Customer retention is vital to any business — you’re more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new customer. In digital marketing, retention is even more critical, since you want to maximize the amount of recurring revenue you’re getting from your clients, not just by getting new ones but by retaining current ones.
Although churn is always going to happen, there are ways to mitigate your churn month over month. Here are a few ways to minimize churn for your agency.
Don’t Focus on One Service — Especially Facebook Ads
Many agencies are “a PPC agency” or “an SEO agency.” In theory, focusing on one platform or service makes it easier to offer that service well: you can focus on becoming an expert in one. However, doing this can actually affect your churn.
Focusing on one service puts you at the mercy of one platform or type of advertising, which can be dangerous. Changes happen in the industry all the time, and you don’t want these changes to affect your agency on a large scale.
Facebook Ads especially is a risky service to focus on right now. With various lawsuits on the horizon for them and the topic of privacy and discrimination coming up more than ever, the platform is going to change; in fact, it’s changing already. Also, Facebook Ads has an average churn rate of 25%. All these factors make Facebook Ads a tricky service to scale.
Conversely, you should look into offering services that have low churn rates. According to Backlinko’s 2019 report, most clients stay with their SEO providers for three years before switching to a different provider or canceling. That’s a lower churn rate than PPC, which industry experts estimate to be about 10-12% (though it’s not confirmed), and much lower than Facebook Ads.
Since SEO is a long-term investment, clients see value in keeping SEO services for longer. Not only do they have to wait a few months to see results, but if you do your job right, they’ll get more and better results the longer they stay with you.
Set The Right Expectations
Setting expectations with your clients is absolutely essential to maintain that relationship and keep them around long-term. If you over-promise to a client in hopes of getting their business and then don’t deliver, you’re going to increase your churn.
Instead, just be honest with them. Even further, give them a reasonable and transparent rundown of what they can expect from, not just the services, but from you, and follow through on those. Are they getting a report every week, or every month? How many changes can they request and when? All these details should be discussed at the outset.
Avoiding client dissatisfaction comes down to setting these expectations correctly and early.
Offer Exceptional Customer Service
Another way to keep clients is to go beyond meeting their expectations and surprise them with exceptional customer service. Ron Kaufman outlines this concept in his Six Levels of Customer Service: clients will probably stay if you do what you promised (run their ads, get them leads and conversions), but they will definitely stay if you give them more.
What is exceptional service? This depends on you and your clients. It may be remembering their birthday, or their families’ birthdays; it may be giving them a gift after they’ve been with you for a number of years; it may be getting on a call to figure out an issue with a campaign even though it’s a Saturday. The question to ask is, what’s going to be valuable to them, and how can you take that to the next level?
A client who’s happy will stay; a client who’s shocked by the level of service you give them will never leave.
Less Churn, Better Service
At the end of the day, you’ll only lower your churn through a combination of these steps and probably a few other things. Focus on serving your clients better through excellent customer service and better digital marketing services and you’ll retain more clients every month and scale your agency faster.