Customer retention challenges are growing across every industry.
In the subscription business, it has become enormous. In a recent Brightback study of subscription industry leaders, there were several key findings that reflected a growing, industry-wide urgency when it comes to customer retention. As I connected the dots, one thing stood out above everything else: if you’re not using your inbound call center to save customers at the point of cancellation, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
Here are 4 critical findings that, I believe, point to a powerful solution:
- 96% of subscription business leaders believe that customers cancel for “reasons that could be managed or fixed.” Why do they believe that? Because they believe in their product or service. They also know they have the ability to cure the points of pain that cause customers to leave. But so far, no respondents are reporting a 96% save rate. What’s getting the way?
- The #1 Challenge to Improving Customer Retention: A “Lack of Cohesive Approaches to Engage Customers Across Departments.” You can’t stop customers from leaving if you’re not delivering a consistent message – and set of solutions – across all channels. What is your save protocol? Is your inbound customer care team ready to turn cancellations into save?
- 93% of subscription businesses see retention as just as important as – or more important than new customer acquisition. Translation: churn is costly and causes long-term brand damage. It’s also more expensive to woo and win new customers than it is to grow a customer base of delighted repeat buyers. You already knew that. But this super-high survey result should also tell you this: your competition is ready to fight and fight hard to keep their current customers out of your reach. You need to fight just as hard to keep your customers happy.
- 43% of subscription businesses are able to save 6-25% of customers – at the point of cancel.
So often, when a customer asks to cancel, they’re trying to tell you they’re angry about their experience with you. Can you save the relationship? Yes! Up to one quarter of the time, you ought to be able to save the customer. But your success depends on your ability to resolve the source of your customer’s frustration. And if your save efforts include various ways of making the cancellation difficult, confusing or more costly, it’s not going to work. It will generate bad online reviews. Winning strategies are built on the basics. They could include: listening to the complaint, apologizing as appropriate, asking what it would take to keep their business, and offering a discount or gift or perk as able.
- 28% of cancellations are initiated with a customer phone call.
Think about that! More than one quarter of all cancellations actually flow through the call center. But too often, call centers are simply not fully included in the customer save strategy. Is your inbound customer care team equipped with the training and talking points to save those customers? If it’s not, maybe it’s time to talk to an outsource contact center that is willing and able to work with you on your critical retention goals.
If you would like to know more about how Skybridge Americas can help you deliver superior care and improve customer retention, please reach out. We would love to talk.
Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing
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