5 Tools That Will Prevent Your Customers From Leaving
Think about all of the work you’ve put into acquiring that customer. You’ve reached out to them, you’ve slowly cultivated a relationship, you’ve taken the time to educate them on the importance of your product, and you’ve given them a free trial and what has amounted to hours of personal customer support. And now they’re leaving?! That’s like the girlfriend who jumps ship when it seems like all is good & merry.
We’ve all been there….well, most of us anyway.
The reason why customers are leaving your business isn’t an unsolvable mystery. Try taking a step back and looking at your business objectively (easier said than done, I know). Some underlying factors that cause customers to leave may include:
- Customer service
- Product quality
- Better prices elsewhere
Some of these problems may simply require a more careful and helpful customer support staff, but at the core of each of these issues is something even more important: the need for two-way communication between you and your customers. The only way to really know how they feel (and what you can improve on) is to talk with them, realize their needs, deliver them, and manage their expectations for the future.
There are all kinds of ways to create these two-way communication channels. Some of the more laborious methods would be to simply getting on the phone and calling a specific customer to ask for feedback. While this will certainly build a relationship with that customer in particular, it’s not a very scalable model to implement as your business grows. Another way would be to send out a mass email to your customer list that asks for their feedback upfront. This sounds good in theory, but in practice you’ll likely find that very few (less than 5%) of your recipients will respond.
Luckily for us online marketers, there are a number of tools that will help you prevent your customers from leaving by allowing you to realize and deliver a product that meets their expectations every time.
Below are 5 awesome tools that each help you maximize your customer retention by opening up that two-way communication channel and ultimately create some loyal fans for your product.
SimplyCast’s email marketing solution allows you to engage leads and customers at any stage in your funnel. By setting up a detailed tracking mechanism, you’ll be able to discover what each of your customers i interested in through the interactions that take place with your website. SimplyCast then lets you send custom-made, automated messages to any customer, and even automatically segment your lists so you can build tailored email campaigns for each segment.
SimplyCast lets you make complex user-flows to map out the interactions that are performed on your website. These maps look like this:
From there, you can associate an email or a series of emails to each interaction that takes place. By connecting with each lead and customer on such a personal level, you’re miles ahead in the nurturing process and well on your way to creating a loyal fan out of each visitor.
It’s a quiet little script that can be used to get actionable feedback on exactly how your customers/visitors are engaging with your website or page. Technically it’s not two-way communication in that visitors aren’t actually telling you how they’re interacting with your website, but they are showing you (whether or not they realize it). The heatmap tool that Crazy Egg is known for can tell you the following information:
- Where visitors came from
- Where they’re clicking on the page
- How much of your content they’re reading
These heat maps tell you where exactly people are clicking on your page. From a UX perspective, that information is pure gold. You’ll likely be surprised when you find out what pieces of your page are most popular (or least popular). Work on optimizing the parts of the page that are being engaged with the most, and overtime the UX of the page will become more aligned with what your users are looking to do.
Small changes in a website’s design & layout can make big differences for engagement. And the more engagement you are able to provide on your website, the more value you’re offering, and the more your customers feel they are getting out of your product or service. This translates to greater satisfaction, and less churn rates.
Live chat support is not a new concept. These services allow you to put your finger on the pulse of visitors and customers by providing them with exactly the help they need to make a decision. You should always go out of your way to promote that two-way communication channel and reduce any anxieties that customers may be feeling toward your business.
Having a live chat service on your website shows your customers that you’re ready and willing to lend a helping hand. It can bring a human-aspect to what might have previously been monotone communications. It’s almost like picking up the phone and asking customers for their feedback, but is significantly more scalable and cost-effective. Olark is super easy to setup and offers some cool customization options. I’ve also used Zopim’s live chat services, but I found that Olark had more responsive customer service.
Reactful is a solution that maximizes retention by employing real-time engagement techniques. The theory is that people have a “digital body language” online, and by mapping patterns and behaviors associated with this body language, you can make rules that will keep them more engaged in your product or service.
In short, it allows you to create triggers in response to real-time actions that users are engaging in on your website. So say, for example, you’ve got a returning customer that has been viewing your support pages to find the answer to a specific problem. By gauging exactly what they’re looking for, you’re able to prompt the answer, while offering complementary materials that will keep them engaged with your website and product.
Feedback forms, like live chat services, are not a new phenomenon. But they’ve been around for so long because they work. A feedback form epitomizes the notion of a two-way communication channel between you and your customers.
In this picture, I’m on the “Customer Satisfaction Survey,” which is a templated form with standard questions to gauge your customers’ level of satisfaction. On the left-hand column, I’ve highlighted (in the red boxes) some other surveys that might be useful. But keep in mind these are just templates, you can create your own forms from scratch, which allows you to probe your customers about more specific pain points they’re experiencing.
When your customers see that you’ve taken the time to create feedback forms, this in and of itself raises their level of trust and respect towards your company. Prompting these forms either on your website (in the form of a pop-up or a widget), or subtly in all of your email communications will show them that you’re concerned about their experience, and are proactively seeking ways to make it better.
Plus they make implementing these forms super easy – all you’ve got to do is embed the script and wallah!…it’s on your site.
Keeping the customers you’ve got and turning them into loyal fans is one of the biggest challenges that businesses face. These tools offer some great solutions to this challenge, but there are lots more solutions out there. I’d love to hear what you used to better engage and retain your customers, so lets start a discussion in the comments below!