigns. Use the tools at your disposal to make the biggest impact you can.

5. Use all tools at your disposal

Speaking of, that is actually our 5th strategy: use all tools at your disposal. In 2018, mobile marketing tools are everywhere and simple to use. Whether you are running an SMS campaign, sending branded messages with push notifications, or just want to step up your email marketing game, there are tools available to help you out.

That being said, you also need to understand the best way to use these tools. Our recommendation is to take what you have learned from the other strategies we have covered and apply it to these tools at your disposal to combat customer churn. Segment, optimize, monitor, and ask for help, then use the tools available to create a proper solution.

Learn more about Text Message Marketing tools

6. Make it obvious that you care

As we have mentioned, 2018 is the year of customer experience. In today’s market, customers have all the power, and it is your job to offer the best possible experience if you hope to win them over. By doing so, you make it obvious that you care, our final strategy for combating customer churn. This is the basis of everything we have covered when it comes to reducing churn rate at your company.

Keep this in mind with everything you do, “How can I prove to my customers that I value them?” If you are able to do this, you will be blown away by how your customers treat you in return. In the end, customer retention and fighting customer churn are pretty simply, it’s getting there that takes hard work.