Check out your favorite marketing blog, podcast or YouTube channel and you’ll find that most marketing gurus focus on using search engine optimization (SEO) to bring in new customers to a website and then entice them to fill in a form leaving their email address. This is an excellent inbound marketing approach for generating leads and nudging potential customers into the sales funnel, eventually turning them into paying customers. But what happens after they have signed up for your online offering? How do you retain this visitor and turn them into a customer?
Even though that would-be customer was interested in receiving a free report eBook or whatever free offering, if you aren’t focused on also using SEO tactics, then you are missing out on converting this arguably qualified lead into a sale. While most marketers are more focused on gaining new customers rather than keeping the ones they have, customer retention is an area where every business must pay attention.
An in-depth analysis of your SEO is crucial to upping your conversion rate and decreasing your churn rate — this means, reducing the number of customers you lose to attrition, defection, or your competitors. This exercise can have a significant effect on the success and profitability of your business. If you are wondering why that’s important, here are some things to consider:
When asked, up to 70 percent of customers who walked away from a business did so claiming poor customer service and so brands that follow up and engage with existing customers fare far better than those that don’t.
The first step in reducing your churn rate is to determine just what that percentage is. The formula for figuring out this number is relatively straightforward and can be determined like this:
Number of Customers Lost_By Period End
Churn = __________________________________________
Number of Customers at the Beginning of the Period
Depending on your business model, the value of your customer depends on whether it is a service they subscribe to or what they spend on a monthly basis or monthly recurring revenue (MRR). Therefore, the value of each customer lost will vary.
The most common way to look at the churn rate is by finding out the percentage. If you perform an in-depth analysis of your website, it may surprise you to see the percent of customers you are losing. Many business-to-business sites have a churn rate of 17 percent. When you are losing that much of your existing customer base, it can really add up. While a two percentage churn rate in any given month may be acceptable, you could do better. A good goal for an online business is to boost retention and reduce the churn rate to approximately half a percent each month.
Your company needs to begin the process of retention the moment a site visitor gives you their email address and related information. By using the contact information that the customer provides you with and with the help of an easy-to-use follow-up email extension, create personalized, targeted emails for your customers. Your onboarding process should include a welcome message and email confirmation offering your new visitor some free, valuable content, that will hold their attention.
Each email needs to be:
Retaining that customer after they have signed up or bought your service is essential. By periodically sending personalized content offering free courses, a webinar or other information about how to use their new product, your customer feels assisted and acknowledged and your customer engagement is boosted.
Remember the most significant percentage of churn rates are because of poor customer service. Because they have bought from you already, it’s vital that you don’t make them regret their purchase. Chances are, if you treat your current customers like gold, they will be far more likely to buy related products or purchase the upgrades you offer.
The key to any successful business is to find out what makes customers happy. By using tools like SEO analysis, you can retain more of your current customers you will have insights into the specific issues on your site that lead to higher churn rates and be able to correct them.
Going the extra mile almost always pays higher dividends in terms of reducing churn rates and your customers will delight in the extra attention. The easiest way to accomplish this is to ask them for feedback. Find out what your customers think of your product or service. Do they feel they are receiving good value for their money? Are there additional product features or services you could offer that might enhance their experience? Once you’ve asked, be sure to listen and then act on the feedback that they give you. When you have identified the trigger that caused a customer to leave, you can then set about correcting the problem.
Your company can instill a strong sense of customer satisfaction when your customers are assured someone is there to answer their questions thoroughly and quickly. Many companies do this by guaranteeing their customers can expect to hear from a representative in 24 hours after filling out a contact form or sending a customer service email. Once the customer has been contacted, send a follow-up email or phone call afterward to ensure that their needs have been satisfied. Admittedly, some customers need more interaction with a representative or expert to have their expectations met. Even when a question or issue with a customer requires more attention, such a level of service is a small price to pay.
The attention and level of service that your company offers to your existing customers has an enormous impact on your business’s future success and reputation.