Online marketing tactics for SMBs any marketer must know

With over 4 billion people connected to the internet, online marketing solutions offer an easy and measurable method to reach the masses and grow your small business.

Regardless of the tactics that you choose to employ, online marketing comes down to developing a robust strategy, remaining consistent, and measuring what does and doesn’t work through trial-and-error.

To expand your reach, here are some tips and tactics to make the most out of the various online marketing solutions available. Read more

How to leverage your customer’s smartphone to your advantage

For the past several years there has been strong growth in mobile marketing, and in 2018 this trend will continue. Probably the best thing about mobile marketing is its omnipresence – you can reach your customers at any time, at any place.

Still, in times of information overload, marketers need to be careful and approach mobile marketing the right way. Using a customer’s smartphone to your advantage doesn’t mean we can bombard our customers with numerous offers, send the same email over and over again or bother them to fill out the survey at dinner time, only because we know they’re probably online. Mobile marketing campaigns need to be strategically planned, data-driven and innovative.

If done right, mobile marketing can significantly improve customer experience, make your products and your business more visible and approachable, and of course, help you sell more!

To achieve this we need to both employ the tools offered by new technologies, such as chatbots or voice search but also to rethink the ways we use those more standardized digital marketing tools such as automated emails, newsletters, landing pages and last but not the least – SMS messaging, which is still being used as one the top tools for providing the best customer experience.

Mobile marketing is here to keep the customers engaged with our business and stands for one of the most powerful tools for customer retention in the new millennium. So, in order to leverage your customer’s smartphone to your advantage in 2018, you need to keep in mind the following:

Make mobile experience your top priority

It’s not news that your web presence needs to be tailored for mobile users, but in 2018 this is more important than ever. To make sure our mobile website is appealing to customers, it needs to load quickly and all of its pages have to be mobile responsive. Photos and copy should be optimised, relevant, high-quality and well-placed, and you should try to reduce the need for zooming or scrolling as much as possible.

Content of your emails, newsletters and landing pages needs to be easily consumed on mobile devices, and also light-weight, given that not all users have the same data plan or are ready to spend that data to download heavy emails.

Don’t forget to reduce the size and volume of text in your offers, as mobile consumers are often on the move and don’t have much time to browse through the usual offers you send.

Rethink the ways you use existing digital marketing tools

In the age of the digital customer experience, we are very well aware of the importance of designing truly appealing emails, newsletters, landing pages and text messages. This means our offers need to be visually appealing and optimised and its copy adjusted for mobile users.

Same as any other marketing campaign, mobile campaigns also need to be data-driven and customized with demographic information and customer behavioral data to deliver relevance within the messages we send. Mobile personalization helps us deliver campaigns tailored to each user and it drives customer conversion, loyalty, and retention. Here are some tips and advices on how to use online marketing tools for mobile in an innovative and creative way:

1. Design emails and newsletters for mobile first

In the last few years we’ve witnessed how quickly smartphones overtook computers as the device most often use to open and read emails. Stats from 2017 show that majority of emails sent out by companies are now opened on a mobile device, regardless of what kind of business you’re in.

Hence, there is no stronger reason to rethink our marketing strategies and simply put the mobile first, desktop second! Experienced marketers often highlight the fact that designing for mobile first is actually far easier than the other way around as you can later simply build in the additional elements and expand the offer you have in place.

In this example by real estate company Redfin we can clearly see how the mobile optimised email on the right side looks more user friendly than the one Redfin had in place before. Although the content of their email remained the same, different fonts and the simple “Learn more” CTA make the company’s offer more inviting and eye-catching.Learn more CTA

To avoid double work for your campaigns, start thinking about making things simple from the very beginning.

The strongest reason for designing for mobile first is that this way your prioritize the most important aspects of your offer. Once you have a strong foundation that works, you can later easily expand the offer and add details more suitable for desktop version of your offer(s).

Mobile-first design makes you to really focus and maintain simplicity by removing all unnecessary user interface details. By removing these distractions, you will significantly improve the user experience which makes perfect business sense!

2. Look for innovative ways to use SMS marketing

Considering the fact that people usually read text messages on their phones within the first three seconds upon receiving them, you should never underestimate the power of marketing delivered to them via mobile phones. SMS marketing still serves as one of the best sales-boosting and customer retention channels, regardless of the fact how advanced mobile marketing is in 2018.

To use SMS marketing in an advanced way, we should always look at it as mediating agent that leads the customers to your, more engaging, mobile website or app. As we all know, SMS doesn’t rely on an internet connection and can act as a glue that merges your customer’s offline and online experiences.

For example, in 2017, the Swiss Post came up with a truly unique idea to enable their users to buy postage stamps via SMS messages. People looking to send out a letter were required to text the word ‘STAMP’ to the target number, after which they received a single-use number which they would then simply write on the envelope.SMS messages

If you’re wondering how these stamps are paid for, the company’s solution for this one is quite simple as well. After opting in, the cost of the stamp is automatically deducted from the customer’s phone credit which users, of course, found to be very convenient.

This example clearly shows how Swiss post found a great way to increase their revenues via SMS services by making their product more accessible and make their traditional services closer to today’s customers.

SMS is used as a communication channel for multiple purposes, such as for follow up customer services, event invitations, real-time appointments, coupon distribution and instant polling.

Regardless of the SMS campaign you have in use, don’t forget that each of your marketing strategies needs to be backed up with data such as customer demographics, location, the number and frequency of their purchases. For example, if you send a data-driven, automated SMS to a customer that recently made a purchase from you, you can find out how satisfied they are with the purchased item.SMS Campaign

You can also ask your customers to rate their customer experience, not only the product or service you provide.Automated Text Messages

With automated text messages, you engage the right recipient at the right time and nurture the relationship by offering relevant and customized content to your customers.

3. Minimalistic approach to landing pages

It is clear by now that, if you’re not catering to your mobile audience, your business will suffer for it. You need to go mobile wherever you can and that includes designing mobile responsive landing pages as well.

A mobile responsive landing page is not only the one that nicely displays on your customer’s smartphone, but also the one that has quick load times, short and smart titles and copy, CTA button that works properly on touchscreen and asks for minimum information in their form. To make it more effective, reduce zooming and scrolling, such as in this example by Gumroad shows below.Gumroad CTA

This is a pretty great example of simplicity in landing pages as it fits the screen perfectly, has a very simple design but yet interesting CTA which tickles the customer’s curiosity. Same as with the mobile email example above, this landing page was designed for mobile first, and after the initial success, the company created an expanded version for desktop too.Gumroad CTA

Still, to sell more products and keep the customer buying from you, your landing page needs to bring the attention to the specific matter to a specific group of customers. Marketing automation tools such as landing page builders capture the customers information easily and effectively. Your only job is to choose a template, add a form and define which list of the subscribers it will be directed to.

