Got Churn? 5 Ways to Boost Engagement

Here in the SF Bay Area, the swirling talk is that we’re in a capital crunch. And that we’re turning away from growth at all costs and starting to focus on (gasp)profitability.

To me, the key change for startups is to move away from maniacally driving new user acquisition and instead turn attention (and dashboards) to engagement. Specifically, paid engagement. By the way, this is true not only for SaaS companies, but for product companies too.

There is absolutely no question that it is easier and less expensive to upsell/resell a current customer than to gain a new one. That means it’s time to pay attention to the high-value customers that are willing to pay for your product because they love you.

Not sure who loves you? Figuring it out is your first big step to reduce churn. Keep reading to find out four more…

  1. Segmentation — If you don’t know who loves you best and who needs you most, now is the time to figure it out. Who are the customers that are desperate for your product or service? Who is the most likely to generate the most revenue? Not because you’re offering them a deal, but because they are likely to pay you over the long term.
  2. Brand — Once you’ve figured out who loves you, go ask them why. Yes you actually have to go talk to your customers. Find out why they chose your service, why your company, why they are delighted. Their answer is your brand. Embrace it. Nest sent me a short email survey about six months after I bought the product. They simply asked when did you know you loved your Nest?
  3. Messaging — I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked with a growth company where growth has stalled, only to discover that they are putting out about 16 different messages. Their website says one thing, social media says another and sales collateral something else. Too many messages equals anemic results. People aren’t going to take the time to wade through all of that and try to figure out why you over the alternative. This is why the brand is so important. Build a razor sharp, focused message based on it and deliver it to the people who need you most.
  4. Fix Stuff — Your developers and product people are tired. Because when times get tough, it goes like this: “We have to have THIS feature and we have to have it YESTERDAY, and that will SAVE us.” But more often than not, that feature is focused on bringing in new customers or a new segment. It’s not focused on further delighting the customers you ALREADY HAVE. Remember those conversations I suggested you have with your customers about why they love you? Why don’t you also ask them what could we do for you that would make you love us EVEN MORE! Do that.
  5. Help your customers share your story — Focused brand messaging helps your customers know who else will love you (and pay you) and what to tell them. Also, it reinforces their own identity as part of your community. When I tell a friend about a product or service, I become more vested in it’s success, and I’m more likely to buy it again. I think Madison Reed is doing a great job with this. With every box of color, they send 5 discount certificates for friends.

What other strategies do you know for focusing on high-value customers and increasing the resell/upsell?

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