Getting customers is the hard part, right? Now you can just sit back and watch the subscription dollars roll in. Not so fast. While customer acquisition isn’t easy, you can’t relax and forget about your customers after they’ve signed up. If you’re not paying attention to their needs and delivering on your promises, there are plenty of other subscription businesses your clients can choose. Instead, you need to focus on retention and that means keeping your customers happy. Keep your customers coming back month after month with these 6 proven customer retention tips for subscription businesses.
Provide a great onboarding experience
When it comes to improving customer retention, first impressions count. How you treat your customers in the beginning of your relationship is an indicator of how the entire lifecycle will progress. You want to wow them right off the bat and keep them excited about your product or service.
Your first email to the customer needs to remind them they made a great decision choosing your company. Reiterate the features and benefits of your subscription and give them a way to provide feedback. People want to feel like part of a community, so make sure you share stories from other happy customers.
If your customers will be receiving a physical product, your online ordering process must be clear and easy to navigate. Have you provided an expected arrival date for any physical packages they will receive and an easy return policy? Are shipping costs clearly communicated or are they an unhappy surprise at the end of the ordering process? Avoid creating sticker shock right before asking your customer for their credit cards details. If you have a SAAS product, your customers need to be able to easily get training and any other information they need to start using your software quickly. If they are frustrated or have trouble getting in touch with your sales or relationship management team, this isn’t a positive way to start out and could impact how long the customer stays with you.
While customer acquisition isn’t easy, you can’t relax and forget about your customers after they’ve signed up.
Improve customer service
In many cases, the only time a customer will reach out to your customer service team is when they have a problem or a concern. This is your opportunity to create a positive customer experience and give the customer a good reason to stay with you.
Always make it easy for customers to get in touch with your customer service team, and when they do connect, ensure that your team is focused on creating a great customer experience. How your team treats customers colours the entire relationship, especially how you treat the customer when they are unhappy and probably not acting their best. How you treat disgruntled customers will affect how they feel about you and your products and services. Bad news travels fast, especially in the era of online reviews. Happy customers are retained customers and that equals ongoing revenue.
Make a connection
You can improve customer retention by communicating regularly and in a human way. If your customer emails, social media messaging and online chats come across as stilted or robotic, you are missing an important way to build your customer relationship. Customers want a human connection and can smell an automated reply from a mile away. Instead, create messaging that is personalized and friendly. People want to know they’ve made the right decision signing up for your subscription. Reassure them they’ve made the right choice by sharing stories of how your product or service has helped others reach their goals, which will help the reader visualize how your subscription will help them too. The connection you make through regular communication will help you stay on top of the changing needs of your customers and improve retention.
Offer valuable loyalty rewards
Customers start out loving a subscription but can gradually drop off as time goes by. If your data shows that the typical customer leaves at month 6, begin offering extra incentives a month or two before that. Provide extra savings, personalized deals, and special treatment such as access to premier products or services before a customer thinks about leaving. Anything you can do to make customers feel appreciated and special will help improve retention.
Make it easy to renew
People are busy and have a million things on their mind but remembering their subscription renewal date shouldn’t be one of them. While an easy renewal process is important, don’t automatically assume people want to stay with you. Nothing’s worse than realizing your credit card has been charged for something you intended to cancel. To avoid that buyer’s remorse, send out a renewal notice at least one month before the end of the subscription. Let your customer know they need to do to continue their subscription and give them the option to downgrade or upgrade their subscription level. While providing a downgrade option may seem counter-intuitive, it’s a way to retain the customer in some capacity and not losing them completely. Receiving some revenue is better than getting none.
Avoid payment problems
Of course, none of these retention strategies will work if the customer’s payment fails. Everything hinges on a seamless payment experience. As a subscription provider, you can retain customers by using a Payment Authorization Management system that overcomes payment-related snags.
Payment Authorization Management (PAM) is the category name for FinTech solutions that helps improve the accuracy of payment authorization decisions. FlexPay’s Invisible Recovery™ platform is the leading failed payment recovery solution in this category.
Invisible Recovery™ uses AI and machine learning to create a unique strategy for each failed payment, adapting to the hundreds of reasons a payment could have failed, delivering the rates of payment and customer recovery.
Invisible Recovery™ improves recovery rates by up to 70% over other methods without engaging customers in the recovery process. And because the recovery is invisible to customers, the customer lifecycle averages 45% more billing cycles following recovery. Customers are recovered faster and stay customers longer with Invisible Recovery™.