Customer retention is a big deal for our SEO resellers. It is a great deal of work to locate and sell to a potential client. Once you bring somebody on board the challenge then shifts to keeping them as a long-term customer. And in the SEO business this can be a big challenge. We hear all the time from our SEO resellers that their customers are being solicited every day by numerous firms who are trying to break into this space. The question is invariably the same, what more can we do to retain these customers and keep them jumping ship?
The first thing we tell an SEO reseller is that business results are always the most important thing. If you can do a good job your customers they will stay with you. This of course, assumes your pricing is reasonable. If you do a good job and you over charge for your services you will probably lose customers to a lower-cost option. So our primary focus is always on the execution of our SEO services. If our SEO can be better than anyone else's we will keep these customers, on average.
There is a bigger issue, however, having to do with customers who don't perceive the value of what you are doing for them. Even if you are offering the best search engine optimization service around, and your prices are extremely reasonable, they may still not understand what they're getting. This is a somewhat unique problem in the search engine optimization industry because the product is so new. It has not yet become commoditized to the point where people completely understand it and can find the same service in many places. As much as it may not feel that way to an SEO reseller, SEO is still a very new industry. As in any new industry, there is confusion about what you are buying and the value proposition. This makes customer retention more difficult.
The successful SEO reseller will recognize that the customer needs to be educated in addition to delivering excellent SEO services. Customers want expert advice when they outsource SEO. One of the ways we try to educate our customers is by using high levels of communication and leveraging our technology to demonstrate exactly what we are doing for them on a day-to-day basis. Recently we introduced a feature that will e-mail daily alerts showing the customer exactly how many clicks into their website via Google and other search engines. We show them the specific keywords in the number of visits for that day, or weekly if they prefer. This is an outstanding way to constantly remind them of the potential leads you are bringing to their website through SEO. And for our SEO resellers we do this under their logo and from their e-mail address.
Another intriguing feature we have implemented for our SEO reseller program recently is to summarize the amount of money the customer would have paid if they had bought all their organic traffic through PPC. This is another attempt to educate the customer and help the SEO reseller make their case for our staying on the SEO plan long-term. We have found that it is not that hard to demonstrate the value of the traffic our search engine optimization is creating when summarizing in these financial terms. This creates an outstanding business case and helps the customer understand the value of what they are paying for in very simple terms.
As any business book will tell you, the cost of retaining a customer is much lower than the cost of new customer acquisition. Particularly in the SEO reseller space, this is a big concern because there are many new competitors racing in to solicit your customers over to their search engine optimization offerings. With an uneducated buyer it is very hard for them to discern which plans have more value, which can lead to customer churn. For these reasons you need to use all the tools at your disposal and leverage your SEO technology to constantly remind the customer of the value they are receiving from your search engine optimization efforts.