As the society rapidly moves towards a service oriented economy, it is hard to ignore the churn rate of customers. Wondering what churn rate is…
The term ‘churn’ refers to loss of customers. By now you could have already guessed what churn rate means. It is basically, the percentage of subscribers to a service who discontinue their subscription to that service in a particular time frame.
Churn rate is a metric to measure the success of your business. The growth rate of a company, measured by the number of new customers, should be higher than its churn rate. Thus, reducing churn rate is a crucial task for any business.
So your business can either have a positive churn rate or can have a negative churn rate. A negative churn rate here refers to an increase in your customer base surpasses the revenue you are losing because of churn.
If you sit back and think about why you should look at winning churned customers, this fact will give you a firm reason to do so – Acquiring a new customer is 5 times more costlier as compared to bringing back a churned customer.
Now if this makes you think upon how you could reduce your churn rate, you could either outsource this job or get a call center software.
While we talk about outsourcing operations, you cannot neglect the fact that call centers have a higher churn rate, usually 40 percent.
This not only increases the cost to business but also notes a higher churn rate. The question is how can we then reduce the churn rate? Here are a few ways that are sure to help you diminish churning:
1. Hiring the right staff is very important. Your team should be equipped to deal with stressful situations or repetitive work days.
They should be able to understand customer concern and should aim at solving their problems. It is imperative for your support team to do so for inbound calls, but it is equally important for them to use this method for outbound calls (to win churn customers).
You could simply start by asking customers, ‘why they left?’ and what could you do to have them back?
2. Let your customers talk, the fact that someone is making an effort to hear them makes a huge difference. On one hand where it is significant to solve customer concerns, it is also important to follow-up with them and ensure the problem has been solved.
Being responsible is really important. Sometimes you might have to apologize and let them know that you are taking personal interest to resolve their issues.
For example: You could use suitable call center software solutions to integrate your social media channels. People have become tech savvy and prefer posting about their concerns over social media.
In such a scenario, if they receive a quick response or even an acknowledgment about the receipt of their request, they will feel contended.
3. Of course that’s not all. It is also important, to consider their feedback and take an action. Unless there is a change that has taken place on your side, nothing would really change between you and the customer.
It will only get worst with time and will be harder for you to entrust their belief in you.
4. There are quite a few customers who would leave due to lack of options or should we term it as lack of variety. This make it important for your business to keep them updated about new arrivals.
They have already used your product, now it’s time to tell them you have something new for them. But, don’t do it before segmenting them in terms of size and other variants.
Up selling and cross selling products and bifurcating customers is easier, if you have the best telemarketing software in house.
5. If you could possibly find out why they left at the first place. Was it the price that they were unsatisfied with? If it was the price, then there is a lose end between what you are offering and the value they perceive.
Find the reason and ask them what you could do to improve. If you are unable to win them back, you’d still have information which can be used to improve and hold on to other customers with the same thoughts.
6. You can further make a customer database and instrument the key features of products. Every time the customer uses the listed feature, add it to your log.
This will help you create a customer engagement score that will indicate which customers are happy with your products and are unlikely to churn.
Additionally, your customer support staff can call/email customers about how they can use the product. Even when you present your company to a Venture Capitalist, the first they would look at is the churn numbers to understand if this is a profitable investment or not.
So, be sure to make it customer oriented with customer contact center software solutions.
7. It is always advisable to provide virtual networking to your executives, that makes it easier for them to connect with your business.
This improves their dedication to work and allows them to work at their own preferred timings. Virtual call center software let’s employees work from home, a restaurant or a location of their choice with integrated features like menu systems, hold times and more.
8. Delayed response if one amongst many reasons for churning. With technological developments, customers expect a quick response.
They expect companies to provide service on channels that they find convenient. At the same time they look forward to user friendly ways of getting in touch with your business.
You could might want to use an outbound call center software to integrate a live chat option and make customer interactions more convenient.
9. Whilst, providing customer support on phone and via emails is important, modern customers are looking forward to connect through social media, chat, instant messaging and much more.
Make sure you have a cloud contact center software that will enable you to send out automated surveys, generate leads and provide call support with its add-on feature – free shared storage.
