“Customer retention is no slam dunk.”
Very true, and one of many quote-worthy moments in a recent post by Ardath Albee on B2B content marketing. Customer retention certainly isn’t a slam dunk, and in a world where endless alternatives to your product are just a Google search away, a solid strategy for customer retention is a must.
So how do you go about building a strong relationship with your existing clients? Earn a level of loyalty that won’t be shaken when your competitors come calling around renewal time? Well, by maintaining impeccable customer service and support, providing client advocacy, routinely measuring levels of satisfaction with a net promoter score — oh, and producing content. That’s right, content marketing isn’t just about drawing in prospects on a search for valuable information. It can also — and should also — be about providing value to those who already bought into your initial sales pitch.
Let’s take a look at a few key points from Albee’s “B2B Content for Customer Retention Tells a Different Story,” and discuss the basics of providing content that current customers will find valuable.
Lay off the sales pitch.
First and foremost, lay off the sales pitch. Yes, it’s great to create content that begs a question to which your product is the perfect answer, but keep in mind that this type of content does nothing for your current clients. As Albee points out,
Your customer’s existing situation is different (it had better be), because they’ve purchased the solution to their original problem. Therefore, everything you said to them prior to that purchase is now redundant.
Your mission is now completely focused on thought leadership and education, so make sure you’re asking the right questions when approaching the process of content creation. What are your customers’ current goals? Their pain points? Where are they seeing the most value in your product and where can they see more?
Help them see more value.
Once the customer is using and relying upon the original solution, your goal is to help them find even more value than you promised.
Yes, this sometimes means an up sell, but it can also be a matter of simply making sure your clients have a clear understanding of your product and its capabilities. Think about the subtle nuances: quick hints and tips for measuring their success, or simple shortcuts that will save valuable time. A quick blog post with a few helpful pointers can go a long way with your customers.
Conduct case studies.
Each year, when we ask for feedback after our annual user conference, we receive the same response: attendees love hearing about how other businesses are using and benefiting from our product. Showing your clients how others are using your product provides them with new ideas, and hearing success stories from other companies in similar industries can be very inspiring — perhaps all the inspiration they need to sign a renewal contract, even if they have yet to see these results for themselves.
As Albee aptly notes, “Providing value to our customers does not stop with purchase” — and the right content can be of great value. Be sure to check out the original article, and share your own thoughts on creating content for customer retention in our comments below!