No matter how large they are, even multi-national corporations aren’t immune to customer churn. But there’s a way to retain customers – and it all starts with content marketing. Let’s dig into three ways in which content can help support you in the never-ending churn battle.
1. Avert Customer Churn Disasters with Collaboration
Back in the 1980s, beverage giant Coca-Cola faced a near-disaster. It all started when the company relied on tests it performed with a section of its overall market and then decided to ditch its tried-and-true formula and replace it with an uber-sweet Pepsi clone.
Complicating that move, says marketing executive Dick Maggiore, was a disastrous campaign that started with its research and development teams. Instead of offering both original Coke and a sweeter version, it opted to dump its old formula altogether.
Then it amplified that move with content that broadcasted its move all over its customer base. The results weren’t pretty. At one point, says Maggiore, the company received almost 10,000 complaints every day.
With its corporate tail tucked between its legs, it reintroduced the original formula three months later. Coke, like most brands, could have benefited from content collaboration among its R&D, brand, marketing research, customer support, and content teams. Instead, its siloed R&D department led the company down the road to disaster.
Collaboration could have tipped off current customers beforehand with content that announced the proposed change. The angry feedback would have alerted R&D about the outrage, allowing them to create a new product yet retain the older formula as well – keeping “the real thing” alive while attracting new markets with its sweeter cousin.
If the alternate scenario had happened, the content teams could then introduce the new beverage to new markets, perhaps attracting some die-hard Pepsi drinkers. Then, they could assure its longtime customers that “the real thing” would remain the company’s flagship product.
Customer retention plus new markets equals unqualified success. Losing both, particularly one’s loyal following, usually ends in catastrophe – even with huge corporations like Coke.
Manage perceptions, and you’ll exceed customer expectations. Fail to do so, and even the best companies can fall.
2. Keep an Eye Out for Your Content Analytics
The numbers tell the story when it comes to customer retention. If you increase it by even 5%, you can increase your company’s profits by anywhere from 25% to 95%. Ignore it, and you’re in peril.
Image via First Data
Since you have a 60%-70% likelihood of selling your products to existing customers and only a 5%-20% chance of selling to new ones, it pays to focus your content more on your loyal customers. Track their engagement – clickthroughs, time on page, shares, email subscriptions – and of course, conversions to sales with a robust content analytics platform.
Then, tweak your loyal customer-focused content to better meet their needs. Again, collaborating with your customer-facing teams can help you find topics that interest your existing customers.
After you’ve worked out all the kinks in content for your existing customers, you can turn your attention to winning new customers. Keeping your content fresh and relevant to their needs will position you as a trusted authority, eventually leading to a sale.
The more problem-solving content you create for them, the more likely they are to convert into a sale. And, as you keep on meeting their needs after becoming customers, the better chance that they will share your content with friends and colleagues – and so, the sales/retention cycle begins yet again.
3. Use Content to Resolve Issues that Often Cause Customer Churn
There are several issues common to most of the causes of customer churn, no matter what your niche. Well-planned content can address many of them before they result in customers leaving your business.
Onboarding and User Experience
Too many marketing teams concentrate so much on generating leads that they forget about one of their most important tasks: offering content to successfully onboard customers and to provide them with a stellar user experience after the sale. After all, that’s the customer service and support teams’ responsibility, right?
Wrong. There go those departmental silos again. As HubSpot’s Carly Stec points out, one of the major factors for churn is right at the beginning of their customer journey.
If you don’t produce content that:
- Teaches your customers how to use your product
- Helps your customers get the most out of their purchase
- Troubleshoots your user snafus
You won’t provide them with the kinds of experiences that earn glowing reviews, shares, and even recommendations. Solve their problems with informative content, and you’ll be more likely to keep them.
Poor Product Fit
While salespeople have gotten a bad rap for pushing products onto people who don’t need them, marketers bear a fair share of the blame themselves. If your content doesn’t define the specific problems your products and services solve, you’re doing your company a disservice. You’re marketing to the wrong people.
Do intensive customer research before you start promoting a product. Instead of content that bills your product as a one-size-fits-all cure, lay out some specifics about not only what problems it will solve – but also which ones it won’t.
It’s essential that you provide some sort of discussion around the lifetime value of your products, especially with high-ticket items. Free trials, along with content that helps customers get the most out of their purchase, help customers determine if your product is right for them before they finalize their purchase.
Switching to Your Competitor
While there always will be some “Karens” that will threaten to leave over an imagined provocation, an effective content strategy will keep most of your customers happy over the long haul.
Starting from the top of the sales funnel, your teams should focus on differentiating you from your competitors. But instead of focusing on your brand and products, qualify prospects by looking into which types of situations your products work best in.
That way, you’ll rule out a bad fit from the beginning. Whether it’s price, function, or applicability that you use as criteria, giving them a head-to-head comparison with your competitors at the outset will save you time and money in the long run by ruling out those whose needs your competitor might better meet.
Since an effective strategy to reduce customer churn requires tons of cross-departmental collaboration, it takes much less time if you have a content marketing platform where you can collaborate on, strategize about, and create your content. DivvyHQ provides your teams with a seamless process from ideation to publication and beyond.
With our free 14-day trial, there’s nothing to risk and everything to gain. Set up your no-obligation test drive today!