30 Nov How Exiting Subscribers Bring New Opportunity To Your Subscription-Based Service
Every business has ups and downs, but when your subscription service is experiencing unprecedented churn rates, panic can set in and leave you scrambling to rebuild. Panic and overreaction are not friendly allies for building a strong customer base. Instead of focusing on growth, try focusing on maintenance and loyalty.
When your churn rate is working against you, sit back, take a deep breath and follow these strategies to recover so that you can rebuild yourself stronger than before.
Existing Subscribers Are Your Lifeline
Churn rate and growth deceleration. These are terms that every subscription based model hates to hear. It is inevitable that over time you will lose subscribers, but why does it seem like groups of them drop at once, far exceeding the steady churn rate that your company has adapted to?
When you notice an accelerating churn rate, the first response is almost always to enter survival mode. Many companies begin panicking, flapping their arms in the water, trying to stay afloat. What they don’t realize is if they calmed down and took a deep breath, they would find that they already had a life preserver holding them up. This life preserver is your current subscribers.
The first move to make when you notice subscribers leaving is making sure that your existing, dedicated subscribers are happy. Rather than focusing on what makes people leave, reach out to your subscribers and find out what makes them stay. Brainstorm new ideas for making your subscription service even more appealing to your current subscribers.
Word of mouth and a solid reputation are great growth tools that are at your disposal when you place more value on your current subscribers than the ones you are trying to attract.
Ask The Hard Questions
When your subscriber rate starts creeping in the wrong direction, it’s easy to look for places to put the blame. Defensive strategy is good. Defensive attitudes are not. While cancellations are bad for your bottom line, your approach dictates how you recover.
You can feel defensive and defeated, which won’t do much at all to improve your churn rate. Or, you can take this as a learning opportunity on how to better adapt to and serve your market.
The best place to start is at the beginning.
What is the first impression that your company gives to new subscribers?
You may have had an enticing offer to get them subscribe, but what happens once they land? Do you immediately “wow” them with content or service? First impressions tell your subscriber a lot about what they can expect from the experience, and not many are going to stick around if they feel like they are going to have to wait too long for the rewards to kick in.
Next, ask yourself if you could consistently meet and exceed your subscriber’s expectations. The art of surpassing customer expectations starts with not setting yourself up for failure. Did you promise too much to lure in new subscribers? Did you set unrealistic goals? Did you go all in too soon?
There is a small area where you promise just enough to easily bring new subscribers on board, while leaving room to grow and show off what you can offer as the relationship with the customer grows. This is where you want to be as you attract new subscribers.
Finally, did you take the right steps to creating customer loyalty?
People like being loyal consumers. They like attaching themselves to a brand and building a relationship with it. Depending on what your service or product is, customers may build memories or traditions around your brand, and they don’t want to let that go.
And let’s be honest. We can all be a little lazy. Switching loyalties takes a bit of effort, and who wants to bother when they are already happy with what they have. The question is, are you placing their loyalty high enough on your radar to keep them from even looking at the competition?
For those who unsubscribed, the answer to that question is no.
Build loyalty by adding personal elements to your subscription service. Even a personal email that thanks them for their loyalty and asks for feedback on what can be done better is enough to let your subscribers know you view them as individuals and care about their personal satisfaction with your service.
Also, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn a little. Your subscribers don’t always want to find their own list of reasons to hang around. Rather than risk losing them, tell them what you are offering that puts your brand and your business high above the rest.
What Is Your Exit Strategy?
Goodbye doesn’t always mean the end. Even when subscribers exit, they leave behind opportunities to improve. It should be a given that every subscriber on your list will at some point leave. This might be years down the road, or it might be next week. Each of them may feel differently about their experience. A successful subscription service looks at these experiences as learning opportunities. The key is knowing how to capture them.
Don’t let the “unsubscribe” button be the last words between you and your former customer. Create an exit survey to filled out before unsubscribing, or send an email to each customer that has left asking them for feedback on your service. If complaints are brought up, address the immediately, but do so with the goal being customer satisfaction rather than reacquisition.
Is an increasing churn rate stressful? Absolutely. But, you don’t have to let it define your success. There are ways to dust yourself off, raise yourself up and build a subscription service that retains subscribers better than it ever did before. Just remember to stop, breath, and focus on what’s important. Do this, and soon this phase will be a thing of the past.