Author – Anita Toth 12/3/2020
“Whether it’s churning cream into butter or reducing churn in a business, both take a lot of effort.”
Let’s get right to it.
Here’s how to use all your customer feedback to lower churn and increase retention:
- Use the data collected during & after onboarding to create self-serve assets (videos, articles etc) or to inform playbooks in the customer journey.
- Share the onboarding feedback results with product to see if the UI (user interface) could be tweaked to help customers.
- Close the loop. Share the feedback results with customers. Let them know their voice is heard & that changes are coming.
Use the data results to inform the best ways to reduce churn that tie to the company's goals and KPIs.
Companies that have a strong customer feedback strategy create a flywheel effect where the data keeps getting better and better each time they employ the strategy.
Customer response rates go up.
Churn goes down.
Both customers and employees are happier.
And just for fun, closing the loop creates its own flywheel effect. When customers discover you’ve reached out to let them know about survey results, they want to participate more. (This is one place where FOMO—fear of missing out—can be useful.)
Every single one of us likes to be acknowledged. Closing the loop provides your customers with that feeling of acknowledgement. Customers that didn’t participate the first couple of times, suddenly start giving their input. Done right, closing the loop can be a great way to increase survey responses while deepening the relationship to customers. I don’t need to tell you that deeper customer relationships lead to greater customer loyalty (and reduced churn!).
Closing the loop is an often overlooked, golden opportunity to deepen customer relationships and increase customer loyalty. Most companies don’t close the loop. And they seriously miss out because of it.
Here are some things you can do to close the loop:
- Send an email
- Send a video message
- Call those customers who responded
If you want to do this at scale (which is where the power of closing the loop lies), focus on email and video messages. Here’s what you can include in those messages:
- Quantitative facts about the survey
Use some of the quantitative results to help customers see where they stand in relation to other customers. Humans are always curious about where they fit in. Show customers some interesting results from the survey that can help them see they’re part of a larger customer community.
30% of respondents in [industry/niche/segment/geography etc] answered ' yes' to Question 4 (Do you use Facebook for professional purposes?)
2/3 of respondents are [title, years in job, age, gender etc]
45% of respondents have been using [product name] for 3-5 years
2) Qualitative facts about the survey
Use verbatim quotes to bring a new perspective to often boring reporting of results. Again, humans like to find people just like them. Interesting quote are one way to do this.
“I never thought I would fall in love with [product] but it happened. Slowly it grew on me. Like an extra pair of hands helping me get my work done faster.”
“I never liked filling out surveys before [company] sent them to me. These are kinda fun.”
“Whoa! I thought I was the only one that used [feature] all the time. It was my secret power.” (in response to a previous close-the-loop email).
3) Upcoming changes
Customers not only want to be acknowledged for their participation, they also want to see how their input is helping to make changes.
Let customers know which changes are being considered and when they might expect to see them. Build a bit of anticipation for those upcoming changes.
4) What the company thought
Customers enjoy getting to know employees, senior management and C-Suite in new ways. Have different team members, senior management and C-Suite give their opinion about the survey’s results.
Add in some emotions like surprise, shock, disbelief, excitement, joy to the company’s responses to engage customers in a whole new way.
5) The topic for the next survey
Build anticipation for the next survey and what it might reveal by sharing the next survey’s topic. The more excitement that can be generated, the more likely customers are to fill out your next survey. For fun, create a survey that the customers would find interesting that can also be used to expand ideal customer personas. Perhaps the next survey is about their favourite hobbies, sports, activities they like to participate in. Once in a while, make it all about your customers.
Close the loop tips
Closing the loop is a golden opportunity to increase customer engagement, increase loyalty and deep customer relationships.
Given that closing the loop is not commonly used, be creative. Try different approaches.
As always, be on brand with your company.
Use humour if it’s appropriate.
If it’s helpful, bring in your marketing team to help craft the messages to your different customer personas.
Record results to see what works and double down on those.
That’s it for this 5-part series on using customer feedback to reduce churn. I hope you got some useful tips that you implement immediately.