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Topics: Inbound Marketing

Hole Net

Netting customers is one thing—hanging on to them is another.

Losing a number of clients over a given period of time is called customer churn.

Too many losses will damage your brand reputation and bottom line—your ROI.

Take heart in the fact that no one’s churn rate is 0 and that there are ways to limit damage—ways that will help you hang on to your customers, build your brand and hit your sales targets.

Look at your lead conversion process

Getting leads and converting them takes time, expertise, money and effort. A lot of it.

But this is just the start. You may be brilliant at doing this but looking after your customers sometimes gets forgotten in the drive for more business.

Going the extra mile is crucial to keep your customers. Nurture them; be generous with your TLC and watch your churn rate recede.

Track the leavers

Okay, customers can migrate for all sorts of reasons that have nothing to do with you—in-house changes, loss of business, the economic climate, etc. etc. etc.

Nevertheless, you must monitor and record who’s jumping ship and find out why. Ask for feedback. Look for patterns. This information is invaluable and will help you to identify the areas of concern that need fixing.

Work out the client lifetime

Every client has a lifetime so track how long a client stays with you. What’s the average?

4 ways to calculate your churn rate
—Total number of customers lost during a specific time
—% of customers lost during a specific time
—Recurring business value lost
—% of recurring value lost

Example: month beginning

3 clients lost
------------------  = 3% churn rate
100 new clients

Example: month end

3 clients lost
-------------------  = 2.9% churn rate
104 new clients

Accurate figures help you with your forecasting. By addressing the areas of concern they will show whether you are making headway.

But hard facts and figures will only take you so far. This is where people skills come into play—and never underestimate the power of emotional intelligence to minimise your churn rate. Afterall it’s people you are dealing with, even though they may be largely unseen.

Try these tried-and-tested tactics…

Cultivate customer relationships

Communicate with your customers on a regular basis. This will make them feel recognised and valued. By being proactive you keep them in the loop and looked after. They never have to chase you for anything—you are working hard on their behalf and they can trust you to get the job done.

Be on first-name terms—personalise emails and target their interests. Don’t get sloppy—stay on point in all your communications: spell their name and other details correctly. Proofread everything before you hit the send button.

Five star treatment

Ramp up the kudos by hosting a free event that targets their business interests. This also has the added benefit of networking opportunities for everyone involved. Factor in a speaker for maximum impact.

Manage expectations

In your bid to get business, never over-promise as you will likely not deliver. Be realistic and honest from the get-go with deadlines and deliverables. Try to exceed expectations.

As long as your customers are happy with what you are proposing, they will be delighted with the outcome. And customer delight is the grace note of the inbound marketing methodology. Not only is your customer uber-pleased with your service, they will tell others about you. And recommendations count when it comes to customer acquisition.

Pay attention

Listen to what your customers have to say and be proactive about asking for feedback. Call them and ask if they would complete a quick questionnaire, either over the telephone or by answering an attached questionnaire.

Make this as easy as possible for them by keeping questions short and to the point. Leave room for them to suggest improvements. And always thank them for their cooperation.


Get everyone onboard with sharing customer feedback. This generates a positive culture that delivers on two levels: the good comments boost morale and team spirit; the not-so-good feedback can be dealt with quickly before it has a chance to fester and do real damage—the customer going elsewhere.

Trust your instincts

If you have a really good relationship with your customers and you are paying attention, then your instincts will tell you when something is out of kilter and that they may be on the move.
Prevent this happening with customer satisfaction surveys. By checking in with them on a regular basis with a few standard questions, you will be able to monitor if their loyalty is wavering.

Ask the question: Would you be happy to recommend us to other businesses? Their response is the strongest indicator as to how you are doing. This buys you time to act promptly, fix the issue and, hopefully, stop the churn.

Also, watch out for behaviour patterns that change for no apparent reason. Are they more elusive—never available to answer the phone and/or cancelling meetings with lame excuses (if any). This could be a time for you to do some proactive investigating/customer service.

Be a woke boss!

The days of the boss sitting in solitary splendour in a private office and barking out orders to their minions are, thankfully, history.

Today’s boss is well woke—one of the team and contacting their customers in person.
But the clout is still there—customers are dealing with the head honcho and this makes them feel really valued.

So, nurture both your hard and soft skills and work on building relationships. This powerful combination is proven to reduce customer churn rate.

Need a hand with your digital marketing strategy? Looking for an agency? Choose Breckenridge—find out why here: Which Marketing Agency? Customer retention helps solve the problem.

Contact UsFor a FREE discovery meeting.

Breckenridge is a HubSpot Gold Partner and Google Premier Partner. We also have over 35 years’ industry experience.