Invest in new mobile marketing features

As already said, to really nail mobile marketing in 2018, we also need to employ new and advanced marketing tools for mobile:

1. Chatbots

Chatbot, a piece of software designed to act as a person, is quickly becoming one of the most popular marketing tools in the new millenium. The >research conducted by HubSpot in 2017 found that 57% of consumers are interested in getting real-time answers from chatbots on a company website, and that 48% of consumers would rather connect with a company via live chat than any other mean of contact.

Initially designed to provide service information and help customers with frequently asked questions, in 2017 chatbots have come a long way and now are being used to provide a personalized product recommendation and even to facilitate purchases, such as in this example by KLM airlines.KLM

KLM launched its chatbot via Facebook Messenger to assist its human support team and reached more than 500,000 customers in the first six months. Their chatbot turned out to be such a big success that company recently added a voice layer to it to expand its reach.

Before you start with designing one for your business, invest some time in clarifying the best use of chatbots in your company. What is your priority right now? Is it to reduce the time you usually spend answering product related questions or to sell more of your products? Identifying where in the customer experience a chatbot could best help will enable you to reduce the costs and get the best results from it.

Another great thing about customer service chatbots is that they collect data and learn customer behavior which, over time, makes them even more user-friendly and save more of your money and time.

2. VR & AR apps

We already know for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) features in games and platforms such as Pokemon Go or Google Cardboard, but this cutting-edge technology also started to make its way into the world of digital marketing.

Augmented reality also makes mobile devices into essential tools for education, training and designing and lately also affects the ways businesses can present and promote their products. For example, French startup Augment developed an augmented reality mobile app that helps businesses visualize 3D models in real time and real space.

The company encourages businesses to use their technology to connect to online shoppers by allowing them to virtually place products in their home before buying them, such as in the furniture business example shown below.Virtually Place Products

Augment is only the beginning of using AR on mobile phones to test, select and buy products and it’s already been used by retailers to cut down on buyer uncertainty.

Customer service is considered to be a human-to-human interaction in which customer expect a personal touch to help with the issues they have. These are exactly the areas where further technological advances such as AR and VR can and should be used to provide solutions allowing for better consumer experiences.

3. Voice search

Voice powered communication on mobile devices is undoubtedly one of the most popular means of interaction in the digital age. Voice-powered experiences now have a direct impact on businesses as a hot new trend in providing the best customer experience.

It’s obvious that people on the move just love voice search, which is per se good enough reason to add it to your customer services. On the other hand, voice search has made reaching your audience a bit harder than via usual Google search, so you must be prepared to take some additional measures to actually make it work.

In order to make the voice search effective, we need to understand exactly what users are searching for and how they are searching for it. Therefore, to improve the mobile website for voice search, your content should incorporate more natural language. When speaking, people naturally tend to use more words than they do when typing, so the list of keywords needs to contain full sentences, instead of focusing on simple keywords and phrases.

Wrap Up

To leverage your customer’s smartphone to your advantage in 2018, you will need to rethink the ways you use already well-known marketing channels and optimize their design and copy for mobile phones. This includes finding simple, but also creative ways to reach out to customers via emails, newsletters, landing pages and SMS messages.

To get this right, never forget that all the offers you have in place have to be data-driven and target the specific group of customers. The easiest way to achieve this is to automate the offers you have with the help of marketing automation platforms such as smoove which will make your job easier and more efficient.

Last, but not least, you should think about exploring how you can take advantage of new and advanced tools and software for mobile marketing such as chatbots, voice search, and even virtual reality and augmented reality software which altogether present the future of mobile marketing.

How to set up a mobile customer retention campaign using smoove

Customer retention comes down to proper communication and consistent satisfaction. While there are many methods to reach out to your clientele, from email marketing to social media and more, SMS text messaging offers a low-cost alternative with the highest open rates of any marketing alternative. Once you receive an opt-in from your customers, the phone is your virtual oyster, opening up a world of communication possibilities.

Given that over 4 billion people in the world have mobile phones, you can use smoove’s SMS tool to direct your message to the right audience, create a sense of urgency with promotions, test timing, create automated messages, and personalize your content.

Here’s a look at some of the best practices to employ in your SMS retention strategy and how smoove can help you achieve your goals.

Segmentation and Campaign Types

SMS message campaigns come in many forms. You can choose to offer products and promotions, loyalty and rewards, or even post purchase follow up messages with surveys and incentives for customers who provide feedback.

Regardless of the kind of campaign you choose to employ, you must know your relevant audience, and that comes down to proper list segmentation. Using smoove’s list segmentation tool, you can easily divide your audience based on parameters like their purchase history, demographic, location and engagement levels. Then, when you set up an SMS campaign, simply enter the list you want to send the message to, and the rest is taken care of when you click send.

An example of how location can help is if you have multiple stores in different areas. During business hours, you can offer different promotions for different locations via text messages based on geography. You can always make the message relevant to events and cultural activities taking place in that specific location. Speaking of location, smoove’s Waze integration allows customers to simply click a button to direct them right to your storefront. It’s another simple way to make your customer’s journey easier!

 

smoove sms dashboardText With Urgency and Timing

You want your customers to take action when they receive your message, after all, that’s what retention is all about. If you’re communicating, but there is no transaction, you’re at risk of losing your customer. To help get customers to click through your message to the intended landing page or product, create a countdown with an offer that expires. Smoove allows for you to add a countdown clock directly within the message that plays upon the emotional response that time is running out.

SMS alert

Then, based on a user’s action, you can enable smart links and triggers to follow up with another automated message based on the action they did or didn’t take from the first message.

For example, you can create an automated journey. If the client redeems the first offer within the amount of time, you can trigger a second message with one of two follow ups. Either offer an additional, equally attractive and generic offer, or follow up and mention that previous purchase with another offer. For the customers who did not take the bait in the first message, you can offer a different promotion with an even shorter time frame.

Additionally, on the topic of automation, if you want to track a customer’s journey online and then move the messaging to mobile, you can set up smart links and automation there, too. For example, if a customer abandons a cart before finishing the check out process, you can set up a text message reminder for them to finish their purchase.

Smoove integrates with the biggest e-commerce platforms like Magento, Shopify and Woo-Commerce. Since so many people use their mobile phones to shop online, you’re literally putting the transaction in their hands and personalizing your messages in real-time to prompt an action.

Easy Testing Goes A Long Way

While it’s more likely for a customer to open a text message than an email, you can vary your timing more than you would with an email. It’s possible to have high open rates on weekends, when people aren’t at work, and for retailers, this may be the best time to send your message.

