Regardless of what industry you are in, Retail, Banking, FMCG, B2B, B2C, big business or small, customer churn (or attrition) is the leak in the dam. It could be a trickle or a flood.

Either way, it requires your attention.

In our last piece, ‘the five main causes of customer churn (attrition),’ we looked at the service breaks that can significantly impact your customer churn results, considering the key touchpoints in the customer journey and friction points that should be addressed.

As mentioned in the last article, any successful business will have a challenge with customer attrition. It is a part of the customer lifecycle. Customer needs do change over time; they may be finished with your solution, no longer be in the market, or a competitor may have offered them a better alternative.

Whatever the reason, they are on the move. So, what can you do about it?

This article will explore the three best ways to tackle the churn challenge starting right back at the beginning of the relationship.

Recommendation One: Make on-boarding an incredible experience.

On-boarding is a process that starts from awareness and continues until you have an active customer relationship. To be effective at on-boarding, you need to evolve a prospect into an engaged customer of your business as seamlessly as possible.

The importance of a good customer on-boarding process cannot be overstated. Customer satisfaction has been shown to be inversely correlated with churn rate: the less satisfied customers are, the more likely they are to leave your company for a competitor.

A recent TEDx by John Boccuzzi, Jr, reflects on being seduced by exceptional customer experience. He suggests customer experience isn’t necessarily about the product or service you are offering, but how you make someone feel during the buying journey and after the purchase has been made.

The key to minimizing your customer churn rate is creating an on-boarding process that makes them enjoy the experience, become an engaged customer, and advocate for your business.

Recommendation Two: Listen to customer complaints and respond accordingly.

Regardless of the product or service you are offering; there are key customer interaction points where customers may express their praise or criticism towards your business. Most of the objections can be handled when the customer raised the issue but generally are not.

The processes by which an organisation captures and acts on customer complaints can determine how effective they are at meeting customer needs and reducing churn.

This begs the question; how effective is your organisation at capturing customer complaint data?

The long-term capturing of customer complaint data is essential to developing customer insights on customer needs and shortcomings of your product, service, or processes. This knowledge helps organisations understand why customers are unhappy and what they require to have their needs met.

Complaint analysis provides a window into areas where improvements are needed. In some cases, it can also assist in developing new products or expanding business through diversification or repositioning.

Recommendation Three: Build Active Customer engagement.

Many businesses are in complete denial about how many customers they have. They will spout a number, but when asked how many have reached out and communicated or transacted with your business in the past 30 days, that number is often considerably less.

If you want to create active customer engagement, you need to be proactive and do things that will help your customers feel engaged or valued. Often customers are not engaged because, sad to say, they forgot about you.

And possibly because you forgot about them.

Other times they are not engaged because they are receiving more communication from your competitors than you. You can start worrying now.

There are three simple approaches to being a champion at customer engagement.

  1. Listen to your customer: The process of active listening will allow you to learn about your customers. Capture data on specific information pertaining to what they want and why they are interacting with your business.

    This starts in the consideration stage all the way through the customer life cycle. Your customers give you all the information you need to provide greater service and understanding of their unique needs.

  2. Learn about your customer: Learning about your customer is where the raw capture of customer data is transformed into insight and knowledge. Customer analysis enables businesses to identify their customers interactions and buying behavior. This means knowing more about customer needs and understanding what they value.

    From customer segmentation to predictive modeling, leveraging customer data to derive intelligence can significantly improve your customer engagement process and reduce the customer churn rate.

  3. Interact with your customer: Now that you listened and learned about the factors influencing customer behaviour, it is time to leverage that insight to initiate quality conversations with your customers, tailored to their needs.

This is where you can deploy your interactions with structured CRM practices, keeping in mind that processes relating to test and learn should be integrated as part of any communication deployment.

To help you along this journey, we have something for you.

Customer Crunch has developed a FREE tool that considers your thoughts on how your organisation listens, learns, and interacts with your customers.

This 5-minute assessment (CDC Test Flight) will provide you with detailed analysis and recommendations on improving your customer capability further and reducing customer churn.

Take the opportunity to conduct this self-reflection exercise and consider how some of these ideas can help you tackle customer churn.