This is a guest post by Saleem Khatri. Saleem is the Chief Executive Officer of Lavu. Saleem has a “founders mentality”, with a track record of working with high-growth software companies. He is a rare breed of someone who is both a hands-on leader and a strategic visionary and brings with him a myriad of inspiration, technical acumen, and a passion for our products, services, and customer.
It is a common experience for online customers to purchase a subscription, enjoy their service, and continue using it on a regular basis. However, there are a lot more caveats to this process than meet the eye, and as you begin to encounter various challenging scenarios, especially customer churn, you may wonder how to better understand the causes.
It’s important to know why your customers behave a certain way, or have a particular experience, because putting in that research can help you improve your overall services and day-to-day operations for those customers.
There are ways to halt customer turnover, but that first comes with an understanding of your users.
In order to achieve a better understanding of your customers, you can:
- Use technology to create a customer-centric culture.
- Use a CRM database.
- Leverage your social media platforms.
- Ask customers directly about their experience.
Check out these amazing strategies that will help you gain a better understanding of your customers and give them a meaningful experience!
1. Use technology to create a customer-centric culture.
Using technology to create a customer-centric culture is easier than you might think. For example, in a restaurant, you would use a robust POS system to track customer information and personalize their experience. This applies to subscription-based customers, as well. In order to gain a better understanding of your customers, start with the basics: What do they like? What are their preferences? What are their behaviors?
An effective way to do this, of course, is to pay attention. Track your customers’ subscriptions to learn their preferences. Obtaining data about what your customers are subscribing to is an excellent way to not only personalize your outreach to them, but also learn what is trending.
By tracking this information on a regular basis, you can:
- Identify your most popular subscription services. Track your data to see what’s trending and popular. This can help you determine what services to market more or less.
- Learn your customers’ habits. If your customer seems drawn to one particular type of service, be sure to recommend other related services to them, which can also help extend their subscription and increase your revenue.
By learning their preferences, you show that you care about your customers. It can also help streamline your process and make customers more likely to keep their subscriptions due to the convenience and their satisfaction with their previous experiences.
In addition to the above, you want to ensure that your online platform is intuitive and uncomplicated. Otherwise, you may run the risk of shopping cart abandonment. Swoop offers an excellent explanation of shopping cart abandonment, which is a common issue and can undermine the amount of online subscriptions you receive.
There are multiple ways to take advantage of technology. Meet your customers with convenience and ease by sending them helpful and relevant content and encouraging them to continue visiting you. This is best done by using a CRM database, which will be discussed in the next section.
2. Use a CRM database.
In order to ensure you’re creating a good experience for your customers, take a closer look at your customer data. Track where you’re losing customers, and also see where you’re gaining customers who continue to subscribe to your service. The most efficient way to track this data is with a CRM database, which allows you to manage your customer relationships.
Why use a CRM? With this database, you can:
- Keep your customer data organized. A CRM gives you the tools to organize, track, and market to customers. For example, if a customer sets up a subscription and provides their contact information, or provides feedback in a survey, your CRM can help keep track of this data, learn more about them, and incorporate the feedback.
- Market to your customers. You can identify a customer’s purchasing trends and remember their details, which will allow you to market to them specifically. Understanding a customer and their preferences is key to keeping a customer happy. Marketing to your customers is also important for acquiring new ones. In order to have successful customer acquisition, you should gain an understanding of the process that goes into this.
- Connect with your customers. By having a log of birthdays, for example, you can send out special deals or messages to the customer, as well as personalize the message with their name, so that the entire interaction is customized.
- Track where you’re losing customers. While analyzing this data, if you notice a customer hasn’t logged into their account for an extended period of time, you can use this information to reach out with a promotion or personal message. This can help you welcome them back to your service, or even receive feedback about why they haven’t used it recently.
The most important concept to remember is that understanding your customer and keeping their preferences recorded will help you create a long-lasting relationship with them.
A CRM database is an excellent tool that allows you to track and keep this data organized. By doing so, you’ll be on your way to keeping your customers happy and engaged!
3. Leverage your social media platforms.
Having a social media account is a key factor in being able to interact with your customers.
Facebook and Twitter give you the opportunity to observe what customers like and what they are purchasing. Disputes are also often brought up and resolved via social media, which can also allow you to learn more about your customers.
In order to gain more insight into your customer base, you should check and see if your customers are using social media to:
- Talk about what subscriptions they’re enjoying.
- Share your deals/promotions.
- Write reviews of your service.
For example, if you see a negative review online, which is a sign a customer may stop using your service, you can follow-up with them immediately on that particular platform and see if you can resolve the issue. Doing this increases the chance of them using your service again, and also prevents the negative review from deterring other customers.
With this type of information, you can generally note your areas of improvement, pinpoint places where your service is excelling, and effectively interact with your customers on these social platforms. The higher the level of engagement, the more beneficial it will be for both parties.
4. Ask customers directly about their experience.
Part of learning more about your customers involves the simplest of gestures: asking them directly about their satisfaction and preferences. This can also be described as an exit survey, which is a great method of obtaining feedback.
You might incorporate an exit survey when customers have been using your service for a few months and then cancel, or if they land on your page and then leave soon after. Exit surveys for subscription-based services are important metrics and should be highlighted to customers whenever possible. Your survey can include questions like:
- Did you enjoy your subscription?
- How was your overall service?
- Would you recommend us to friends and family?
Basic questions like these can help you gauge whether or not you’re successfully engaging and retaining your customers. If you want to avoid losing customers, it’s important to understand where your services have room for improvement and actively listen to the feedback you receive.
Once you’ve directly interacted with your customers, you’ll be on your way to improving your services, celebrating where you excel, and maintaining good relationships.
Are you ready to put your best foot forward and create an outstanding experience for your users? Incorporating these strategies will help improve your day-to-day operations and allow you to gain a better understanding of your customers.