With smoove, you can use A/B testing based on different send times to see what time works best for your lists. Also, going deeper with list segmentation, you can send different messages in different time zones for your relevant customers. Smoove’s easy-to-use analytics will showcase your winning messages and inform you of the best timing to continue with your SMS strategy.

If you run an e-commerce site that never closes, you can use auto-response messages to send your text messages. If you run a brick-and-mortar store, it is recommended that you still send messages during normal operating hours so that if someone wants to call or come in, you’re open.

smoove autoresponse

Deliver Clutter-Free Content

Like tweets, SMS messages should be short, sweet and to the point. Creating a clear call-to-action is a crucial part of establishing a successful SMS retention campaign. By employing smoove’s mobile landing pages, you can easily direct your customer to take the intended action with the click of a button. By driving traffic directly to a mobile responsive page, you’re keeping the message and the intention cohesive.

You can also use the Events & Reminders tool to send a message about a specific event or promotion. For example, if you have a summer sale coming up, you can automate message reminders to go out 2 weeks before, a day before and the day of to keep your customers informed. Smoove’s dashboard makes it easy to link to a specific landing page so that your customer can see all the event information when they click through to the landing page, which will allow your SMS message to still stay short and sweet, and free of clutter.

smoove dashboard

Wrap Up

While you don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, adding SMS marketing to your retention strategy can only benefit your business. With the highest open rates and the fact that people tend to check their phones at least once an hour, you can deliver succinct messages directly to your customers at any time. You can also sync your email marketing messages with your SMS messaging to create a robust campaign with multiple touch points.

Smoove’s automation tools, events and reminders tracking, A/B testing, countdown clocks and list segmentation allows you to take your SMS marketing to the next level with little effort. Ready to send your first text? We’re here to get your thumbs triggering messages of retention! Open a free account today.

How to set up an email customer retention campaign using smoove

The success of an email marketing campaign for retention relies on more than just the content. With over 144 billion emails sent a day, how can you ensure that your message doesn’t get lost in the shuffle?

While there is something true in the old cliche “content is king,” strategy is necessary to engage your customers and keep them continuously interested in opening your messages. With smoove’s features, you can create robust campaigns, test variables, implement templates, create custom content, easily measure success, and automate your distribution.

Let’s take a look at some best practices for email marketing and how smoove can help you achieve your retention strategy needs.

Step One: List Management

Communication is based on senders and receivers, and it only makes sense to send emails to the right customers. For example, you wouldn’t want to send a loyal customer a win-back email if they’re currently making purchases. Yet still, list management goes beyond segmentation, targeting and personalization.

Customers work through sales funnels and the goal is to keep them moving up and staying active. User actions should dictate the kind of messages they receive to drive this process along without much leg work on your end. With smoove, you can use smart links to set up triggers that automatically segment your audience and add contacts to your lists based on the actions they take within your emails, SMS messages and even on landing pages from your website.smoove smart link

To exemplify, say you send an email with a countdown clock and a promotional offer to customers who have lapsed in the past month. You’re giving them 24 hours to act and redeem the discount. Once they click on the call-to-action button that says “redeem offer,” you want to send a reminder email if they have not yet made a purchase when there is only four hours left. By using smoove’s smart link, you can automate a follow-up email to be sent with a final reminder for those who have yet to visit the checkout page. In this way, you can create personalized emails without having to continuously check on your lists. The system does the work for you.

Furthermore, when you create lists, you can allow for them to be “public,” so that your customers can actually see the lists they are subscribed to in your system. In the event they are tired of receiving one kind of email from a specific list, they can solely unsubscribe from it rather than globally unsubscribing. This is a very important retention tactic as once a person unsubscribes, you can no longer contact them. But, in this way, you can still direct the messages that they are okay receiving and keep them as a contact record.

Deeper Dive: Segment Based on Status

“Don’t forget to think about the physical as well as the mental state of your client when they read your email.” – Jeanne Jennings, Founder and Lead Strategist at Email Optimization Shop, Consultant, Trainer, Speaker and Published Author.

Messaging your customers differently based on their engagement with your email communication is a good starting point. But, another useful way to target your customers is to break them up based on their spending habits and purchase history. Loyal customers appreciate rewards.

Whether you already have a loyalty program set-up or not, email marketing can help you let your VIP customers know they are valued. Smoove allows for you to segment your lists based on the amount of money they’ve spent or how recently they made a purchase. The automatic list generation of your most valuable customers means that you can minimize your spending on loyalty programs, and use that budget to instead offer promotions and thank you gifts to these customers.

These little personal touches go a long way in showing a customer that they are important to your business, and of course, when they receive special and personalized discounts, they are more likely to purchase again.

Step Two: Create a Campaign

You have your intended audience ready to go, and now it’s time for the content to work its magic. Whether you have a team of designers at your disposal or not, smoove makes it easy to create beautiful emails at your fingertips. Throughout the entire process, pop-up boxes will lead you to the next step should you need assistance, but even without the added help, the user-friendly experience directs you through the process. Simply begin by defining who you’re sending the email to and continue with the selection of one of the many pre-designed templates, or take the time to create your own custom content.

You have options for how you can create your campaign- whether you want to use the email templates, text editor, an external URL, or a ZIP file, each option is always available.

Step Three: Personalization and Content Options

Every retention manager knows the value of personalization when it comes to treating your customers right. Smoove’s advanced and automated text fields allow for the database to do the work in making your content feel personal. When you set up a campaign, you can choose from a drop-down menu of options for what field to personalize in the message.Personalization and Content Options

Even when choosing a pre-made template, you can edit the content blocks and add personalized touches, like a customized offer for only a segment of your list.

Step Four: A/B Testing and Analytics

Optimization is always the goal in running successful marketing campaigns. But, you don’t know what works best until you try. With smoove’s A/B testing, you can efficiently try two different options for subject lines, content blocks, promotions and more and send to a sample size of your list. Based on performance, the winning content will be sent to the remainder of your list automatically. Conversion rates can be set up as open rates or click-through rates, depending on your goal.

You can also take your analytics a step further by using the Advanced tab and incorporating specific links to be tracked with the Google Analytics integration.

Step Five: Automation

Customers expect more from businesses than ever before. In some instances, customer experience trumps pricing and product quality in an increasingly experiential marketplace.

Marketing automation is a key in retaining customers and decreasing churn because it allows for the customer experience to be seamless and logical. Since so much of the customer experience is digital and about 60% of a sales journey happens before a sales lead is even in contact with a customer, being able to track a customer’s path is pertinent to retaining their business.smoove marketing automation

Smoove has multiple ways to help you capture your leads, from creating landing pages to using smart forms to increasingly request more information from engaged customers. But, what about after they’ve made a purchase? You can set up auto-response email marketing so that the time between an action a user takes and a follow-up email is within seconds. The sooner you are able to reach out, the less time a customer has to look at your competition.

