This post was sponsored by Accelo. The opinions expressed in this article are those of Sponsor.
Fear is a common collective emotion these days. And it’s no wonder: the mainstream media feeds us alarming content on a daily basis.
In business, you may experience a similar anxiety when comparing your agency’s offerings to larger, lower-cost agencies or powerful technology.
Many of the things that worry you also worry your customers; Some problems are so big that they terminate their contracts with your agency.
The SEO industry has already gone through many changes in 2023.
They face growing demand for data-driven strategies and consulting-like services, as well as increasing competition due to the shift to a virtual agency culture. As such, the thought of higher customer churn could be even scarier than it has been in the past.
Now is not the time to bury your head in the sand.
Instead, the best solution is to understand exactly why your customers think your company is no longer worth working with.
Why do agency customers leave the agency?
The main reason people end their relationships with agencies is that they fear spending money on a service that seems replaceable.
In other words, You are not convinced of the value of your business versus the alternative, which is accessible, SEO-focused technology.
Platforms that help improve SEO are readily available, and your clients may think they can solve their problems in-house.
Instead of working with you, they may assume they can rely on a combination of Moz, Semrush, Similarweb, Ahrefs, Google Analytics, and other popular tools to generate your team’s data and suggestions.
External economic pressures make these low-cost or no-cost options even more attractive.
Add to that the fascinating possibilities of the growing field of AI, and there’s a lot to prove.
Use the following five strategies to curb customer churn despite these challenging trends.
1. Fight the tide with honesty
Remember: behind the discouraging news lies an opportunity.
Consider what happened in 2020, when companies needed to react quickly and decisively to the pandemic or they were left behind. Those who faced the situation with genuine compassion and supported their clients’ emotional and physical health won over their ailing base.
The result? Longer, deeper relationships and greater lifetime value.
The data reflects this truth: The Salesforce 2020 State of the Connected Customer report shows that 90% of customers agree that a company’s behavior in a crisis shows how trustworthy it is.
If your customers are showing signs of churn, you need to clearly communicate the risks of leaving—and the benefits of staying. Consider discussing the following with these at-risk customers.
Inform your customers that by employing a disjointed SEO tech stack instead of our agency, they risk:
- Put your company’s privacy and data security at risk.
- Stay behind on SEO trends and watch your organic traffic suffer.
- Making costly decisions based on poor data analysis.
- Misinterpretation of reports from multiple sources.
- Spend more than you need to collect data – and it may not be valuable.
Remind your customers of this that by working with your team of experts, they will:
- Access to niche expertise they can’t afford in-house.
- Accurate, thoughtful data analysis that platforms alone cannot provide.
- Tailored campaign monitoring that can save you money.
- Sales thanks to new customers who would not otherwise find your company.
- The human creativity factor that can help them overcome unique challenges.
Again, clients will leave agencies if they are not satisfied with the value on offer. Addressing the proverbial elephant in the room can do wonders for their confidence.
2. Show up with dates
Long before your customers seem ready to churn, you should provide concrete data to explain why they should stay.
Your customers want – and deserve – regular and transparent reporting that clearly demonstrates the progress, achievements and impact of your efforts. You need insight into their ROI if you want them to become sources of repeat work.
A simple monthly summary is not enough.
Whether it’s a small increase in organic traffic, better rankings for target keywords, or higher conversions, highlight the most meaningful results.
What numbers speak directly to the results the client shared with you?
- Including a written interpretation of each notable result.
- Invest time in introducing them to the outstanding data.
- Coming up with solutions when things aren’t looking good.
pro tip: Leverage a customer portal to provide access to status updates and reports when needed.
3. Offer Confirmation
In addition to clear added value, customers also want attention.
They stay with the people who make them feel seen and valued. If you’ve been under similar pressures as your customers, chances are you haven’t prioritized building customer loyalty.
Sometimes perks and discounts are enough; In other cases, it’s more frequent check-ins. And not every customer is the same.
For a high-value customer, a personalized thank you in the form of an additional service or report might be more necessary.
Pro tip: Determine what your customers need by carefully considering their ad hoc requests. Stay on top of things by using a centralized, integrated ticketing platform.
4. Education and Support
When your customers feel like you’re doing some secret work behind closed doors, they’re less likely to believe you’re doing something they can’t do themselves.
Not only do you need to be transparent about how much and what type of work you do, but it can also be helpful to educate them about SEO and the different aspects that apply to their business.
You can host a series of webinars, create an informative email campaign, or offer an exclusive opportunity to ask questions from an industry expert. Offer them with a confident authority and generosity.
Pro tip: Make renewals less of a decision point. Leverage Accelo’s unique Retainers product to automate royalty billing and clearly demonstrate the value you provide in each billing cycle.
Have you thought about serving the people who are best suited to your services?
Churn rates are often higher when you’re struggling to retain customers who aren’t a good fit for your business.
While your team may be able to improve everyone’s organic traffic, you shouldn’t necessarily be working with just anyone.
5. Show your value with less effort
Slow down churn from your agency with the in-house use of technology that supports your value creation. Your customers might be tempted to take matters into their own hands by concocting a haphazard mix of technologies, but they’re probably confused about which platforms are worth trying.
This is an opportunity to reassure them that you will take that burden off their shoulders.
Your team will make decisions about how to use the technology in the way that will help them the most.
That means don’t limit your technology to just generating SEO data, but find platforms that help increase the speed and improve the quality of your service delivery to a degree that your customers will notice.
Offer the benefits of Smart Tech by Proxy with an automated end-to-end client work management platform.
Every moment your team can save on mundane tasks is another moment they can use for valuable customer interactions that increase the perceived value of your business.
Pro tip: The transparency Accelo offers, especially the Activity Stream, ensures that you are fast and accurate in all customer communication.
Don’t let your customers get overwhelmed with reproducing your services. Take ownership of the value you provide and get unmatched, efficient support with Accelo.
Janya Anderson, Chief Improvement Officer at Pure SEO says, “Accelo has transformed what’s possible for our business today and in the future.”
Find out why Janya and other SEO agency leaders love the platform: Start a free trial or sign up for a demo to learn how Accelo can help reduce customer churn and increase profits.
Featured Image: By Accelo. Used with permission.