Trick or treat: How to survive the customer attrition nightmare

OABPO Blog Team Published on October 28, 2014

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There s a dreaded point in time when a retail business has to face its greatest fear – losing its valued customers. No matter how you condition yourself or your call center in the Philippines that it s just normal for customers to decide that they no longer want to do business with you, the idea of losing your loyal customers to competing brands is definitely scary. Preparing yourself for this business nightmare is therefore a must.

Although customer attrition is inevitable, you always have the chance to change your customers minds and convince them that staying is a better option. As a business owner or customer service representative, one of your main goals is to save customer relationships especially when they are about to be terminated. Driving revenues by earning replacement customers must only be second priority.

Winning customers back with business treats

woman-on-the-phone

Customer retention strategies can be classified either as passive or active. Most businesses follow the passive approach where they wait for customers to contact them about canceling their subscription before encouraging them not to do so. Some online cancellation pages are carefully worded to encourage customers not to withdraw their subscription. Call center agents are also trained how to boost customer retention through various techniques, such as offering loyalty discounts.

Active retention, on the other hand, is a more difficult approach to adopt. The goal is to determine which customers are manifesting behaviors that indicate possible customer disloyalty. Businesses may take a look at the recent purchasing activities of their customers and keep an eye on those who have shown drastic buying pattern changes. Customer service representatives can then proactively get in touch with these customers before they actually decide to leave the brand. Personalized emails can also be sent to customers who haven t been active for a while.

Taking an active approach requires greater business intelligence, since you need to be in constant watch for danger signs of customer attrition. You must also have a set of retention tools, including a solid customer loyalty program that you can use to reach out to customers.

Losing trust with sneaky retention tricks

One retention trick that you must avoid is prolonging the membership termination process in hopes of seeing a change of heart from customers. If a customer has decided to cancel his subscription and is calling you to formalize the process, it won t make sense to present him with unnecessary cancellation requirements. Asking customers for death certificates or requiring them to answer long exit surveys are not only desperate moves, they can also cause your brand to be the next laughingstock on social media sites.

man-shouting-on-his-phone

Most customers who are about to part ways with you will assert that it s your fault and give a list of complaints, while some will leave quietly. Whatever your customers identify as a reason for their cancellation, don t get defensive or engage in argument with them. The last thing you want to do is to prove that they are making a horrible decision. Present the facts, but don t make them look and feel stupid.

During a cancellation call, you also need to document the customer s complaints while attentively listening to your customers side of the story. Your goal is to define what exactly led to the customer s disconnect from your business to avoid such incident in the future.

At the end of the day, you must understand that even if customer churn is a horrible thing for your business to experience, it s also something that you can learn a lot from. This is why it s also equally important for you to remember that it s fine to let customers go.

If even after exhausting all possible means to make them stay, your customers still wanted to leave, then cutting ties with them on a good note is the best thing to do. It can increase the chances of regaining them once they realize they need your products or services.

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