Anytime a customer cuts ties, you experience the negative impact of customer churn. While some churn is a normal part of any business, a high churn rate can cripple the growth of any organization.
It’s important for businesses to understand what contributes to churn in order to address those issues—and ultimately drive customer retention.
Here are 40 stats on customer retention that reinforce the growing need for customer experience management.
Customer Retention by the Numbers
Churn is closely tied to customer satisfaction, and for obvious reasons. Unhappy customers are more likely to leave, and when they do, they take a piece of your business with them. More and more, companies are recognizing just how much customer happiness impacts revenue, and they’re focusing on transforming their customer experience to meet modern expectations.
In fact, last year businesses ranked “create better customer experiences” as their #2 priority for new technology investments, right behind “grow revenue.” There’s a reason companies are pouring funds into improving their customer experience. It’s doesn’t just impact customer loyalty. A great customer experience is a major competitive advantage that drives new sales—and it’s predicted to overtake price and product as the primary brand differentiator for B2B sales by 2020.
Customer experience statistics:
- 67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of the primary reasons for churning. (Kolsky)
- 39% of consumers avoid vendors for over 2 years after having a negative experience. (Zendesk)
- 95% of consumers have taken action as a result of a bad experience… (Zendesk)
- … and of those consumers, 85% wanted to warn others about doing business with the company. (Zendesk)
- 50% of consumers would use a company more frequently after a positive customer experience. (NewVoice)
- 58% of consumers will never use a company again after a negative experience. (NewVoice)
- 86% of consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience. (RightNow)
- 24% of consumers continue to seek out vendors for 2+ years after a positive experience. (Zendesk)
- 95% of consumers share bad experiences with other people. (Zendesk)
- 23% of customers who had a good customer experience told 10+ people. (Harvard Business Review)
- 30% of customers share positive reviews via social media. (Zendesk)
- 63% of consumers read negative reviews via social media. (Zendesk)
- By 2020, customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator. (Walker Info)
- 89% of marketing leaders expect to compete primarily on the basis of customer experience by 2016, compared to just 36% four years ago. (Gartner)
- 50% of product investment projects will be redirected to customer experience innovations by 2017. (Gartner)
Customer service statistics:
- 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction because of a bad service interaction. (American Express)
- 59% of consumers would try a new brand or company for a better service experience. (American Express)
- 58% of consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide excellent customer service. (American Express)
- Following a negative customer interaction, 58% of Americans would never use that company again. (New Voice Media)
- 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service. (Zendesk)
- 85% of consumers churn because of poor service that could have been prevented. (Kolsky)
- 67% of customer churn could be avoided if the business resolved the customer’s issue during their first interaction. (Kolsky)
- 11% of customer churn could be avoided if the business simply reached out to the customer. (Kolsky)
- 55% of consumers say easy access to support and information can make them fall in love with a brand. (RightNow)
- 52% of consumers have purchased more from a company after having a positive customer service experience. (Zendesk)
- 73% of consumers say friendly customer service representatives can make them fall in love with a brand. (RightNow)
- 79% of high-income households avoid vendors for 2+ years after having a bad customer service experience. (Zendesk)
- 45% of women avoid vendors for 2+ years after having a bad customer service experience. (Zendesk)
- 51% of B2B companies avoid vendors after a poor customer service experience. (Zendesk)
- 54% of Generation X avoid vendors for 2+ years after a bad customer service experience. (Zendesk)
- 62% of B2B customers purchased more after a good customer service encounter. (Zendesk)
- 42% of B2C customers purchased more after a good customer service encounter. (Zendesk)
- 66% of B2B customers stopped buying after a bad customer service experience. (Zendesk)
- 52% of B2C customers stopped buying after a bad customer service experience. (Zendesk)
- Only 1% of customers feel their customer service expectations are always met. (RightNow)
Other customer retention statistics:
- Churn can increase by up to 15% if businesses fail to respond to customers over social media. (Gartner)
- Providing customers with short tutorials on product features before hanging up can reduce churn by 6%. (Harvard Business Review)
- A 10% increase in a company’s customer satisfaction score leads to a 12% increase in trust from customers. (Institute of Customer Service)
- Loyal customers are 5x as likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer, and 7x as likely to try a new offering. (Temkin Group)
- 50% of customers naturally churn every 5 years. However, only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain; the rest simply churn. (Kolsky)
How to combat customer churn & boost customer retention
1. Ask your customers for feedback.
No one understands your customer needs better than your customers. If want to boost customer retention, ask for customer feedback—and take real action with it.
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey is a reliable way measure customer loyalty. It asks customers how likely they are to refer your business to others. If you allow for open responses, customers can expand on their rating with specific pain points and suggestions that may give you a fresh perspective.
2. Set and measure customer expectations.
When customer expectations are set and met by your sales and service teams, customers are generally happy. If you’re wondering how to measure your success there, remember that 80% of customer service organizations use customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores as their primary customer experience metric. Though CSAT only reflects a slice of the greater customer journey, it’s a good start.
Ideally, you can create a customer feedback program that sets your CSAT and NPS results alongside your churn rates, so you can draw relationships between the two. This is simple when you integrate surveys with Salesforce. But at the very least, measuring and tracking your CSAT score will encourage the entire company to focus on customer experience and add some visibility to each customer interaction.
3. Always add value with products and services.
Of course, you want your team to have unmatched skills, but you also want your products to walk the talk. If you offer high-quality products and services, you’ll drive customer loyalty. And a big aspect of “quality,” in the customer’s mind, is progress. Make sure your offerings are keeping up with customer expectations. Product surveys can help you do that.
Ask for customer input through product satisfaction surveys and take that feedback to heart. You may find that the majority of their concerns can be addressed with small tweaks. Or maybe customers are asking for a service that’s already on the roadmap. You’ll quickly gain visibility around customer preferences, and you can use that to make future decisions around strategy.
4. Cultivate customer relationships.
Brands are in the business of relationships, not the business of sales. Your customer relationships need to be mutually beneficial. That means customers should feel invested in the future of your organization, just as you do. Encourage customers to surface issues and share feedback on features, functionality, and interactions. And most of all, make it clear that you value their input.
As you involve customers more in your operations, they’ll be more committed to your company’s success. As you succeed, so do they. So the more work you put into understanding and connecting to your customers, the greater your shared success will be.
The numbers don’t lie. The more energy you devote to your customer relationships, the higher your customer retention. The rationale is simple: keeping a loyal customer is typically much cheaper than acquiring a new customer. Plus, loyal customers help grow your customer base organically by referring friends and colleagues. And lastly, every customer you lose is another negative opinion you’re forced to overcome—another customer you’ll have to replace.
It’s nearly impossible to fake a relationship with your customers. A positive customer experience comes from the top, so as a business leader, you have to create a culture of cultivation by devoting resources and strategy to a better customer experience. Once you figure out how to break down the walls between your customers and your business operations, you’ll quickly see that a lot of the answers you’ve needed have been right in front of you all along—you just had to ask.
Learn more about developing an effective customer experience management program with Salesforce. Download the ebook today.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2016. It’s been updated for accuracy and freshness.