Old school wisdom called marketing a distinct function, separate from product development, IT maintenance, customer service – each was in its own silo. But in today’s world, the marketing team plays an even larger and more important role in business. Marketing is now also about creating and nurturing the customer experience. And every part of the customer experience with your brand has far-reaching consequences for your business success.

“Marketing used to be advertising,” writes Seth Godin in a recent blog post. “Now, marketing is everything you do. And what you do either adds to the experience or takes away from it.”

Without this holistic view of marketing, you’re going to have more customer churn. And that’s something you’ll want to avoid.

Customer experience correlates directly with churn

Churn is when customers don’t stay with you. They rotate in and rotate out. Customer retention is the opposite of churn. In SaaS businesses where customers often subscribe monthly, for example, churn means a loss of predictable monthly recurring revenue.

Quantifying the impact of excellent customer experiences gives us a crystal clear picture of how painful customer churn is to any business. According to a HubSpot post by Sophia Bernazzani, “more than 80% of happy customers are willing to provide recommendations” to people they know. And “referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value – and greater ROI – than others.”

So much for thinking of marketing as being all about acquiring new customers…

“Everyone on your team needs to be trained to think of what they do in terms of how their part in the customer experience can meet the customers’ needs and even delight them. And your marketing department needs to take the lead.

What makes customers stay?

A great customer experience goes a long way toward convincing them to stick with your business. Every interaction provides either a positive or negative impression, including:

  • their first visit to your website and every subsequent one,
  • their requests for information, placing an order,
  • how the product or service meets or hopefully exceeds their needs,
  • how difficulties are resolved, and
  • what kind of meaningful content you continue to provide them and how you deliver it to them.

Yes, these activities might be driven by IT, web designers, and customer service. But as Godin points out, it’s all marketing. Everyone on your team needs to be trained to think of what they do in terms of how their part in the customer experience can meet the customers’ needs and even delight them. And your marketing department needs to take the lead.

Even the terminology we use matters. Customers are human beings. Being treated as disembodied entities – “users” — is itself a negative experience. Marketing will improve when business and communication processes maintain the human touch in the midst of the necessary quest for efficiency.

Use NPS to measure customer loyalty and prevent churn

Customer churn is just one of the metrics businesses use to track customer loyalty – or lack of it — and its potential impact. Bernazzani’s article explains another metric: Net Promoter Score, or NPS. It sheds light on how likely a customer is to recommend your business to others.

“NPS is different from other benchmarks, such as customer satisfaction score or customer effort score,” writes Bernazzani, “in that it measures a customer’s overall sentiment about a brand, versus their perception of a singular interaction or purchase.”

The first step in determining your NPS is to survey your customers, asking, “On a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend to a friend?” Depending on which number they choose, they are then segmented into three groups: Promoters, who are enthusiastic and loyal; Passives, who are indifferent; and Detractors, who are unhappy customers. Your overall NPS is then calculated using the number of responses from each of those categories.

NPS, including the survey process, is useful in three additional ways:

  1. It reveals ways to improve. Bernazzani recommends including a survey space for comments where customers can share why they gave the score they did. This insight can show you where to make changes.
  2. It can boost referral marketing. Learn who your happy customers are first, and then you will know who to ask for testimonials, reviews, and referrals.
  3. It will help you open communication with detractors. This step is essential to not only keeping them from churning, but also to prevent them from telling others about their bad experience with you. The first priority should be to make sure they feel heard and respected. Find out if the problem was a misunderstanding or something procedural that needs to be fixed.

For a more complete understanding of NPS, read the entire article: “What Is NPS: The Ultimate Guide.”

How do you create great customer experiences?

Are all your communication avenues tailored to their needs? Contact us to explore how together we can create ongoing, loyalty enhancing interactions with your brand. Call us at 720-722-2987 or click the blue button below to request a time for conversation.