Retention is a top priority for any successful subscription box business, but preventing churn is no easy task. While even the most successful businesses deal with some amount of customer churn, subscription commerce businesses are affected the most. And when churn runs amok – as it tends to in this industry – businesses can expect lost revenue and bad customer relationships. To retain customers for longer than three to six months, provide better experiences that keep your customers coming back.
The negative effects of churn on subscription businesses can be devastating. The most obvious problem is that you’re no longer gaining value from a customer, and worse, you’re losing future value that could’ve been gained by keeping that customer. When more than one-third of consumers who sign up for a subscription service cancel in less than three months, and over half cancel within six months (McKinsey), oftentimes the competitive battlefield boils down to who can provide the best customer experience. When customers churn, that gives competitors an opportunity to acquire them, which may not need to happen if more time is invested in keeping your existing customers. In fact, high churn rates may indicate that something is broken with your customer journey.
Providing more personalized customer experiences can reduce the churn epidemic in subscription box businesses. 28 percent of subscribers said that a personalized experience was the most important reason for continuing to subscribe (McKinsey), and providing these experiences doesn’t need to be complicated. Delighting customers with personalized offers, handwritten notes, and other simple recognition of their loyalty to your brand are all great first steps to show your customers you value and appreciate them. It’s much like your personal relationships at work or home. Creating these moments that matter for your customers – and celebrating that they chose your business – will keep them happy.
The support services that you provide will also impact how customers feel about your brand. As competition rises in the ever-more-crowded subscription box industry, customer support becomes the key differentiator. Utilizing tools such as Solvvy to provide faster, more accurate support experiences will give customers more time to engage with your website while improving customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores. Using support as an outlet to engage customers will also lead to positive effects. Is a customer asking about tracking a delayed package? Provide a discount by adding a few extra days to their monthly billing cycle. Notice a customer is dissatisfied with an order? Give them a free offer. Spending the time and resources to create these small moments will always be worth it when the alternative is losing them as a customer.
Customer retention is the final frontier for subscription businesses, so proactively taking measures to reach it should be your top priority. Personalization is one of the most important ways to keep customers loyal to a brand, and providing personalized experiences can pay back in dividends. Choosing the best customer support tools should also be a top priority, as improved engagement with customers will help your business stand out from the rest. So let’s get the elephant out of the room: churn doesn’t need to be a plague in the industry. With sights set on better customer experiences and the right execution plan in place, churn won’t keep you up at night anymore. Sleep peacefully, my friends.