The Latest from the ABM Experts
March 6, 2020
How to Never Lose a Customer Again
Written by Sangram Vajre
Newer isn’t always better. Take your flashy new car which is 90% computer. It’s great… until it breaks down and you need to hire Bill Gates to fix it. Anyone with a little skill could maintain an old car and fix it when there was a problem.
Yet, in our pursuit of flashy new prospects, too many of us neglect to maintain our existing buyers, leaving them unhappy with their service and chasing them away.
He’s also the Chief Experience Composer at Design Symphony, a customer experience branding firm. And he came on the #FlipMyFunnel Podcast to let us know how we can stop hemorrhaging customers.
So, let’s see what we can do!
Why should I care about retention?
According to Joey, you should care because venture capitalists care.
In fact, VCs are starting to factor in retention when evaluating the potential of a company.
You could have some of the best conversion rates in the world, but f your retention rates are terrible, why would they want to invest?
But don’t worry, it’s not just you. Tons of company’s are having trouble with retention. Actually, most companies.
In any business — it doesn’t matter if it’s B2B, B2C, domestic, international, online, offline — between 20% and 70% of new customers bail within 100 days.
It’s no wonder VCs are taking notice.
But what about the thrill of the hunt?
This mindset is a huge part of the problem. Customer conversion is what so many of us are programmed to do — it’s built into our DNA.
Admit it, you’re thinking about the chase right now.
But, even though retention isn’t as sexy as customer conversion or acquisition, it’s incredibly important.
Unhappy customers leave. And they tell their friends.
The problem is we keep offloading customers to the next part of our funnel and assuming they’ll take care of it. Marketing offloads to sales with a few optimistic distortions of reality; sales get ink on paper with a few more and offloads them to customer success.
And, by the time the customer makes it there, customer success is forced to remove the rose-colored glasses the previous teams put on them. Now they have to set reality and clean up the mess.
For the teams, this rivalry and infighting may be put some competitive “fun” in the funnel… Wait, no, that’s a terrible joke. Let me start over.
The point is, you might enjoy the infighting, but your customer certainly doesn’t.
(Of course, this doesn’t apply to our listeners, who I am sure are crushing their alignment goals, right?)
Customer experience is how the customer feels about you all the time
Customer service is what you do when your customer has a problem. It’s how you react and deal with it.
But, thanks to Joey, I now know not to use “customer experience” for that same situation. It’s totally different.
Customer experience is all about every interaction the customer has with you. Any and every interaction. Each one adds up to how they feel about you.
And that means each one matters. I mean, how many good interactions do you think it takes to offset a bad one?
Okay, that was rhetorical and I’m not sure myself, but I know it’s a much higher number. Think about a bad job interview or a date that went wrong, you were probably doing fine until you said or did that one really stupid thing, then it all fell apart.
Yeah, you can lose jobs, partners and customers by giving them one bad experience.
The world’s a stage — Don’t just sell, perform
If you think it’s all about the product, you’re wrong.
The product is what draws your audience. But if they sit down and no one’s on stage, they’re gonna boo, throw tomatoes or just get up and leave.
You need to perform for them. You need to delight, surprise and intrigue them.
I mean, customer experience means nothing if you don’t provide the customer with…?
Yeah, that was a softball: an experience. Craving a good experience is what it means to be human. And you do remember that we’re selling to humans, right?
Buying is part of an emotional journey for the customer. So, don’t be dull.
There are 46 reasons you should listen to Joey
If any of this sounds like an assertion, don’t worry — Joey’s well aware customers want to see the data.
That’s why he packed 46 use cases into his book.
For instance, do you want to know how this whole “experience” thing really works?
Well, here’s one of Joey’s examples:
One of Design Symphony’s Canadian clients needed help with an HR policy tool that was part of their medical software. They wanted to deliver an amazing experience.
But they focused on the wrong thing, the same thing everyone else gets obsessed with…
The chase! (Cue the trumpets.)
Well, then they didn’t know what to do with the catch. (Sad trumpets.)
They could easily sell their products to the IT decision-makers at a hospital, but they weren’t the ones responsible for implementing the policy software. That was left to the HR manager, who usually wasn’t too happy to have this software dropped on him in a meeting. He was even less happy when he found out it was a 38-step process.
Can you see what went wrong?
The buyer and the user are totally different. And the user probably hates the buyer at this point… because, again, they’re human.
So, Joey focused on the HR professional’s experience instead of the IT buyer.
A week before the meeting, the HR manager would receive a mysterious package, with 1 frame and 19 cards. Each card had a picture on one side and a phone number on the other to call.
Okay, the package actually wasn’t all that mysterious. It actually took the mystery out of what the HR manager had to do. Each card (which was cut in half) corresponded to one of the steps and the number was who to call for it.
Once each step was completed, the card went in the frame. At the end, the HR manager got a really cool picture to hang on the wall.
How did he know it would work?
Joey researched the HR managers. They were usually women over 45 who loved their office and loved decorating it. So, he helped them.
And it worked.
If you want the other 45 use cases like this that worked for Joey, you’ll have to check out his book.