Another idea is to adopt an approach that Amazon does so well. Rather than only cross-selling and up-selling to your customers who have recently purchased, you can send an automatic email after a purchase that asks them to write a product review. Then, once they review the product, you can automate another email that then includes other products they may like based on their review. That way, you’re creating a two way relationship that isn’t only about the buying relationship, and also gain more customer insight so that you can provide solutions to maximize their satisfaction and experience.

There’s automation when it comes to actual messages, and then there’s also automation when it comes to reminders of what you should do next. With the mini CRM module in smoove’s system, you can create smart/automatic reminders of next steps to take on a lead or customer so that you never miss a beat in the sales cycle.

Wrap – Up

Email marketing is a key tactic for customer retention. While there is a lot of strategy that goes into creating the perfect content for the right audience, there are many ways that smoove’s automated tools make the entire experience seamless and easily trackable. From customizable templates designed for various industries and topics to the list management and automated CRM features, smoove allows for your email marketing campaigns to be robust and measurable.

From the start of a customer relationship, or capturing leads, to maintaining a buying relationship with your current customers, email marketing keeps your message front and center and is a powerful tool in gauging customer satisfaction, which is the number one aspect of retaining loyal customers.

Starting from step one or elevating your strategies, how can you let smoove help you today?

Reach out and let us know what you need. We’re here to help!

How to provide better digital customer service

In the age of customer experience, buyers no longer just compare your products to those of your competitors – they now also compare the experiences and the support they receive throughout the buying process.

Therefore, adopting different digital channels to reach today’s customers serve as a key driver to digital customer service success. This means adopting new and improved technologies in digital marketing, including marketing automation platforms such as smoove and the organization of digital support on your website, social media and messaging apps such as, for example, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp.

Some reports show that by 2020, 85 percent of all B2C interaction will be automated. Still, developing a customer-centric model of business is not possible without leveraging customer data and information and building an integrated strategic plan to merge the efforts of sales, marketing and customer service. This basically means that the human factor in this interaction cannot be completely replaced by technology, regardless of how fast it develops.

To find the ideal balance of human factor and technology in approaching customers, let’s look at the following three things SMB’s can do to improve their digital customer experience:

1. Automate for the right reasons

By automating more tasks in the area of customer experience, we give our digital teams more time to focus on other valuable tasks such as designing the strategy and delivering personalized content. Personalization is one of the best marketing investments and it gives customers exactly what they want, including products, services and experiences that truly matter to them.

By asking ourselves what are their needs and preferences and reaching out for necessary data, we can predict the answers customers are seeking, provide a positive digital customer service and keep them buying from us.

In this example from Spotify we can clearly see how personalization of content can be very effective and make customers feel like they’re being rewarded for their loyalty to the company.Spotify

Integrate personalization into every digital communication channel you use and make sure that the content of your emails, newsletters or feedback forms is not stripped off a human touch.

2. Don’t force customers to be digital

Businesses must determine how human and digital channels can support each other in resolving the issues or questions their customer may have. Human-assisted channels such as live chats, social media chatbots, and also other means of communications such as email and community forums, often cannot compare to a real human-to-human conversation via phone.

Don’t hesitate to make your company’s phone number visible on your website, newsletters and social media pages. Also, include it in your answers to customer enquiries and even in the answers to the feedback they leave across social media.

The simple “Call us if you have any questions” and actually having someone to pick up the phone is still of huge importance for providing the best customer service. Leaving your customers to wait or to look for answers themselves can easily lead them to your competitors which do this the right way.

Also, this leaves customers with more time to get used to the new digital channels of customer support you may have. In the meantime, you need to make sure that they know a digital channel exists and can meet their expectations with as least effort as possible.

You can promote your new chatbot on your website or in an email you usually send as the part of your after sales care strategy, or you can even offer some incentives such as special product offers to those who decide to subscribe to it, such as in this example from the e-commerce website Lazada.Lazada

3. Focus on the data and improve digital pain points

Understanding customer behavior by analyzing data and information they leave across all channels will prevent you from making the same mistake twice and enable you to provide a remarkable multichannel customer experience.

• Segment the data and personalize the content

Linking the customer’s personal data with their buying habits, browsing history, feedback they leave and channels of communications they prefer, will allow you to identify both the strong and weak points of the customer support you provide.

By segmenting your customer’s database into different email lists you’ll be able to create personalized emails, newsletters, text messages and landing pages which is truly relevant to them.

These segmented lists can be used to provide specific support to the specific customer regardless of which channel of communication they use most. Some of your customers may prefer detailed answers by email, while others would rather save some time and receive the support via SMS, live chat, or a social media chatbot.

• Provide consistency

When talking about digital pain points, another important thing to add is that many businesses still don’t provide the same digital experience across different devices such as tablets and mobile phones. Your content needs to be displayed properly and offer the same support wherever your customers are at the moment, such as we can see on the right side of the image in the example below.The Frequency

• Introduce carefully

When it comes to the new channels of communication such as Facebook and WhatsApp, these need to be introduced carefully. This is usually done by repeatedly and politely asking your customers if they would like to receive any updates and support via messaging apps so that people can use them when they’re ready. Making a new channel an imperative so you can save more time and money on customer service provided by humans can drive many of your customers away.

Along with the promoting the bot on your website and your newsletters, you should always promote it on your social media channels. For example, adding a “Send Message” button on your Facebook page will enable your page visitors to connect with your chatbot in one click.

A good idea on how to promote the new channel for customer service is to make a short video of its flow which you can later pin to your Facebook page, website, newsletters and emails you send to customers, such as in this chatbot video screencast made by Ray-Ban.

• Invest in problem solving

Also, remember that the secret of success in not only in introducing and developing more and more of these channels, but rather on concentrating more on the data you have to minimize the customers’ needs for frequent support inquiries in the first place.

If, for example, you often receive questions related to a slow delivery process or the issues they have while browsing your website, you need to be there for the customers, but also invest your money in resolving these problems as soon as possible.

Once you have resolved the issue, you can use the segmented email lists and send out the announcements about changes and improvements you made and problems you resolved so that customers know you really care.

