Don’t Lose Another Customer! One Big Tip To Inspire Loyalty

walking away “Always strive to provide service above and beyond what the average salesperson would give. It will help you build long-term relationships, trust, and referral business.”

-Tom Hopkins, Help Scout.

Customers leaving you? You might want to take a lesson in customer service from eFax. As AWeber’s Acquisition and Retention Specialist, I’m always for looking at what other businesses are doing to get and keep their customers.

It’s important to work just as hard to keep customers as it is to start that relationship. Learning from other businesses can help ignite ideas, see what works and what your company may be able to try.

Why Does Retention Matter?

Imagine you’re on the beach, busily scooping up water in a bucket and carrying it back to your sand castle. Now, what if that bucket had small holes in the bottom? You might be scooping up a gallon at a time, but only a half gallon makes it to the castle. It makes your work more difficult!

If you lose customers rapidly, you aren’t going to see much overall growth… even if you have thousands coming in. You have to proactively identify and plug the holes if you want to watch your customer base grow.

A Stellar Retention Example From eFax

Here’s the conversation I had with eFax:

Scott:

Hello, Crystal. Welcome to online Fax support. I am Scott Ellis, your online Live Support Representative. How may I assist you?

Crystal:

Hi, I’d like to cancel my account.

 

Scott:

I am glad to help you. Could you please provide me your fax number, registered email address and billing zip code for verification? … Thank you for providing your information. Please give me a moment while I pull up your account. In the meantime, please type the number corresponding to your reason for cancellation: 1) Moving to another provider 2) Bought a fax machine 3) Business or role changed 4) Short term project completed 5) Financial reasons 6) Problems with faxing or billing 7) Dissatisfied with quality of service 8) Too costly

Crystal:

4

 

Scott:

Crystal, as we’d like to keep your business, I can offer you a discount and also waive your subscription fee for 2 months. After the free period, pay just $12.95 per month. This plan includes 130 inbound pages monthly and extra pages are just 15 cents each. There is no contract and you may cancel anytime. Shall I switch you to this savings plan?

Crystal:

Sure, that’s great

The main thing to note: I had no intention of staying with this service when I started the conversation. I used it one time for a quick fix and didn’t really see a need for it after that. But who can turn down two extra months of free service?

I don’t know if I’ll find it more useful in that time or not, but eFax thinks it’s worth a shot to keep me as a customer. It’s possible they identified that customers who choose #4 (and maybe some others) just need some more time with the service. Their way of plugging the hole is to take a loss for a couple months for more long-term gain.

I also like how they had me choose why I’m canceling. It’s a great way to get insight into what your customers are thinking. My reason for leaving was more of a “not using it anymore,” so I picked the closest one to that.

How Can You Apply This?

If you can use a strong incentive like eFax does, I’d be interested in hearing the results. But there are other ways to make people want to stick around, especially when it comes to email subscribers:

What’s Your Success Story?

Do you have a cool and effective way to keep your customers? Have you had an awesome experience that kept you with a company? Share in the comments!

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Education Marketing Associate (Crystal Gouldey Moore) on Google

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4 Comments

  1. Excellent advice! Notice how the customer service rep also didn’t fight with the customer or guilt-trip them in any way? That was smart.

    Offer a consolation prize instead of getting frustrated, and you’ll keep the customer almost every time.

    2/6/2014 4:08 pm
  2. There’s a very fine line between engaging and upsetting people online.
    I recently created a support ticket with eFax to cancel my account and they sent me an email the next day saying that I had to call them in order to do this. As an Internet Marketer I’m only too aware that this strategy is designed to create an opportunity to upsell/downsell/cross-sell something to me and I’m particularly miffed that they’ve made me jump through another hoop. They’ve now lost me as a future customer.

    2/12/2014 7:07 am
  3. Losing customers you’ve worked very hard to win is very hard to accept, but that’s the way things go. In our line of work which is providing financial advice and life insurance products, we often lose customers because people who work at the central service department (CSD) don’t care whether we lose customers we fought so hard to gain them or not.

    For example, a client goes to the CSD and asked to cancel a policy, and the person behind the desk will provide the customer with a template letter ( with ‘I. hereby cancel my policy’ already typed for the client and ready to sign) and ask them to approve their intention to cancel. This without even asking why they want to cancel or making an attempt to preserve the business.

    What’s more, the company will cancel the policy without even giving the agent the opportunity to discuss the cancellation with his/her client.

    And why does the company pretend they know have not noticed that these cancellations come written on the same template I can’t begin to wonder why. Perhaps they like things this way.

    When I started out twenty years ago, even the company’s receptionist was trained to try and persuade the customer from leaving without reason. These days, nobody cares if you sign up today and cancel tomorrow. That’s the way life goes, as Jenet Jackson puts it.

    It’s no wonder most companies lose business and the guys at the top don’t evenknow what to tell the shareholders. Can somebody tell me why this is happening today?

    Thanks For the opportunity and platform to share my thoughts.

    2/13/2014 11:51 am
  4. That’s amazing. I hope that we can also provide something like that. Business owners really need to know how to put in more to retain customers. It will make them feel more cared for.

    2/20/2014 8:44 pm

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