At your company’s “Customer Retention” meeting, if the only team in the room is marketing, then you have a problem. Read on to know more
Your marketing team needs a trim. Well not your actual team as such, but definitely the functions that they currently perform. If you think about it, marketing teams are evaluated only based on the number of leads they generate – whether it is at a conference, on Facebook or Twitter feeds or from anything in between. Marketing budgets are fundamentally based on a cost per lead. In spite of the fact that acquiring users is at the centre of that strategy, retaining them also falls into marketing’s purview; and that’s really where all the bodies are buried.
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Making a customer return to your service, and understanding what makes them go away – requires a completely different skill set than what most marketing folks have. The reason why a customer abandons you could have to do with one of many things:
- Was he welcomed to your service effectively? (Did he perform all the key activities of a successful on-boarding)
- How long did he spend in your product in week 1, and what did he do?
- Did he accomplish what he set out to do, with your product, and was it easy for him?
To answer these questions, you need a cross-functional team that wears many hats, to really dissect the problem from all angles. Most people call this customer success, and we agree. The fundamental way to re-look at the retention problem, is to look at it from all angles and with multiple different stakeholders. Let me illustrate:
- You need a product team perspective, because acquired users may not be using the product for the reasons it was built. Moreover, they may be having trouble with the interface, or in using a particular feature. Feedback about this process is crucial in ensuring a good customer experience.
- You need a customer support perspective, so that you can proactively reach out to people who are having trouble with your service, and ensuring that they can resolve any issues with ease, and that doing so doesn’t hurt your brand image too much.
- You need a key account perspective, so that you can take the above insights and tailor-make your communications to your users, and understand what makes them happy. This ensures that they feel special, have a good experience, and potentially return a lot sooner and more often.
Making your marketing team single-handedly drive your customer retention strategy is doing them and you a huge disservice. Expand the conversation across all stakeholders that have skin in the game, and watch that churn rate fall.