You can also ask them to help you with more feedback while making the improvements, such as in this example from Squarespace.Squarespace

Wrap-Up

The customer service industry in 2018 is experiencing yet another digital shift, as customer experience experts seek to expand channels, leverage data and analytics, adopt automation offered by platforms like smoove and embrace digital self-service via new channels such as live chats and different messaging apps. Still, the importance of the human factor in this process remains an important part. To find the right balance of human touch and technological advances in providing the best digital customer service, we should have in mind the following:

  • By automating different tasks to improve customer experience, we ensure that our marketing team can dedicate the right amount of time to develop necessary marketing strategies and create personalized content which will satisfy the needs of different groups of customers we may have
  • By offering both traditional and new digital channels of communications, we leave customers with a choice to reach out to us in ways they find most convenient, while getting used to new, self-service digital channels
  • By focusing on the data and improvement of digital pain points, we are able to provide an excellent multichannel customer experience

The feedback you should always be asking your clients for

Successful companies out there regularly collect and analyze the feedback they receive from their customers and are very well aware of the important role it plays both in terms of sales and in building a better relationship with their customers.

Studies show that 70% of companies that deliver excellent customer experience regularly use customer feedback to improve the ways they do business.

Keeping communication channels open and acting on the feedback can do wonders for the customer’s experience, but it also enables you to collect valuable data you can later employ in almost every aspect of your business. Ignoring the feedback you receive and not acting on it can result in customer churn and do serious harm to your business.

Also, when customers see how seriously you’re taking their opinions, it’s much easier to retain and convert them into loyal customers, which is the ultimate goal of every business out there.

After knowing all this, the real question we need to ask ourselves is how to act on the different types of feedback we receive? And what should we ask our customers in order to receive a comprehensive and valuable feedback for them?

Types of customer feedback and how to act on it

Regardless of if you’re working for a startup or a well-established and successful company, you can expect to receive different kinds of feedback:

Negative feedback

Nobody likes receiving negative feedback, but once it’s there, you need to immediately show your customers you’re listening to what they have to say. Welcome and acknowledge negative feedback by showing gratitude for every type of response, even if it’s something you can’t act on.

Make clear that you understand them and share how you’re planning to resolve their issues, such as in the Honda of Thousand Oaks example bellow.Honda of Thousand Oaks

Positive feedback

Never underestimate the power of acting on positive feedback as well. Your most satisfied and loyal customers are those who will give you the most honest feedback if something is wrong with your products or services.

Only a short look at this example from McDonalds can give us an idea how to act on the positive feedback (and even ask for more of it!).McDonalds

Ignoring the positive feedback and taking it for granted can harm your business as well, so make sure you express your appreciation in a timely and polite manner.

Constructive feedback

This type of feedback is probably the most valuable and can really help you shape your business better than anything else to make it more customer friendly. Even though you will not be able to resolve the issues right away, you should respond quickly and express your gratitude such as in this example by Carnival Cruise.Carnival Cruise

Gather ideas, problems and questions received and analyze it in order to design a realistic roadmap of solutions focusing both on a short-term and long-term goals of your actions.

Be aware that you will not be able to fulfill every request you receive and that you will sometimes need to find other ways to keep your customers satisfied. These can be different rewards, invitations to join your loyalty programs and other retention incentives.

Questions to ask

If given an opportunity, customers will reveal what they love, what they hate and what they want to see improved. In order to get this valuable information, you will need to ask the following:

How did you enjoy your last experience with us?
Asking your customers this question right after their purchase will help you to both quickly resolve any possible issue they may have and show them you actually appreciate what they have to say about your products and services.

If there’s one thing you could change about it, what would it be?
This can reveal not only what your customers feel about your business, but also their expectations from you. This is how you can often find out what your competition does more efficiently and also help you set future strategies according to your customer’s wishes.

Is there anything else we should know?
Even the most successful businesses cannot keep track of everything their customers experience throughout the buying process. Sometimes the issue they have is not directly related to you, but to other companies and services you do business with. These can be, for example, related to your website performance, delivery services or something else you may have overlooked.

How likely would you recommend us to a friend?
When you ask direct questions, you will get the direct answers, but there is no harm in measuring the general mood and/or level of your customer’s satisfaction. When asking a rating question you can also additionally ask them they rated your business so high (or low) to gather extra feedback and discover the customer’s rationale. It is proven that the 1-5 scale performs best, but if needed you can change it to 10 points.

What you can do with the feedback

After understanding how to act on the different types of feedback you receive and which questions to ask, your next step is to actually use the gathered data to increase sales and improve your customer’s experience. This, of course, cannot be achieved overnight, but thanks to marketing automation platforms such as smoove, we may have a few near-instant solutions for getting closer to those goals.

Having in mind that the amount of information we receive can be very extensive, we need to ask ourselves how to simplify the response processes.

This is where marketing automation steps in. Adjusting your marketing automation based on the feedback you received will help you reach different target groups and accommodate their different needs and expectations. This can be done in three simple steps:

Step 1: Segment the customers based on the feedback

If your customers aren’t getting specific responses to the issues raised in their feedback, they will, sooner or later, stop doing business with you. Delivering relevant content to the different groups of customers is much easier to achieve if you segment your audience and create different email lists based on the commonalities you’ve found in their feedback.

Have in mind that, without the segmentation, email personalization is nothing more than an empty phrase.

Step 2: Create the personalized content

After creating those separate email lists, you need to set up automated, yet personalized emails and newsletters based on the information collected from the feedback. For example, if your customers think you could provide them with more product information, you can reach out to them with a strategically crafted newsletter that offers the requested information on your products or services.

Also, a personalized email is a great tool for announcing the changes you have made to accommodate their needs, say thank you and ask for more feedback on a specific issue, such as in this example of an email sent out by Videoblocks.VideoBlocks

Step 3: Open other channels of communication

Along with targeted emails and newsletters, you will also need to offer other, more instant solutions to those who will not wait for your next monthly or weekly newsletter. For example, if people requested better after sales care, you can offer them an automated solution straight after they made the purchase.

SMS is also a great way to reach your customers instantly after they made a purchase. Automated text messaging, but also new instant features such as live chat and social media chatbots can provide your customers with ongoing customer support and prevent them to look for answers on your website or elsewhere.

Cosmetics giants Sephora excel in their customer service via chatbots, such as shown in the example below.Sephora

Wrap-Up

A well-gathered and the well-analyzed customer feedback is one of the most convenient ways for improving our products and services and measuring the general satisfaction with our brand. It helps us save money and time, design better marketing campaigns and make better business decisions. In order to get this right, we need to act appropriately to every kind of feedback we receive, regardless of it being positive, negative and/or constructive.

Ask your customers to provide you with the specific feedback related to their experiences and level of satisfaction with your business, but also to reveal if there is something you need to change or may be overlooking.

Once gathered, use the information you received via feedback and automate your responses with the help of marketing automation tools offered by platforms such as smoove. These are email segmentation, personalized emails and newsletters, but also more instant solutions such as text messages and chatbots.

