Discover Your Customers’ Questions for Greater Retention
Your customers have questions, but
do you have the answers? You’ll never know if you don’t ask, and not knowing
can lead to customer churn, revenue dips, and your competitors capturing some
of your market share. Shrewd integrated marketers know that you will never
really know what your customers are thinking if you don’t do a little digging.
SmartInsights has put together an extensive strategy guide
for opening the lines of
communication with your customers, including data acquisition and review and
leveraging available technologies to find where gaps exist and how to bridge
them for effective customer retention.
Discover What Customers are Already Asking
We’ve all heard the statistic that
a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than
retaining an existing one.” So, holding on to your current customers is
critical to your business success.
Start by talking with your customer
service representatives (CSRs). These are the people who talk with your
customers every day and are the first stop when customers have questions. Take
some time to get their insights into the customer complaints and issues they
hear about, what they feel are the most frequently recurring, what they think
the highest priority items are, and how fixing these issues will improve customer
Analyze Your Data
For an even deeper dive into this
type of information, analyze your phone and chat logs to find common themes and
how they are being managed. Likewise, dig into your web analytics: what are
customers searching for? Are they finding it? If customers are abandoning carts
or bouncing off pages, drill down to see if you can discover why.
Consider using automated tools like
text analysis to
categorize customer data from across social media, surveys, product reviews,
etc. Machine learning may help you more quickly identify if anything is going
wrong in your customer relationships.
Employ Predictive Analytics Tools
Go beyond addressing your
customers’ questions and anticipate them. Integrated marketers don’t need to be
mind readers, they just need to use predictive apps or algorithms that review
existing data and make
predictions for future customer actions, such as the likelihood of future
purchases, top questions/concerns, overall brand satisfaction, and issue resolution.
Talk to Your Prospects
Once you’ve looked into your
existing customers, you can begin to talk to your prospects. Use simple
one-question polls or chats (or chatbots) to help you get quick answers to
questions that will help you make sure that you are on track: What are they
looking for? Is there anything you can help them find? Ideally, tailor the
questions to coincide with the actions being taken by the prospect—are they
hanging out on the homepage? Are they spending a lot of time on a particular product
page? Is their cart sitting, abandoned, while they continue to browse?
Keep the Door Open
Asking your prospects and customers
questions, and letting them know that you want to engage directly with them,
will encourage further questions. This continued engagement can uncover any
remaining issues or convince your audience of your genuine interest in their
needs. As you continue to improve your communications, you should see
subsequent conversion and retention numbers. Happy customers who feel that they
are receiving the attention they need won’t feel the need to move on to the
next company selling a similar product or service.
Practice this same level of attentiveness in all
of your customer and prospective touchpoints. Your transparency and willingness
to listen to customers will inspire them to show the same level of openness
with you. And if ever you find that your retention numbers are slipping, you
have the formula to nip any potential damage in the bud: repeat the above and
dig into the data, use any relevant technological aids, and talk with your
prospects and customers. This retention strategy will keep you far ahead of