How do you keep your customers?

How do you do it? I was racking my brain trying to think of the perfect, targeted, most helpful and least annoying method…but then I though, “Why don’t I have the readers do my work for me?” :-)

Well, I should ask this question in context.

We offer a free, 30-day trial for our Easy-Bill and Easy-Book products. This is standard procedure for many smbiz. Without big-name brand recognition, we want to try it before we buy it and a free trial is a great way to strut your stuff. But what happens after those 30 days? What happens during those 30 days?

A quick walk around the Internet reveals a 1 percent trial-to-purchase conversion rate – the arbitrary industry average for software. Unless the product is outrageously priced, 1 percent can be disheartening.

Some firms are pretty tactful. I signed up for a free trial at an e-mail marketing site and I received a non-automated phone call the next day (talk about one-on-one customer service)! Other smbiz send regular e-mail updates with “What other people are saying about our product” and “How to…” tips. The key seems to be beginning a conversation as a¬†first step. But how much is too much?

For example, I signed up to receive some e-mail information about classes at the University of Phoenix. This company has certainly ramped up its advertising and moved closer to the front of our minds in general. I received the information, but for some reason, they call me at least three times a day. I haven’t answered my phone since the first time, just to see how long they’ll keep up their customer retention strategy :-)

So how do you keep your customers from leaving after that trial period? E-mails? Surveys? Demos? Phone-calls? Those deceiving letters in the mail that looks

like someone handwrote the address in beautiful cursive, but it’s really junk mail? Let us know!

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