3 Early Warning Signs of Customer Churn and How to Prevent It

Sometimes, sales and marketing get so obsessed with bringing in new customers that they forget to hang on to the ones they already have.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Retaining a customer costs less than acquiring a new one.”

In fact, when you search that quote, you’ll find it in countless posts.

But in the B2B world, it can often be hard to spot the earliest signs of churn before it’s too late.

To calculate your churn rate, use the following equation.

Churn Rate = # of Churned Customers / # of Customers Last Month

Watch this number. You want to aim to reduce your churn rate to a negative number. That means that you are gaining more customers than you are losing. When you have an increase in customers month over month, that means that your number of churned customers will be negative.

I would recommend an ideal churn rate, but what is “good” really varies by industry. That being said, if you notice a spike in your churn rate, you need to start investigating the problem.

We’ve identified a few signs that you’re losing customers and how to prevent them from abandoning your brand.

Your Customers Are Asking For Things Your Can’t Provide

This implies that your customers aren’t satisfied with your offering as it is.

If they are asking about additional services, many of which you don’t provide, it might be that your business isn’t providing the value that they need anymore.

This may or not be your fault, but the solution is to continue evolving your offering to stay relevant and to serve the needs of your customers.

They Don’t Trust You

There are a couple of areas that could cause a lack of trust in customers causing them to want to terminate the relationship.

Maybe you passed the customer from the sales rep to an account manager and they are completely unresponsive.

This will lose your company business. If a customer can’t trust their account rep to have their back, who can they trust? Ensure that issues like this are resolved by switching the account to another rep or asking the current rep to step up their communication.

Another instance that might cause a customer to lose trust is a customer service flop. Say there was a major issue with your product/service and it prevented a customer from being able to execute their daily business.

If you don’t handle that incident correctly, then you might lose your customer forever. Issues happen, but it’s all about how YOU handle it. Offer the customer discounts on their next contract or offer them something valuable as compensation for their time/trouble.

They’ve Been Buying Less and Less

Sometimes, the first sign that a customer is moving toward a competitor is a drop in the amount of business they do.

Maybe they were running multiple campaigns with your agency every month but recently dropped down to one.

That might be a sign that they are testing the market and are shopping around with your competitors. Or that they have no budget for your offering and are slowly scaling back what they spend with you.

The best course of action is to engage these clients, ask them if they are satisfied with your product and service.

Mention the decrease in business and ask if there is anything you can do to bring them back to their previous level.

B2B is about relationships, so the only way to grasp a customer that is slipping away is to communicate with them. Sometimes, a customer must leave because of factors that are out of their control. For example, they might have had their budget cut. Or another stakeholder decided that your offering wasn’t worth the money.

It’s always worth it to find out why they leave because it’s easier to bring back previous customers than it is to acquire new ones.


 

Let us know what you think: 

  • Have you noticed any other signs of churn?
  • What were they?

 


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