How smoove can help your customer retention efforts

Society is at a place of hyperconsumption, digital saturation and increased competition due to globalization. Given this fact, customer retention efforts in 2018 have to be more personalized and strategic than ever before in order to meet the new type of customer who is always hungry and connected to the next best product, even before it hits the market.

You need a system that will work for you, rather than the other way around. Smoove offers marketing automation tools in a easy to use, cohesive tool that will make your retention efforts seamless and easily measurable, and all with just a few clicks.

List Management Made Easy

Customer retention relies on providing an ever increasing personalized customer experience. Beyond knowing your customers and having the data to segment your audience, you need to send them the right message at the right time. This is where RFM analysis comes in – recency, frequency and monetary data that helps you classify and gauge your customer’s level of loyalty. What does this mean for email marketing and list creation?

With smoove, you can create customer lists with one click, and then even merge contacts. For example, say you have a group of customers who have not purchased in one month and you want to send them a special and timely incentive to bring them back in, with a subject line like “We Want You Back!”

Once they open or engage with the email, they’ve gone from unengaged to engaged. You can then break up that list based on their interaction, and now move the engaged list to join the rest of your customers that you regularly talk to with frequent purchase history. That means that the next time they receive an email, it’s geared towards an active customer, rather than written as a win-back email.

Additionally, automation features allow for you to add customers to lists based on simple rules that you can set up beforehand. For example, lists can be automatically generated based on a customers purchase amount, checkout history such as cart abandonment, engagement with emails and lots more. This means you can now target customers with the precision of a laser, to maximise your retention efforts.Smoove Dashboard

A/B Testing for Best Results

As a retention manager, you know better than anyone that nothing is set in stone and there is not always one right answer in your marketing efforts. You should always be looking for new and unusual ways to delight your customers.

That’s why A/B testing in email campaigns is a useful tool to try your ideas and measure, in real time, their success. With smoove, you can A/B test your emails based on subject lines, variable personalization, or even the layout and design with easy to use and easy to implement templates based on your industry.

Additionally, you can create templates and clone campaigns to save more time for your future communication efforts.Smoove Dashboard A/B Testing

Maximise your Success with Automation

When you set up automated campaigns, results are necessary to ensure your setup is working as intended. Smoove takes this to another level with real time metrics for every trigger, condition, and action. Using smoove’s easy-to-read dashboard, you can track open rates and engagement throughout the entire process.

For example, if you send a specific list an email with a promo code, you can see how many people clicked through on the code just by clicking on that part of the process. You can even see exactly which customers clicked. With automated triggers, the system will have already moved them to an engaged list, if you have designated that rule.

The drag and drop features combined with dynamic triggers all work around a customers’ actions. This means that you can perfect your best retention strategies with less effort.

Go Even Further: Smart Blocks and Triggers

Every platform and landing page uses a call to action to drive a user to take a specific action and lead them down the sales funnel. However, with smoove, we go one step further by giving you the option to create a multifunctional trigger by using the Smart Link embedded in any call to action button.

What this means is that when a user takes an action by clicking on a button on your landing page, you can set up rules for what happens next. Options include the ability to replace certain data related to a contact, add the user to a defined list (in order to better target them in your next series of communication), and more. For example, if you have a call-to-action that is to redeem an offer, if a person clicks on the button “redeem offer,” smoove can move them into a “Send Offer” list and an automated email with a promotion will be sent their way.

While most call-to-action buttons end in the user’s hands and puts the onus on them to get to the next step, smoove’s Smart Links create journeys from the get-go and allow the business to take the next action to continue retaining and communicating with each interested customer.

Additionally, you can use the Click to Call (CTC) feature to create a phone number for direct response actions. That means when you can enter any phone number to generate a response and the user simply clicks a button and the phone call is placed. In the same way, you can even integrate your call-to-action with Waze and allow the user to click on the Waze button and immediately navigate them to your physical location to redeem an offer or stop in to shop.

Smoove Smart LinkSmoove Smart Link Settings

Target Your Customer, Collect the Data You Need

Let’s take it back to our beginning point. Digital saturation and cognitive overload is a real issue in today’s connected world, and that means that attention spans are even shorter than before. If a form is too long or has irrelevant data fields for the customer, they will be more likely to click exit before they hit submit. That means that you just lost the opportunity to collect more data and better target your customer with personalization. In an effort to combat this, smoove offers the option to create form blocks that are logical and rule-based with if/then statements.

For example, a certain form will only show up if a user fits certain criteria and has filled out other information on a landing page beforehand, so that the form actually makes sense for them to be seeing. This kind of personalized approach allows a user to feel like your business actually knows who they are and what they are looking for. At the same time, it allows you to smartly collect more data and further segment your lists based on more targeted information.

Merge SMS and Email Campaigns

Most people read SMS messages within 3 seconds of receiving them, and they therefore, have a higher open rate than email marketing. For this reason, it makes sense to communicate with your customers via both channels.

With smoove, you can use easy-to-build mobile-specific landing pages, embed the Smart Links to create customer journeys, and sync these journeys with automated SMS and email marketing follow-up messages. You also have the option to create an automated trigger once someone takes an action on your page. Additionally, you can add a countdown clock to add urgency to your message so that you prompt a user to take advantage of a deal in a specific time period.

A good use of this would be if you create a landing page with a win-back email with a promotion to bring back a lapsed customer. Then, they click on the email and get taken to a landing page where they have to redeem the offer, but they have a countdown and some additional fields to fill out. Once they fill out the customized fields, you can set a trigger (Smart Link) that automatically moves them to a new list where they will get a follow up email for the action they just took. In this way, you keep communication lines open to retain this customer for longer, with less effort. You are also contacting them via email and SMS messaging, and can easily deduce which channel drives more engagement per user.SMS alert

E-Commerce Specific Triggers

If you’re part of an e-commerce business, you know that an abandoned cart is your worst nightmare. In the fourth quarter of 2017, on average across industries, 77% of customers abandoned a purchase after adding the item to their cart. This means that the majority of people who shop online get to the final step before commitment, and no transaction takes place. There goes retention.

If your customer falls into this category, smoove’s automated abandon cart email will be sent reminding them that they left something behind. This feature simply integrates with Woo-Commerce, Magento and Shopify. Automation makes it possible to set rules in advance so that your retention strategy can work, even if you’re not working.

But, what about the customers who actually purchased, and you’re just looking to keep them coming back for more? Smoove has a function for that, as well. The purchase history trigger allows you to set rules as to monetary values or rules based on purchase frequency that will allow you to automatically send messages to your customers. Imagine being a customer who just spent X amount of dollars with a business and then you receive a message with personalized content acknowledging this fact. That amount of personalization can easily set you apart from your competition.

