You need to keep your customers
You worked hard to identify a problem, design and build a solution, and win paying customers.
The market is a crowded place and the odds are that your solution is not the only option available. You have the opportunity to stand above the competition by being a company that your customers love.
The retention scale
Every interaction your customer has with your product and company shifts them either to the left or right along the retention scale.
On the left end of the spectrum is a customer who leaves and tells their colleagues to never work with you. On the right end of the spectrum is a customer who not only pays for and uses your product, but also evangelizes it. Your most important job is to keep your customers as far to the right as possible.
Losing <--------------------------> Winning
Building a company your customers love starts with the founders and filters through every single aspect of your company. Marketing copy, landing page design, social media posts, product UX, checkout flows, documentation, support, and even how you manage and communicate with your own team. All of these inputs aggregate to how each and every customer sees your company and helps them decide whether maintaining the relationship is a worthwhile expenditure of their time, money, or both.
Don't fall into the maybe trap (or why sales comes second)
Sales gets all the attention. Seeing a "+1" added to your customer count looks great, but if you are not retaining your existing customers, you will fail. Yes, you have to market to and acquire new customers, but you must focus on serving your current customers. Don't be distracted by people who might be your customers or the dollar you might earn tomorrow. I operate under the core belief that focusing on serving existing customers not only sustains your business in both the short and long-term, but also actually simplifies new customer acquisition.
Customers earn you more customers
This is generally considered a good thing and at this point is almost a cliché or truism. But these statements become cliché for a reason. Customers are the highest ROI form of marketing available. Continue to serve your customers well, win more customers through word-of-mouth and social proof, repeat. Customers that love your company will pay you money then tell their friends about your company. It's just what people do.
Your customers bet on you
Your primary focus is to serve the customers who have bet on you to solve a problem. The money those customers have already spent or are going to spend is real and in your hands to win or lose. Just as my childhood teacher Yoda once admonished his star pupil, "...still looking to the horizon. Never here, now, hmm? The need in front of your nose..." you must focus on the opportunity you have right in front of you. You put in the work to get customers, now keep them.
Get your mind right - don’t reduce churn, increase stay
If you are focusing on preventing customers from churning, uninstalling, not renewing, or whatever other usage or revenue metric you are tracking, you have the wrong mindset. In the world of customer retention, as with most things in life and business, optimism and positivity yield far greater results than negativity. You need to be relentless in your pursuit of keeping your customers. Don't reduce churn - increase stay.
Do you have thoughts on retention, churn, and keeping your customers?
I'd love to hear from you. @thepeffrey. DMs open.