Control Churn: Keep Customer Relationships at the Heart of Your Business

Katie Fitzgerald works on our early-stage Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success efforts here at Driftt.

Customers are key to any business. After all, without the customer, you can’t close the deal, book the sale, keep the business going another day. Many of us like to keep our business strategy just that simple: Get more customers. Maybe you’re nodding along. But is that really what’s most important to your business?

Here at Driftt, our success is dependent on people becoming our customers. Sure. We need to get customers, just like anybody else. But we also need to earn our customer’s trust at every interaction and build a real relationship between us and our users. It’s not just about creating a spark. It’s about relationship marketing and keeping the fire going, too.

Like Will Rogers said, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” [[Tweet this]]

I’m talking about keeping your customers. How do you protect your customers? How do you keep them from falling away? Better yet, how do you learn from your customers and build a stronger product for them based on what you learn?

Together with the Driftt co-founders (Hey David and Elias!), I’ve been exploring this topic by talking to other teams all over the country for the past 12 weeks. Here’s what I’ve learned:

Managing customer relationships can be a pretty big mess.

Churn is a four letter word among SaaS businesses and marketplaces. For the many, many businesses and marketplaces that rely on repeat purchases or recurring revenue, churn is the enemy. But churn isn’t just about the moment that a customer stops paying you, shuts off your integration, or starts using your competitor’s service instead of yours.

It’s about the experience your customers have with your brand, a set of moments that lead up to that decision to stop using your product, deciding that the value just isn’t there and they should spend their time (and money) elsewhere. Churn isn’t typically based on just one moment in time, but is instead an accumulation of experiences over time.

Engagement isn’t enough. You need to identify the best opportunities to engage: Relationship Marketing.

Every interaction you have with your customer is a chance to make your brand association stronger or weaker. It isn’t a one-play game or a shoot-out (most of the time). You can humanize this a bit if you think about your company dating its customers… real customer success (account growth, renewals, referrals, etc.) is a lot like human dating.

You have to carefully identify the moments that are most appropriate to engage (no texting at 3:00 am until you’re really, really close, and flowers are always a good idea) and deliver the right message at the right time and in the right way. If you look at it that way, churn is when you get dumped by your customers. And nobody wants that.

You aren’t alone if you’re worried about customer communication and growth marketing. 

A few weeks ago, we asked a few hundred friends of Driftt how important it is to their company that they communicate well with their customers. Much to our delight, 79% responded “very important” while those that considered it “slightly important” or “not important at all” were just about 2%. Looks like we’re not alone.

Great communication can mean a lot of things. What strategies do these companies use to support their customers? Of the folks we surveyed, direct support (AKA resolving issues with customers one-on-one as they request help) was the overwhelming favorite at 76%. 49% take a proactive approach, providing self-serve content that users can readily access for help.

Of course, these two strategies overlap in many ways. The truth is that the way people coordinate and deliver that outreach across customer support, product, engineering, account management, customer success, product marketing, and everyone else at their company is messy, at best.

Driftt Relationship Marketing: keep customers at the heart of your business.

Just like lots of you, we’re putting the customer at the heart of our company. But we’re not stopping there.

We want to help other businesses have smarter conversations with their customers, too. So that’s exactly what we are doing.

Thanks to Driftt, it’s about to get much easier for you and your team to understand, support, and engage with your customers. Thanks to our customers. Thanks to you.

Inspired to keep the conversation going? Don’t be shy…Katie’s email is kf@drifft.com

 P.S. If you are focused on marketing to customers, this newsletter is for you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *