Increasing your customer life-time value is necessary if you want to build a lasting profitable business.
Growing an agency business is extremely hard. Competition is ferocious and there are too many opportunities to screw up.
We’ve noticed that even when eCommerce agencies earn clients their customer life time value is really low.
And here’s why:
Why Do Most eCommerce Agencies Struggle With Low Customer Lifetime Value?
The first reason might be that they might not have enough clients. But the most obvious one is that they simply don’t earn enough from each client.
A.k.a. your average customer life time value is low.
Here are the following 2 reasons why you’re not earning enough from each customer:
Low Monthly Recurring Fees
Your clients are simply not paying you much on average. The reason is because you provide only 1 service to them – either web design, support or SEO.
By doing that you are limiting yourself from the revenue that you can earn if you upsell them some other services that might be valuable to them.
You’re make your clients happier and you will earn more money at the same time. So it’s a win-win situation.
Imagine that you’re offering SEO services to your eCommerce client for $5,000/month.
If you upsell him conversion rate optimization for another $5,000/month you will be making $10,000/month.
You can also add to that additional one-time services – like the creation of a mobile app. And later on add even more upsells – like conversion optimization for the mobile app as well.
Low Customer Retention
Getting new customers is hard but losing them is easy. And costly.
It’s hard to build a profitable business if your clients are staying only for a few months. You will need to find a way to increase your customer retention rate and that will result in increase in your customer lifetime value as well.
Imagine the following: your average client is paying you $1,000 and he stays on average for 3 months.
If you manage to keep him longer – for 6 months, that will bring you $6,000. Or twice as much.
Solution 1: Upsell Additional Services
The service that you upsell should be always related to what you’re already offering to your client.
It could be one or more of the following:
Search engines are one of the primary source for traffic for most eCommerce stores.
For most of them it is extremely important to rank well in Google. More organic traffic means more sales.
To sell this effectively you can offer your clients a free SEO audit. Then you can offer them the option to implement the changing on recurring bases so they can increase their traffic.
Additionally, to SEO you can also upsell them SEM. Most eCommerce sites are combining SEO with Adwords in order to maximize results.
Social Media Marketing –
Social media are one of the best ways to find and engage eCommerce customers.
At the same time, social media marketing requires detailed knowledge, consistency and effort that is a problem for a lot of stores.
By managing their profiles, increase their reach, engaging their audience and directing that traffic to their site.
eCommerce companies need help with both their content strategy, promoting their products and setting up ads.
The platforms that matter the most for them are:
You can choose to upsell them just one channel that matter to them, several or all of them. In all cases, multi-channel engagement will work better.
Conversion optimization – most eCommerce sites have extremely low conversion rates and that’s one of the key reasons why they struggle to generate the revenue that they want.
Increasing their conversion rate even by 1% will make a huge difference for them.
You can do conversion analysis for them where you identify the main conversion killers and propose strategies to overcome them.
You can also:
- Perform A/B and multi-funnel testing
- Deal with shopping cart abandonment
- Setup their email campaigns and marketing automation
Design/ UX –
eCommerce sites are always making design changes – they make new banners, landing pages, buttons, etc.
For that they often need help from outside companies that they can trust. You can easily upsell them these services if you have the capabilities.
Hosting & Technical Support –
eCommerce sites make changes all the time – they add features, change functionality, integrate new tools or simply change how a page looks like.
For that they need the help of serious front and backend developers.
Mobile Apps –
Mobile commerce is the future of the commerce and online retailers need to adopt to that.
Many struggle to sell to their mobile users and have low conversion rates because they fail to developer the best possible experience to make it easier for them to buy.
Most of the competition already have a mobile app for their store. So this is another reason to build one.
The good news is that building eCommerce mobile apps today is easier than ever before.
Back in the days you should have spent a lot of time and resources into creating native apps for each platform – iOS, Android, Windows, etc.
It is even easier and cheaper if you’re using Mofluid.
Mofluid automatically converts your Magento shop into a mobile app for both Android and iOS.
You can additionally customize your theme according to the store’s branding, integrate it with your website, manage products within the app and so on.
