Let’s be honest. Customer churn is part of business. The question isn’t how to stop customer churn. It’s how to reduce it, whether through improved messaging or better channel mix, or through improved communication strategies that help you keep more of those customers you’ve worked so hard to earn.

What are some of the ways you can keep churn to a minimum?

1. Identify which customers are churning.

Start by looking at your customer list. Which customers are no longer active? Do they have anything in common? If so, what?

Say you find out that most of your lapsed customers are in a specific geographic area. Is the demographic mix changing in that location? Is the messaging outdated? Is a new competitor stealing your thunder?

How about communications frequency? Are you tracking how frequently you are mailing to each customer group? You might find that when it comes to lapsed customers, you haven’t been reaching out as frequently and they’ve been falling through the cracks.

Or maybe it’s your channel mix. Maybe you bumped up your email marketing only to find that B2B customers have overflowing inboxes and those communications are getting lost.

2. Ask them why they are churning.

Doing an analysis of churning customers is helpful, but talking to your customers is even better. Sure, you could re-engage them simply by offering an incentive, but then you won’t learn anything.

Consider asking lapsed customers to complete a survey in exchange for a free offer. Why did they stop buying from you? Did they have a poor customer experience? Are your products no longer relevant to their needs? Are they still interested and just need a reason to buy? Identify the disconnect so you can address it.

When you reach out, consider using direct mail, even if you ask those customers to fill out the survey online. Statistically, postal mail is more likely to get opened. Plus, it has higher perceived value, so lapsed customers are more likely to engage.  

3. Identify and engage your best customers, too.

Do an analysis of your best customers, as well as your lapsed ones. Who are the customers who buy from you most often? Who spends the most money over time? Thank them (people like to be thanked for their loyalty), and survey them, too. Find out why they are loyal to you so you can keep doing the things they love.

4. Create an engagement plan.  

Create a plan to engage both groups—lapsed and engaged customers. Create the right channel mix, with the right messaging and the right offers, to address the specific needs of each group. 

Keep that communication flowing!