6 WAYS SOFTWARE COMPANIES CAN REDUCE CHURN
Now that we’ve established several factors leading to B2B churn, what are some possible solutions? Remember that there is no quick fix to lowering churn. It’s a constant commitment.
1. Understand Customer Challenges and Goals
Research your customers’ industry, from their point of view. Understand what their business goals are, the challenges they face in achieving, and how your software can help them to make their work less difficult. Incorporating your findings will not only improve your software, but make your customers more loyal to your brand.
2. Make Sure the Key Features of Your Software are Sticky
Sticky is a description meaning that it’s not a feature that someone can use only once and be done with your software, but a feature that is either highly addictive or essential to running their business every day. Think of an nation-wide delivery service and the specialized inventory software it uses. If these features suddenly stopped working, companies would not be able to run their business anywhere near as efficiently as they do now. Sticky features make it very difficult for companies to immediately change to new software and not suffer heavy losses.
3. Use CRM Software
Customer Relationship Management software, or CRM, helps you manage and observe the ways your company interacts with your customers as well as their own place in the industry. This information can then be used to improve customer service and increase sales. One major way it does this is by allowing your company to determine which customers are most likely to churn as well as what makes your most loyal customers stay. CRM can quickly help your company easily identify what customers are saying about your company and your competitors' as well as further information such as their suppliers, management changeups, resources, and business partners, which can all impact churn.
4. Use Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation software, on the hand, is similar to CRM, but is more focused on marketing; allowing your company to set up a series of automations based on your customers’ behavior. For example, you could use marketing automation to send an email any time a customer reaches a month of inactivity or visits the cancellation page. Ask them why they were thinking of cancelling or why they cancelled their software subscription. Their response will allow you to follow up with them for more information and possibly change their mind. Both CRM and marketing automation will allow you to collect more information and predict who will be more likely to churn, what is making them churn, as well at what makes your most loyal customers stay, so that you can continue improving your customer experience.
5. Improve Customer Experience
Get ready for a shocker, but one of the most cost-effective ways of improving your customer experience is also through utilizing CRM and marketing automation software. One way CRM can be used to improve customer experience is by segmenting your customer base into various groupings of customers called buyer personas, which helps your company nurture each of their specific customer needs and wants through marketing automation. This will also help get your key features and brand positioning across to them in a way that resonates best. In summary, CRM will allow you to have a deeper understanding of who your customer is and their place in the industry, making the experience much more personalized for them. Marketing automation is mainly about getting your customers and potential customers informed and ready for the sales team.
6. Don't Forget That You're Providing a Service
Continue to show that you care about your customers with strong customer support, steady maintenance, and patience when training customers to use your software to achieve their goals. Help them see the value your software can offer them to the fullest with educational content like how-to guides. Make it easier for them to ask for help with in-app chat boxes. Many software companies forget the “Service” part of SaaS after they signed on their customers. Also, make sure to keep up with your industry, update your software, and add new features as necessary. Try to reduce customer response time. Constantly work to improve your software processing speeds, especially for your sticky features. Take a proactive approach to dealing with your security threats instead of waiting for them to appear. Also, while CRM and marketing automation are great, don't get too caught up in automating everything. Remember to personally interact with your customers to pick up what CRM may miss and friendly, thoughtful interaction can make a difference for customers as well.