6 Tools Entrepreneurs Should Use to Increase Customer Retention
It’s easy to rest on your laurels when your company is growing, but many entrepreneurs don’t know exactly what’s driving or hindering their growth in the first place. There are often dozens of factors at play, but no matter what industry you’re in, understanding your existing customer base is key.
According to Bain & Company, a 5 percent increase in customer retention could increase profits by 125 percent. There’s a strong correlation between how long a customer has been on your platform and how strong of a brand advocate he is. A satisfied customer is likely to give you positive word of mouth, while a dissatisfied customer could be deterring others from doing business with you.
No matter how quickly you’re adding to your customer base, you can’t afford to neglect the customers you already have. The good news is that you can use these tools to gain new insights into your customers and keep them engaged for years to come.
Most startups can’t fix all their problems at once, but the suite of tools by RJMetrics helps you prioritize your biggest areas of concern and home in on where your customer churn is happening (e.g., within a specific customer demographic or customer cohort).
These tools give you immediate insight into what’s going on in your business without complicated spreadsheets or database queries, allowing you to maximize your company’s value and identify problem areas before you send your customers running to your competitors.
Preact collects and analyzes information from different customer systems like Mixpanel, Braintree, and Salesforce to identify trends and patterns on an individual user basis. Then it predicts which customers will renew, expand, or cancel their services with you.
This tool allows you to give your front-line staff clear direction on how to engage with your customer base to optimize customer satisfaction, drive retention, and increase revenue.
Even RJMetrics uses Preact to analyze its data, which is a huge endorsement. According to CEO Robert Moore, RJMetrics’ churn rate has dropped by more than 50 percent since it began using Preact, and the entire team has become more productive and increased upsells.
Sprout Social and Respondly
RJMetrics and Preact help collect and analyze customer data, but social media data is another matter. A combination of tools like Sprout Social and Respondly allow social media managers to triage support questions that come through social media and assign them to relevant customer success agents.
These tools make it easy for companies to respond to questions promptly and personally through both email and social media channels. Such a personalized experience goes a long way toward preventing customer churn and encouraging your customers to recommend your company to others.
The name says it all. Retention Science is a must-have for any company in the e-commerce space. It analyzes behavioral, transactional, and demographic data to predict customer behavior and multi-channel marketing campaigns that engage and convert. It’s also one of the keys to the success of The Honest Company.
I came across Button a couple weeks ago and love both its simplicity and its mobile-first focus. Button provides a simple software development kit with customizable reward and loyalty modules that mitigate churn and allow you to reengage with customers who have left your platform. While companies like Dropbox and Uber are famous for their referrals, neither platform is robust enough to allow for that yet.
Button gives any mobile marketplace a deep referral and engagement program. In addition, it allows mobile marketplaces to collaborate and increase engagement. For instance, Lyft could offer a free $5 Postmates credit on a customer’s next ride to boost loyalty.
All other things being equal, a customer who has been with you a long time is much more likely to be attached to your brand and tell others about you. Keeping those customers happy is like having a marketing team that pays you.
With the right tools, you can access a wealth of data on your current and former customers, including their sentiments toward your company, their likelihood to make a purchase or leave, and their triggers. Using this data to your advantage will boost your company’s revenue and position you as a leader in your industry.
TX Zhuo is a managing partner of Karlin Ventures, an L.A.-based venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage enterprise software, e-commerce, and marketplaces. Follow the company on Twitter and Google