Wrap It All Up

There’s a lot of automation tools out there that allow you to send email campaigns, measure metrics in real time, and automate SMS text messaging. However, there aren’t many that use “smart marketing” to make it as easy as smoove does. Enhanced with distinctive personalization functionalities, smoove neatly wraps all of its tools together in a robust, mobile responsive, and user-friendly platform.

The ability to highly personalize your content, put the action steps in your business’ hands rather than on the customer, and collect data in a streamlined fashion means that you can communicate with customers and strategize retention efforts based exactly on their needs, their time, and in their desired communication channel.

We’ve just opened the door for you to go above and beyond your competition in your efforts. What are you waiting for?

How To Win Back Lost Customers

The first step in winning back a lost customer is knowing how to define a lost customer. Most companies, especially those who operate online, define a lost customer as one who hasn’t interacted with the site or service in a given time period. It’s important to keep an eye on customer churn rate because it’s more costly to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer.

With push notifications, email marketing, remarketing and SMS, it’s possible to get a customer who is on the edge to turn back and continue to do business with your brand, but there are valuable tactics to know to maximize your potential in retaining such customers.

Stages of Retention

Retention happens in stages, and the basic outline on steps to take include:

  1. Understand why a customer left (How: Ask for feedback via survey with incentives, phone calls, text message questionnaires, etc.)
  2. Find out their current situation, what are their needs, have the needs changed since the first interaction
  3. Make contact in the most optimal way for them to respond

While that may seem obvious, you can go a step further by segmenting customers after this preliminary research has been done into two groups: who can be won back easily versus who will bring more value if retained. Using RFM (recency, frequency, monetary) data will help inform the likelihood of a customer coming back – the higher the spend, number of times they spent, and timing since they last spent, the more likely they are to re-engage.

Once segmented, you can send personalized messages that acknowledge that you understand why they left in the first place, and then present them with the options or changes you’ve made that can satisfy their needs. If a customer has left because a competitor offered the same service at a better price, you can offer a discount or lower the price to adjust your perceived value and gain back the business.

It’s All About Timing

While offering discounts and incentives to return is important, it’s more about how you do it. Instead of offering a discount that is valid with no expiration, add some urgency to the message with a time-sensitive offer. For example, online clothes retailer, Joy, gives their win-back emails a one-week time frame for their customers to claim the discount.

Now, let’s say you’ve offered a customer a time-sensitive discount, but they have yet to redeem the offer. Perhaps, the cost wasn’t the problem, it was the subscription commitment or frequency of having to repurchase. A good example of a company that cleverly dealt with this scenario is Dollar Shave Club. As the name implies, Dollar Shave Club provides a cheap alternative to having to buy razors and automatically sends a new razor every month. But, some people neither need or want that many razors.

Dollar Shave Club overcame this by sending an email, anticipating this fact, and offered customers an easy way to opt into receiving razors bi-monthly instead. Rather than losing customers entirely because of the business’ default setup, they provided an alternative to customers whom they saw were waning (aka those who canceled or paused their subscription).

It’s useful to look at your product and it’s current set-up and define different personas and their needs. Then, create alternative options for those who may not fit the regular mold of your offers. Understanding your customers’ needs is the best way to keep them satisfied.

Email campaignSource: Unsplash

Since You’ve Been Gone Email Marketing

By using email marketing and segmentation to reach customers who have been inactive for a period of time, you can provide them with more than just offers. Sometimes a change in how you do business or a new product will entice them to come back.

It’s low-hanging fruit to message your lists with a newsletter-style email to update them on what’s happened in your business in the time since they’ve last interacted. Some examples of messages to share are: changes in management, new products, updated partnerships, philanthropic endeavors, and the like.

Here’s something to try: segment your audience based on campaign activity. If they haven’t been engaged (clicked or opened) any correspondence within the last 30 days, send a newsletter with updates, and a subject line like: “Since You’ve Been Gone…” or “Here’s What Happened!” Track the activity, and if you have re-engagement, follow up with a special welcome back offer to those customers. Email marketing tools like smoove make this easy to manage and execute with a cohesive dashboard.Four people showing handsSource: Pexels

Ready to Retain, Partner

Another option is to partner with other companies in a similar space and leverage their credibility and market value to promote your product. For example, RunKeeper and New Balance have a partnership that keeps the brands constantly in the face (or extremities) of their customers.

Although people don’t buy new running shoes daily, they may use the RunKeeper app to track their runs daily, or at least weekly. Therefore, New Balance created an integration with the app where customers gain rewards from using the app that they can use towards their next purchase of shoes. This symbiotic partnership allows for brands to touch their customers at times they otherwise wouldn’t in their product’s life cycle and promotes greater retention benefits. It also builds brand loyalty and trust by association with an app they love to use.

To start taking advantage of this think about what companies are out there that you can partner with.

Coca-Cola FantaSource: Unsplash

Remarket or Rebrand?

To a certain extent, implementing remarketing campaigns can help bring people back to you site in the event they have browsed but not made a purchase. But, sometimes your brand needs more help.

Like people, companies need makeovers, too. In 2018, the iconic Coca-Cola launched a multi-million dollar campaign to rebrand and better relate their product to the millennial market. By aligning with the idea that millennials seek “adventure and new experiences,” they created new sleeker cans and introduced four new flavors as consumer research found that Americans crave big and great-tasting flavors in their food and beverages. Centuries after its creation in 1886, Coca-Cola understands its customers’ needs and knows that staying on top of emerging trends can help retain customers in a highly competitive landscape.

Is your product still as relevant as it was? Can you do anything more to keep it as focused on customers needs of today just like Coke?

Update, Don’t Unsubscribe

It’s highly possible that your messages aren’t tailored for your customers. In that event, they are receiving emails and becoming easily fed up, which, ultimately will cause them to unsubscribe.

When a customer globally unsubscribes from your mailing system, you have lost the right to contact them at all. That’s why it’s imperative to offer your customers the option to update their subscriber profile and only opt-in to receive the kinds of messages they want, whether they be promotions/offers, company updates, etc. Get them to choose the right option for them, before they choose to never hear from you again. Then segment them based on this choice.

Ultimately, this goes hand in hand with creating different kinds of newsletters so that you open the door to communicate with customers on their terms. You can create different templates based on the information and create a content calendar so that you don’t spam customers with one type of newsletter too many times.

Text to Talk

Another form of communication that is useful for retention marketing is SMS messaging. You can conduct mobile polling to gain instant feedback on what a customer thinks about an existing product or service and potentially troubleshoot why they haven’t been engaged.

On average, customers read text messages within three minutes, so for instant communication, you can send targeted messages. For example, if you see a pattern when a customer usually shopped, you can send them a text message incentive on that day or during that time to incentivize them to come visit your store or site again.

