Measurable results drive customer retention. The more measured results achieved, the longer customers stay.
That’s why bad customer “fit” is such a massive driver of customer churn. If they can't get good results they will leave.
The ultimate objective is to bond with a customer so deeply that you keep them forever. This requires that customer results visibly contribute to the success of their business.
There’s no getting around the reality that businesses exist to make money.
The ultimate retention strategy is to make or save customers so much money that they can’t imagine operating without you.
That’s true CUSTOMER BONDING.
Our research consistently shows that customers with an explicitly financial use case stay much longer than those with non-financial objectives.
The biggest mistake is to assume all use cases are equal. They are not! Some use cases produce better results and contribute more directly and visibly to business success. Invariably these are the use cases that have the highest retention and expansion.
Just because your product can be used for some purpose does not mean that thing will be valuable enough to stay long-term. Since customer retention will always matter more than customer acquisition, these differences are extremely significant and should not be ignored.
And it follows that if the use cases and customers are not equal, then there will inevitably be an absolute best one at the top of the list. This is your REAL Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
Here are 3 ways to leverage this insight to reduce churn and improve retention:
1) Identify your real ideal customer by figuring out which customers achieve the best business results. Profile these customers and their use case and push this up to marketing and sales so that you can aggressively target and get more of them. Retention will go up immediately when you acquire relatively more of these ideal customers.
2) Segment your customers by their use case and business results, rather than by size, value, or industry. This will immediately reveal the significant differences in retention by use case. More importantly, it will enable you to support each segment differently with the specific expertise they need to help them achieve and measure their business results.
3) Clearly define the real ways your products and services drive your customer’s business performance. If you sell to companies, then your offering ultimately has to drive business success in some meaningful way. Show each of your customers exactly how you will make their business successful, and the best way to measure these results. Use this to motivate their key behavior changes, then measure and show them the results. I call this the Customer Results Strategy, and it's the most impactful practice I've ever found for radically improving customer retention.