How to Retain At-Risk Customers When Everyone is At-Risk

The continuing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 challenge is likely creating anxiety among your customers, just as it may be within your own enterprise. Your customers need to hear the voice of a leader right now, with a clear, practical plan for the times ahead.

The scale of the current health crisis may be unparalleled, but we have all dealt with the challenge of how to retain at-risk customers before, even if there may be more of them than usual at the moment. Those best practices still apply, but they should be presented with an emphasis on the need to prepare for the future and for an alternative means of getting there.

You need to deliver that message with clarity and certainty.

Become a Leader to Your Customers

Everyone wants to support their customers during this time of crisis–after all, our own futures depend on their continued growth. We’ve put together a COVID-19 Customer Engagement toolkit to help during this challenging time. Here are a few ways you can start helping your customers today:

  1. Promote Digital Resources
  2. Maintain Communication
  3. Segment Your Customers by COVID-19 Impact
  4. Lean on Win-Back Strategies
  5. Manage Customer Goals
  6. Set Up Alerts

Remember, these are difficult days, but they are not end days. Your preparation for a post-COVID-19 future begins today as you work to reassure and retain at-risk customers.

1. Promote Digital Resources

Promote your digital services and resources so that you can maintain an intimate product partnership, and make sure your resources provide customers value. Offer a way for customers to connect with a community to share tips and resources. Create webinars that discuss real issues facing customers as well as potential solutions for those pain points. Produce video tutorials to highlight updates and new solutions. Provide detail within these resources wherever possible and make yourself a point of calm and reliable advice amid the chaos.

2. Maintain Communication

Not only should you offer valuable digital resources to customers, you should continue to maintain regular contact with your customers while they remain at risk of churn. Be it through high-touch video and audio calls or low-touch email campaigns, now is the time to offer personalized, proactive engagement that provides your customers value.

Conversation at a time of crisis is about finding a match between your customer’s challenges and your potential solutions. But do not wait to be invited in for a chat. Use your knowledge of the customer’s current status on their product journey and their recent behavior to prompt them with potential improvements. Perhaps an as-yet accessed product feature or combination of features could now be of benefit in a changing business climate. Be willing to offer solutions before the customer realizes they need to ask for one.

3. Segment Your Customers by COVID-19 Impact

Segmenting your customers into groups based on the characteristics they share is important for customer success even at the best of times. When faced with a challenge like COVID-19, segmentation becomes a necessity. Your customers will be presented with very different scenarios under current conditions. Some will be forced to scale back dramatically, such as those that supply the hospitality industry, while others may be presented with opportunities for rapid expansion, like the tech industries that power remote work. Use a Customer Success platform that allows you to build out segments of customers so you can respond with relevance and insight to every customer looking to you for leadership.

4. Lean on Your Win-Back Strategies

Events like the COVID-19 pandemic are the proverbial rainy days you had in mind when you drafted those win-back campaigns and scenarios. Now is time to put them into full effect. The current economic challenges make the causes of potential churn easier to understand than they would have been otherwise.

Customers presented with cash flow stresses due to current events will appreciate payment flexibility, perhaps in the form of temporarily waived or reduced account fees. Meanwhile, those trying to keep pace with a huge surge in demand, such as those providing services for remote workers, may need you to rapidly supply additional features or licenses. Whatever solution you pursue, remember to keep your own enterprise viable. You won’t retain at-risk customers if you can’t operate from a position of strength.

5. Manage Customer Goals and Ambitions

There is a future beyond COVID-19, it is just going to take some reevaluation in order to maximize its potential. That’s why it is important to revisit the goals and long-term ambitions you established with your customer at the beginning of their product journey. Chances are they have changed and you need to be prepared to help them reach their new goals.

You can do your part by offering features and training that provide alternate approaches to the customer’s business within the current changing landscape. Be clear about what has changed and how and where you can provide increased assistance.  Make sure that you are both aligned on your goals and have a way to collaborate and track next steps

6. Set Up Alerts Based on Customer Behavior

Your Customer Success software has a vital role to play in tracking customer health during the COVID-19 experience. With potentially your entire customer base going through a period of rapid change, you will need to pay close attention to customer behavior. First, though, you may need to recalibrate your customer health scores and playbooks; in this changing business environment, you may need to take other types of data into consideration when evaluating health. Your Customer Success software should be able to collect data from a range of sources and make it available to any team member who needs it. 

Your software should provide you with an early-warning system that triggers next steps, such as automated emails, notifying a CSM when customer health metrics reach certain levels. In the midst of an unpredictable event like COVID-19, you want to know about the first signs of change within your customers’ businesses so that you have time to react effectively. Comprehensive Customer Success software lets you identify problems and quickly implement solutions for struggling customers while offering additional opportunities for growing customers.

Retain At-Risk Customers with Action Through a Customer Success Platform

Your authentic voice is what your customers need right now and it is important that you have something to say. This is a time for action. Enterprises that step forward with a clear plan have a better chance at retaining at-risk customers through the COVID-19 challenge.

The technical advantages of your Customer Success software and best practices can allow you to become a leader to your customers. Never has it ever been so clear that your enterprise’s future depends on the success and growth of your customers. With the right Customer Success platform, you can fight fear with proactive action.

Totango’s customer success solution lets you work alongside your customers during this time of uncertainty. Explore Spark to find out how you can be proactive with your customers. Get started for free and access our COVID-19 Customer Engagement toolkit to maximize your ability to be a leader to your customers.

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