It’s Never Too Late to Start

There’s an element of patience that’s necessary in warming up lapsed customers, but it doesn’t mean you should wait until it’s too late. Whether you choose to enact email marketing, SMS messages, or even an entire rebranding campaign, it all comes down to measuring results and staying consistent. If you have re-engagement, be sure to nurture those customers because they are putting their trust back in your brand, and they can’t be let down again.

While every customer is different, there are certain patterns and groupings that allow you to automate campaigns while still making them feel personalized. Remember to use RFM (recency, frequency and monetary) analysis to understand your audience, and engage them based on their actions. Marketing automation tools such as smoove can help you recognize patterns, segment your audience and re-engage them through automation.

People like free gifts. If all else fails, give a free offer to them and see if it’s enough to win-back your customer. Have you tried this tactic? If not, what are you waiting for?

How to engage your customers and stay on top of their mind

Businesses must evolve and adapt to changing customer expectations. One of the most powerful attributes of technology is that companies now can engage buyers in every phase of the purchase process. Marketing automation platforms make this task much easier, but we should never forget that every meaningful communication in this process requires a human touch too.

The first thing we should so is to ask ourselves: Are we doing everything to stay on top of our customers mind? Sometimes, if we leave our customer waiting for only a couple of hours, it can cost us months of hard work we spent to acquire and retain that very buyer. Read more

Deadly mistakes SMBs make that cause customer churn

Customer churn is not only a loss of clients or customers, but also their associated recurring revenue. This is one of the biggest problems companies face today. Losing existing customers also means spending more money on the acquisition of new ones, which altogether costs you money and time

This happens mainly because marketers lack in having a thorough and timely view on their customer behavior, inadequate means of collecting customer data and limited marketing strategies to keep the customers they have.

Among the findings of one study in the field, it has been reported that over 50% of world marketers have fair, little, or no knowledge of the customer demographic, behavioral and transactional data, while only 6% said they have excellent knowledge of their buyers.

Also, the same study showed that only 50% of companies reported having a strategy for deepening the relationship with customers and that only 15% of them consider themselves very good or effective in integrating customer data into marketing strategies. Along with this, 45% of global companies in the study rated their CRM systems as deficient or needing more improvement.

“Email can be one of the more complicated marketing channels strictly from a technical sense and when your program does something unexpected, or catastrophic, how do you recover? ” – Bill McCloskey

Based on the most common mistakes businesses do, here are the 3 “deadly sins” that cause customer churn (and the advice on how to avoid them!):

Poor onboarding

Don’t wait for the customers to start signaling they’re about to leave, before you make an effort to “save” them. Start working on retaining the customer the moment he/she arrives and do that by making sure your have a flawless onboarding strategy.

You need to welcome your customers the right way and make yourself available for all the questions they may have from the very start of their buying journey. Successful businesses are doing this by setting up automated, yet personalized welcoming newsletters and text messages sent to their mobile phones. Automation marketing platforms are enabling you to set up these in just a few minutes.

These marketing strategies can do much more than simply greet the customer and say “Thank you” for purchasing or signing up to your business newsletter/text message service.

This is also an ideal opportunity to offer them a discount or a small gift with their next purchase and provide them with direct links to your FAQ and other content on your website such as blog where they can, for example, find out more about how to use the purchased products. Also, you can ask them straight away to rate your products and customer service or ask the customers if they are getting the business benefits they expected from your product. Based on their answers, you can start designing the retention strategy in the early phase of the relationship you have with them.

Personalize the welcome message by using the customer’s name or mentioning their company, as reports show that emails with personalized subject lines are 26 percent more likely to be opened.

Below is an example from online retailer Tory Burch which excels in welcoming their customers with an automated, personalized newsletter.Tory Burch

Also, an SMS is a very effective welcoming tactic. People are more likely to respond to your question via SMS than with an email, especially if they’re on the move.

Monitoring your customers to see which of the features they (don’t) use and segmenting them into different lists will help find out which of the onboarding tactics work for each of them per the post purchase, such as in example below.SMS

SMS is the great way to get their answers instantly and start planning your future marketing strategies as soon as you receive your customer’s feedback.

Welcoming your customers in the correct and timely manner is the essential part of every buying process. If your customers are treated well from the first moment, they will continue to do business with you. With the help of marketing automation, maintaining this relationship is much easier and more effective than it used to be.

Poor engagement

To avoid customer churn, make sure you engage with them on regular basis. This won’t take much of your time if you employ CRM software, where you can segment your audience, build different contact lists, but also easily create landing pages, automate email and SMS campaigns.

Managing and documenting all your interactions with customers, collecting different data and segmenting customers via CRM software will help you design the extraordinary retention strategy and find out what your customers need. Also, this way you can make sure you’re not bothering your customers with too many newsletters or text messages. If you notice that you have some of those “silent” customers, set up a separate email list and send your offers less frequently.

Think about what happens when your customers have a question and avoid leaving them looking for answers by themselves. Provide ongoing customer support across different channels. Embrace new features such as live chat and social media chatbots (as shown in the example below!), but also don’t underestimate the power of email and old-fashioned phone assistance.SoBo Stylist

You can also educate customers by offering free trainings, webinars, video tutorials and product samples. In short do whatever it takes to make your customers feel comfortable and informed about your business.

Not analyzing specific reasons for churn

Every company is different and the reasons for churn can vary. Not digging deep enough to learn the specific reasons why your customers leave can be a huge mistake and cost you a lot of money.

Analyze the churn rates of different groups of customers, find out the reasons they decided to leave and employ adequate strategies to prevent this from happening in the future. This can be done by simply asking the customers why they decided to stop buying from you, and sending them an email starting with “We haven’t heard from you in a while…” and kindly ask them to provide you with an answer.

Companies usually do this via a so called “exit survey”, and as painful learning the reasons why your customers cancel is, it’s unquestionably valuable for your future relationships with new customers.

Just take a look at this example from ABC Widgets.ABC Widgets

And who knows, some of them may even come back after seeing you genuinely care to find out what went wrong.

Also, don’t hesitate to call them on the phone and simply ask them why they left. This will provide you with instant feedback on whether or not your product and service met their expectations or if they had some other reasons to stop buying from you.

Wrap Up

You will never be able to keep all of your customers, but customer churn can and has to be avoided as much as possible. The reason for this is quite clear – acquisition of new customers costs a lot, almost five times more than keeping old ones. In order to keep as many of your customers, make sure you:

  • Welcome your customers in a unique way and create an outstanding onboarding strategy
  • Engage with your customers across different channels and provide a great customer experience
  • Analyze reasons for churn and think of a strategy to prevent this in the future