Don’t they know you care? Couldn’t you have saved them? Perhaps. But account management is like a game of cat-and-mouse: Customers only surface when they need something. And when it’s time to renew, they’re often nowhere to be found.
To bust through their inbox and create a reciprocal relationship, try video.
1. Use video to engage while you educate
When your customers need help, they need it fast. Offering them FAQs, long emails, or phone calls in a crisis is like offering them a textbook just minutes before an exam. Be a better teacher and create a help video library. It places customers at the front of the class where they learn faster and recall information more readily. The remarkable explanatory power of video allows reps who send them to resolve questions quickly—often on the first response—which opens the door to an ongoing conversation about other things. (Ahem, renewal.)
Now we know what you’re thinking: Sounds great, but I don’t have time to prepare an entire video library!
Oh, but you do—the #1 most important factor in customer loyalty is reduction of customer effort, which means you’ll need to increase your own. Spread the work across your team to create videos for onboarding, troubleshooting, and frequently asked questions that’ll save you countless hours going forward. Then arm your reps with the way to send personalized How-To clips.
Millennials who prefer personalized communications have a 28% higher brand loyalty than those who do not—so add a dash of personalized video.
2. Come up with a compelling reason to reach out
And by compelling, we mean beneficial to the customer. If you rarely engage them, renewal time can feel like getting a flood of “Let’s hang” texts from a person you met once at a party last year.
Since most customers churn without a peep, reaching out regularly to understand what’s working (and what isn’t) about your product is one of your best safeguards against churn.
Here are some reasons for your customers to reconnect with you:
Follow up on feature requests
Feature request follow-ups cut straight to what customers care about—their own experience. If you’re diligent enough to keep notes on who’s asked for what, there’s no better opportunity to reach out. And if you haven’t kept track, start.
More than half of U.S. consumers are loyal to brands that keep them on the cutting edge by consistently offering the latest products and services. As your product team reveals their roadmap, pass it along. They’ll appreciate that you recognize their needs.
Follow up after technical issues/outages
Have any bugs recently beset your customers? Get personal and apologize. It may seem counterintuitive to remind them of the bad stuff right before their renewal, but it’s better than silence. The most compelling apologies have six elements, including an acknowledgement of responsibility and an explanation of what went wrong. If you nail these two, you get a shot at earning their respect and perhaps start a conversation.
And, reach out even if the bug wasn’t yours. Data privacy is a hot topic right now and more than half of consumers cited breaking up with a brand after a data breach. Capitalize on their need to feel safe by letting them know you’ve beefed up security.
Help them solve a problem
Every customer is struggling with something. As their account manager, you probably have access to a wealth of information about what they want. Look back at the sales handoff notes or onboarding transcripts and send them relevant research and reports, even if it’s not related to what you do. These are great as ‘flowers for no reason’ touches and might get your foot in the door. To maximize your chance of a response, ask if they’ve read something but ‘forget’ to include the attachment or link.
Every outreach needs an inspired CTA to reel busy customers in.
3. Get personal with video
When customers go quiet, it can be tempting to pack a hodgepodge of “Let’s connect soon” sentiments into an email that’s so radioactive with worry recipients never touch it.
Make yourself harder to ignore and send whatever you have to say in video. A well-lit video of your welcoming face that expresses genuine interest and excitement about something important to them lightens the mood.
Not convinced? Research indicates one-third of U.S. consumers are loyal to brands that engage them in “multi-sensory” experiences. While most videos your team creates will be a far cry from virtual reality, the dynamic nature of any video is capable of making customers feel like they’re somewhere else—in this case, face to face.
Pro tip: Optimize for mobile and keep videos 60 seconds or less where possible.
4. Expand within the account — send videos to stakeholders, influencers, even accounting
Everyone knows it costs less to retain existing customers than to acquire new ones, but here’s something you may not have considered: Video is a scalable way to showcase your most relevant offerings to everyone inside the business.
Use regularly scheduled meetings with existing customers to suss out new cross-team initiatives. Based on what you learn, create and send relevant mini-demo videos for your customer to pass along to other teams to see how they might use your service too. And if all else fails, send a personal introduction video to their accounting department introducing yourself as their point of contact. If you can get a conversation going, find out whether they expect to renew.
The bottom line
To renew modern customers, you don’t just have to anticipate their needs and beat them to the punch: You have to break through their overcrowded inbox too. With video, you have one more powerful tool to engage those who have gone dark or are at great risk.
If you commit to more personal support, perhaps they’ll commit to you too.