Churn rate is one of the best indicators of a business’s health. Also called attrition and cancellation rate, it is the percentage of clients who have discontinued and canceled a product within a time period.

In a perfect world, your company would have zero percent churn–but customers canceling is a fact of doing business. However, there are ways to reduce this.

In this post, we’ll look at some ways to retain customers better and reduce customer churn overall. These are pointers you can use to reevaluate your overall business strategy and review your customer playbook for sales, support, and marketing teams.

Be proactive

Many companies make the mistake of only communicating with their existing customers where there’s already a complaint (the customer reached out!) or when they want to upsell. Although this sounds atrocious, it’s a bad practice that’s very common across many businesses.

Sure, some customers don’t like to be “bothered” by companies and just want to be left alone enjoying the product. However, the only reason a customer would be annoyed by a company reaching out is when it involves one of those reasons above–a problem or an upsell.

Steady communication with your existing customers is important to retain them. This is not about a token hello. This is about letting them know that you’re taking care of them and that you are easy to reach out to in case they have a concern.

The other side of the coin is the valuable feedback that you’ll get from these customers–feedback that will ultimately help you improve your operations.

Make use of call notes

Call notes are very important. Make use of them so you can reach out to customers with context. This is why having a CTI–like for an example, an Avaya integration with SugarCRM–in place is essential to a customer-centric operation that effectively reduces customer churn.

Integrating CRMs with phone systems allow your agents to log all customer information and conversation details easily so you’ll have access to them when you proactively reach out to your customers.

When you make that call or write that email, reference their account details, previous conversations, anything that can help personalize the call so they don’t feel like they’re just part of a routine roundup from a tall CSV file.

Ask clients for feedback

Make an effort to ask customers for feedback about the service they’re receiving and the product they are using.

Ensuring customers are getting what they are paying for (and more!) is key to keeping your client base growing and not the other way around.

Here are some ways to do this:

Social Media

Many companies provide customer support via social media but it’s almost always a reactive effort. Why don’t you schedule regular call outs for feedback on your company’s social profiles?

This is a moderately risky move if you are not confident with your performance as a provider because social media can make or break a brand. However, it’s one of the most visible channels for communication so strategize how to incorporate asking for feedback in your social media plans.

Existing customer segment in your email list

Any effective email marketing plan involves engagement with existing users. Make sure to segment your email list (i.e. move closed accounts to their own segment) so you can create tailored emails. Segmenting email lists this way allows your team to ask clients directly without having to do it manually.

Do this sparingly as this approach can get spammy really fast.

Feedback capture tools on your website

The company website is your front door. Most clients will come to your website first when they have a concern, whether it’s to talk to someone on live chat or just check out your help desk.

An underutilized approach is putting feedback bars or even surveys on your website to capture precious customer insights.

Personal calls and emails

When you close deals, it must a practice to create recurring tasks in their record on your CRM through your CTI integration so you can send personal check-ins with your customers to see how they’re using your product, what their concerns are, and what areas you can improve upon. Whether you’re using a SugarCRM Avaya integration or one of the hundreds of other CRM-Phone combos, getting a solution that allows you to streamline tasks is key to exploiting this avenue for feedback.

For all these approaches, be direct and make it easy for customers to provide their thoughts either. Ask short questions, and give answering options when possible. Be sure to acknowledge their feedback! Call back when possible.

Reducing customer churn is all about ensuring customer success. Use your tools to be in constant contact with your customers.

Ensure that your sales, support, and marketing teams are geared towards championing the success of your customers. Not only does this help you reduce customer churn, it also helps you convert customers to product evangelists!