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6 MORE ways to reduce user churn



Previously in our blog, we discussed 5 ways to reduce user churn. But it doesn't end there. We have more tips to share based on our own and our client's experience, as well as the industry expertise we have accumulated through our time in the customer engagement industry. 


Those tips are great ways to ensure more long-term success for your product.




#1 Provide Useful and Helpful Content

While it's well known that producing valuable content can help with user acquisition and SEO, it's not its only tangible benefit. Helpful content also enables current users to get more from your service and reduces the churn rate. 


Emails, blog posts, and newsletters are excellent ways to demonstrate the value of your product and the full possibilities it offers. Even for current users and subscribers, this content presents ways to engage with your product when they are not using it. For example, an article that describes five underutilized functions of an app can motivate current users to delve deeper or give them inspiration for new ideas.


Of course, doubling this technique with analytics can provide exciting insights. Modern CRM tools allow you to see which of your customers are reading or sharing your content. If these are the customers who are sticking around, it can be reasonably instructive about how you can best communicate with them in the future. Additionally, content that performs well can be incorporated into your overall onboarding strategies.


#2 Use Retention Hooks

Retention hooks are built into your app or product and are designed to make it easy for your current users to draw other users towards your service. For example, team invitations are a powerful tool that helps acquire new users AND re-introduce your product to users who have stopped using it. The key is making them easy to do from the app.


While an inactive user can be tempted back via an email or a reminder from your company, the retention hook method can be far more powerful. This works because the user is being invited to engage by someone they already know. The invite can function as social proof for the service, and the best part is that it requires no extra work on your part.


#3 Use Proactive Customer Service

An excellent way to reduce SaaS churn is through better, more connected customer service. In the past, sales reps provided the personal touch, but frequently that human element that brought customers to a solution gets lost or becomes muddled. 


Now, by rethinking the process across marketing, sales, and customer service, new ways of envisaging the customer experience are emerging. Data analytics can be applied across the entire process, helping organizations understand why users stay and leave. These lessons can be fed back into the system, so new approaches mean you don't churn customers.


Other new ideas are the increasing use of retention specialists. These professionals work by forging relationships with users, checking their satisfaction levels, and stopping problems before they start. Stronger relationships breed trust, which helps reduce app, service, or SaaS churn.


Of course, not all services have the resources to employ a dedicated staff member to deal with retention. So, this role can fall to another professional like a product manager. Again, these little pieces of communication can reduce customer attrition rates by providing a personal touch that lets customers know they are valuable and that you are open to listening to their thoughts.


Modern businesses have a far more holistic approach that provides high-class service across all aspects of the customer journey.


#4 Leverage Net Promoter Scores (NPS)

Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are some of the most reliable and best predictors of customer retention.


Net promoter scores can be calculated easily by asking customers a simple question:


How likely are you to recommend this product or service to a friend or family member out of 10?


This deceptively simple question works because it finds out who will promote your service and who will detract from it.


Scores between 9-10 are Promoters who will encourage others to use your product and also stick around.


Scores between 7-8 are Passives, i.e., satisfied users who could be targeted by competitor offerings.


Scores between 0-6 are Detractors, i.e., users who could damage your brand through negative word of mouth.


Of course, the numbers themselves are only valuable if you use them correctly. Finding out why someone scored with a 0-6 can be a valuable learning opportunity that can lead to improvements in the service.


So follow up with any additional questions if you can to flesh out the picture. Additionally, target the passives with the help and information to turn them into more satisfied and loyal users.


#5 Consider Annual vs Monthly Subscriptions


Monthly accounts are very typical in the SaaS business space. However, annual subscriptions provide a more steady and predictable income. Indeed, an annual subscription only asks your customers to make a decision about your product once per year. Monthly subscriptions can be like asking for a "yes" twelve different times.


Of course, committing to a product for a year is a significant task. Considering this, it's best to keep offering monthly and quarterly subscriptions as an option.


Finally, asking about annual subscriptions is all about timing. It's best to wait until a customer has gotten some value from your service before asking them to commit to a longer-term deal. 


#6 Use Retention Emails For Inactive Customers

Acquiring new users generally require a marketing budget, while holding onto current users does not. However, there is a third segment that we are ignoring here: inactive users.


Inactive users pose an interesting challenge. You know that they were interested enough to seek out your service in the first place, so what's changed? Sure, some of them will have used the product and found that it was not for them, but that could be for several reasons, including poor user onboarding. 


So, a good idea is to send them a gentle email in the hope of rekindling the flame. You can remind them of your product's capabilities or even send a cute "We miss you" email. Additionally, promotions or, in extreme cases, discounts can be used to tempt them back.


Another great reason to get back in touch is to introduce a cool new feature. Show them what they are missing.


BONUS TIP: Optimize Your Cancellation Flow

Losing users is inevitable. You can use all ten of the tips above, and some customers will still abandon the product. 

The best cancellation flows contain two features:


1) Allow users to cancel, but gently remind them of all the value that they are losing by ending their subscription. For example, by canceling, they are abandoning contacts, communications, data, etc. It’s a soft way of making them rethink their decision.


2) Offer users an alternative to closing their subscription. How you go about this will depend on the specifics of your application, but some interesting options are:


  • Downgrade to a lower-tier plan

  • Free consultation to demonstrate the value of the product or answer outstanding questions

  • An option to pause, rather than delete, the account


The most important thing during this process is to strike the tone right. If a customer says they are leaving, trying to aggressively change their mind will just irritate them and leave them with a negative perception of your business.
Remember, the last impression is the lasting impression.
So, choose wisely how you deal with their departure. 


Additionally, even when a customer leaves, you can turn it into a positive by using it as an opportunity to learn more about your product. A short, snappy questionnaire about why they are unsubscribing can generate valuable information that can be addressed, fixed, and used to stem the flow of user churn. 


Conclusion

In most cases, customers leave because they don't get value from a product or service. This can happen for several reasons that are out of your control. However, it mostly happens for reasons that you can improve upon. To ensure that customers understand the power of your product, digital adoption platforms like Usetiful offer a great solution. 


Designing a workflow for how your customers can achieve their aha moment is vital. Software that enables you to use tooltips, product walkthroughs, and onboarding checklists will help strengthen your user's connection with your product.




Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash


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