A lot of managers might dream of a world where customer churn doesn’t exist. But churn, like death and taxes, is a fact of life. You will have churn. Sometimes a customer chooses a competitor. Sometimes they simply stop finding your product useful. And sometimes, they get disillusioned with the customer experience you’ve created.
But, while a certain amount of churn is inevitable, there are steps you can take to reduce it — and new technology is constantly being developed to help tackle the problem. Here are five strategies for reducing customer churn using some of the latest in customer experience technology developments.
1. Online user communities
The stats on app retention are somewhat grim. One study found that the average Android app loses roughly 80 percent of its daily users within their first three days of signing on. Fostering an online community among your users can help. Another study found that higher retention is directly associated with users who join a community — only 28 percent of community joiners churn by day three.
An online user community fosters inclusiveness, generates excitement and can answer common questions for new users. In other words, it creates the product holy grail of user engagement. Getting people more involved in communities is one way to lower your customer churn.
2. UX analytics technology
Within gaming, the customer churn rates are even more staggering: 94 percent of gaming users churn after 28 days. Somewhere along the line, they’re having a less-than-ideal experience, and that’s all it takes for them to bounce. But where, exactly, is that happening?
UX Analytics tools (UX stands for User eXperience) can help you identify exactly where in your user experience things are going wrong. By understanding the exact point at which users drop off, you have the info you need to create a strategy to address the problem.
For instance, if you find that the majority of users drop off when they fail to advance past a certain point in a game, you can bring this dilemma to your engineering team to address as a potential product issue, or consider adding an extra incentive for customers who reach that level.
This point is important for non-gaming products too, of course. Knowing exactly where things are taking a turn for the worst within your customer experience will help you combat the churn.
3. Offer in-app support and feedback
Having responsive customer service is great, but it only works if customers actually reach out for support. What about those customers who are disgruntled — but never tell you? They simply move on to the next best thing. In fact, when customers have trouble using a mobile app, only 33 percent will reach out to customer support; 52 percent will simply delete or ignore the app from then on.
One way to proactively ask users for feedback is with in-app surveys. Customers today have short attention spans and don’t want to have to put in effort to contact you. Acting while they’re immersed in the experience of your product means you already have their attention. For instance, by conducting a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey within your app experience, you can often raise that score. (And in-app CSAT surveys are easy to set up in Helpshift, by the way.)
4. Customer service automation
When customers do take initiative to reach out, you can’t afford to give them anything less than excellent support. Automation and bots can help you to personalize the support experience for each customer in a few key ways. For instance, chatbots can suggest knowledge-base articles relevant to specific customer queries, enabling expedited customer service.
Bots can also capture issue-related information from the customer right away and combine it with their user profile so human agents who take over a thread are equipped to continue the conversation where it left off. The customer experience is streamlined and smoother, with less friction and less repetitive dialog. This makes for less customer churn.
5. Reduce customer churn with AI
There’s a lot of dialog about artificial intelligence (AI) these days and how — or even whether — it will benefit particular lines of business. Within customer support, the potential of AI to create personal, streamlined customer experiences is huge. The reality of AI, in fact, is already achieving this mission for many companies.
Within customer support, AI improves issue classification, so you can better segment and serve your customers within your support operation. By leaning on natural language processing, or NLP, customer service tools can use AI to enable conversations between people and bots within live chat and in-app support tools, for instance. AI technology can also be used for language translation, widening your reach to customers who are not native English speakers. And, of course, AI is often used to power recommendation engines, providing highly personalized product recommendations to customers based on their profile and activity.
Reducing customer churn is a priority for most companies. And like with most business goals, technology is the means to achieve it. But technology only works well in conjunction with a thoughtful strategy. As you adopt the above five tactics for reducing customer churn, always apply them to your particular business and customers. Serving your customers better means paying attention to who they are. And like in any relationship, authentic attention is key for longevity.