As an agency you can join our partner program and get access to additional benefits such as:
- Discounted rates
- Multi-domain licenses to launch unlimited mobile apps
- White-label services
- Direct communication with our developers and priority premium support
- Partner-specific updates and access to source code
Keep in mind that in order to upsell a service to your client you don’t need to have the internal capabilities.
You can easily outsource that to freelancers or partner with other agencies. A lot of them will be glad to do the job for you.
Solution 2: Increase Customer Retention
Keeping your customers in the longer might turn out be a really hard task.
There are endless opportunities to screw things up and there is always another agency that can take your place.
To increase your customer retention rate you should do the following:
Set Expectations In Advance –
A lot of the times customers leave because you set too high expectations and you didn’t deliver on them.
Even if you did a great job but your results underperformed the set expectations your client will be unhappy. This by itself puts you in danger of losing him.
That’s why it’s extremely important to understand in advance what you can deliver and promise just that.
It’s better to even “under promise” and “over deliver”.
Of course, you need don’t want to set the bar to low because that way you won’t be able to sell your service to the client. But it’s good to have a balance and to set realistic goals.
Provide Great Services –
In order to provide great service first you need to understand the goals of your customer, his pain points, struggles, desires, etc. This will allow you to create strategy that better fits his needs.
Then make sure you execute with excellence on your strategy. Talk regularly with your team and how out on the progress.
Be sure to identify and fix problems early on.
Once suggestion is to implement SCRUM across all projects as this will allow you to move things more smoothly.
Communicate Results –
Sometime you might provide a great service for your client but if you don’t show him that, he might never know.
If fact, he might believe you never did anything. That’s why it’s super important to communicate all results that you brought to the business of your client.
Show him how your efforts are contributing to the overall picture.
Show him how search rankings are changing over time for which keywords he ranks and how this affects the traffic that he generates.
Communicate Regularly –
A lot of the times losing customers can be avoided if you simply listen to them and understand their current point of view.
The best way to do that is to schedule calls and meeting regularly. At least twice per month to discuss current projects, future plans, etc.
Let them know you’re working hard and that you care about bringing results.
Another way is to send them surveys and ask them about their satisfaction.
Ask and listen to their complaints. Treat them as gifts. They are telling you exactly what they don’t like and what you can change.
And showing that you’re ready to listen will make a huge difference.
Do some research. Find out what applications and softwares top businesses are using for customer success.
Educate Your Customers –
By educating your customer you’re allowing him to make smarter decisions. And he will thank you for that.
He will also view that as a huge bonus to the standard service you’re offering him and he’ll appreciate it.
Another good point to do this is that he will better understand what you’re doing for him and how this can impact his business in a positive way.
Make It Easier For The Customer To Work With You –
eCommerce owners are busy. They have million things to do and the reason why they decided to outsource their service to you is because they don’t have the time to deal with it.
So always value the time of your client. Don’t react out to him too often and show him that you can work independently.
Contact him only when you need his feedback and approval to move to the next stage.
Simplify this process by explaining him everything and the pros and cons of all options. That way it will be easier for him to make a decision.
Respond Faster –
A lot of the times eCommerce clients might need something that’s urgent. Or might have a big problem.
Imagine that they suddenly have new products for which they need to design promotional banners. Or Google made big changes to their algorithm and they lost 30% of their organic traffic.
When this happens the client will someone to respond as soon as possible and start working on solving the issue.
He must know that he can trust you. And when you delay your response in a crisis situation he might decide to stop working with you.
Identify Problems Proactively –
eCommerce clients extremely value agencies that proactively identify and report problems. Even if it’s not their job to do so.
That way they know they have someone on their side who is constantly checking if everything is ok.
Imagine that you check out occasionally the website for your client and you suddenly realize that his new order form is not working.
By contacting him and telling him about this you will save him a lot of lost sales. This will make him really appreciate your services.
No matter what you do, you will always lose customers. This is just part of business.
But what you can do is – you can optimize your eCommerce agency business to keep your best and most profitable customers.
You can upsell them other services that they need and that way you will make them even happier.
And at the same time you will increase your customer lifetime value and your profit.
Vibhav Gaur is the Vice President at Ebizon, a Retail & ECommerce technology consulting company with specialized solutions in Ecommerce, Mobile Commerce, Chat(bot) and IOT.
Connect with him on Linkedin