Case Study 1
With the market leaders facing disruptive market conditions, competitions are pacing up. Bigger contenders are buying market shares, newcomers are adopting advanced techniques and alternative products are popping up.
This is particularly happening with the telecom industry where companies are striving hard to fulfill customer demand and price is the only differentiating factor.
India has the fastest growing mobile market in the world, however, lacks physical infrastructure being the route cause for low penetration of landlines.
This has given rise to the environment turning mobile orientation. On one side where customers are keen to use the prepaid service and are continuously switching service providers to get the best rates; on the other hand, increasing competition is fueling the trade channel incentive war to pick gross additions.
Why are we talking about all this? It’s because the case in point is a telecom company with more than 100 million customers in India, offering wireless services.
The operator has been trying hard to tackle scenarios that would result in churning. However, they new that adopting a aggressive price reduction strategy is not advisable for a smaller customer base. So, the question was what would be feasible?
The company knew it was vital to drive acquisitions in the competitive scenario where most customers have a phone, price wars are trending, people are adapting to mobile number portability and customers are being incentivized by new entrants.
The company witnessed a lower increase in its revenue as compared to what was predicted from the additions. They only understood the root cause as they started looking at the issue carefully, while monitoring their competitors and changing telecom trends.
The team working on this issue noted that the overall churn increased over a period of time and a deeper dive to was significant to control this moving ahead. Despite meaningful efforts the team was unable to get hold of the churn rate.
An in depth study was carried out to note the characteristics of customer behavior and the following points were noted:
– Promotional offers have been offered,however the cost of customer acquisition is very expensive
– Offers were based on average revenue per user
– Customers have become selective and are switching users on a continuous basis
Based on these observations, the company decided to match payout structures offered by their competitors. They further decided to lighten the effects of churn by increasing additions and giving promotional offers to a larger base.
Winning a churned customer back is an expensive process, as the customer needs to get something extra to come back.
Thus, it was important to ensure that any additions to the customer base had to be a meaningful one. For which, the company decided to have an in-depth segmentation of this database considering churn trends.
The company realized that it was an aggressive push to acquire more customers without sufficient filters was the cause of low business performance.
Hence, the company decided to focus on a stringent acquisition process and proper case evaluation.
The company was successful in adding valuable customers to its database and avoid unnecessary inflation. It was able to track a solution that would further help it in its survival in this deregulated and competitive industry.
Case Study 2
The best examples of churning can be given through scenarios occurring in the service industry. So, let us look at a bank this time.
Customers are on the go, even in the banking sector. They are continuously looking for services that will give them a higher rate of interest.
The only way to gain more customers is by cultivating their trust in the brand. This would help them gain more customers and win their loyalty.
To identify early signs of churn, it was vital for the bank to get a holistic approach and note patterns of customer interactions across multiple channels.
It was also a necessity to drive a strategy considering the past and predicting the future. The bank further wanted to come up with certain strategies to prevent churn.
They decided to understand why their past customers had left at the first place. This was going to help them make a prediction about who would churn in the near future.
They thus decided to use the best call center software that helped them understand how different attributes have an impact on customer choices of not leaving.
The bank further started performing tests on a periodic basis, with certain rules. These rules were made applicable to all the customers and a list of customers expected to churn was drawn.
This list was further analyzed to understand the value of these customers to the bank. The bank not only wanted to identify churn, but also wanted to reduce this.
Hence, they used the valuation process and came up with offers that very tailored to fulfill requirements of their valued customers.
The bank was able to reduce churning and customers were more happier. The base of service industry is the customers trust on the brand and they were able to revive this trust with a refreshed look.
This was not a one time exercise. The bank has now started conducting churn test sessions on a regular basis with continued evaluation of their customers.
Looking for a new customer is a costly affair as compared to winning an old customer back or retaining a customer. A customer who has switched to some other brand or product has already used your product and you know their nature.
Apart from their nature, you already information about their usage patterns. According to a survey, there are up to 40 percent chances of restoring relationships with an old customer, while there are around approximately 15 percent chances of turning a prospect into a client.
Similarly, analyzing changes in attribute ranking represent a unique opportunity to measure the success of your marketing strategy.
So, now you know how important it is to reduce customer churning. It will not only save your cost but also help you increase your revenue and maintain customer trust in the brand.