As marketers and sales reps, we focus most of our attention on attracting new business. We have our detailed buyer personas, our buyer journey, and we focus on generating new leads and getting these ready for sales.
But what about our current customers? What about the people that make it possible for us to have our jobs? We focus on taking away all friction up until the moment of a newly signed contract. But what happens after that moment? Shouldn’t we focus a bit more on our existing customer base and ensure that they are happy and well-served by us?
Too many companies are so focused on bringing in new customers that they don’t notice they are running out of the backdoor just as quickly. A high churn rate is a massive problem for many of these companies.
If your churn is high, it means people are buying your product or signing up for your service, but they aren't sticking around. You're not convincing them to stay and continue to use your products or services for whatever reason. There are lots of reasons why churn happens. But the simplest explanation is this: churn increases if customers aren't having a good experience interacting with your product, service, or organisation.
If you reduce churn and make sure your customers are happy, they will repeatedly purchase your product or service and advocate for your organisation more often. You won't have to go through the entire marketing and sales journey whenever you want to make a sale. And you'll build a community of loyal supporters who will keep your business afloat through good times and bad.
The best way to reduce churn is to reduce friction. Remove the things that make your customers want to get away from your company or the things that make it difficult for them to become repeat buyers. Make every stage of their journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible — not just the first few ‘buying’ stages.
In a previous blog, we defined friction and why the customer experience must be smooth. To recap: friction refers to everything that gets in the way of a pleasant customer experience. In other words, it's anything that slows your customer down, places obstacles in making a (repeated) purchase, or gives them a reason to leave you.
In this article, we'll talk about three ways how to eliminate these types of friction for your existing customer, and in so doing, reduce churn, retain revenue, and ensure that your customers stay happy and faithful.
Upsell and cross-sell offers can be highly appreciated by your customers when delivered in the proper context. After all, most of your existing customers need your offering, and they're happy to buy from you. It should be easier to sell to this group than the warmest leads.
Offering new products and services that match their previous purchases and provide genuine value can be an effortless way to impress your customers and make more sales. However, these offers must be highly relevant. Targeting customers with the wrong upsells or wrong timing can seem intrusive and annoying and might do more harm than good by creating friction and pushing them away from your brand.
A simple tip: Create a list of contacts with open support tickets or lower NPS scores. Use the list to exclude contacts when sending upsell/cross-sell offers; this is probably not the right time for them.
First impressions are crucial. That means bringing your customers on board — whether they've just signed up or are on a free trial — should be as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
At this point, your customer is still new to you. They know about your organisation, and they trust and like you enough to make a purchase, but you still have to impress them and prove your value to their business. You want to prove that value as soon in the process as possible.
It's a little like a first date — they said 'yes,' but that's just the first step. If you want to create something lasting, the real work is yet to come.
Here are some ways to banish friction from your onboarding process:
Customer support is one area where friction can be a significant killer. When customers come to your support channels, it likely means they already have a problem or question they want to resolve. Throwing further challenges into their path at this stage could be the final push they need to take their money elsewhere.
Your goal is to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get the information and support they need. Here's how you can do that:
It's essential to measure progress to reduce friction and ensure your customers are as happy as possible. By gaining a clearer understanding of how your customers feel about your company and how impressed they are, you can make the necessary changes to remove friction, improve their experience, and retain them at a better rate.
Here are a few ways to do this:
If you can eliminate friction, you'll provide your customers with a more rewarding experience. They'll come to associate your business with reliable, enjoyable service, and they'll make more purchases with you. It's one of the most valuable things you can do to reduce churn and build long-lasting relationships with your customers.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas and inspiration for ways you can reduce friction in your customer processes. If you want to expand your knowledge before you start implementing, make sure to get our guide to customer satisfaction - happy customers are essential for frictionlessness, so this is an excellent place to start.
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