How to Conduct an Internal Customer Retention Audit

When’s the last time you signed up for your own emails? Your own subscription? Have you had your products shipped to you recently to experience the journey as a customer?

I do this for brands day in and day out, and there are so many snags I hit again and again. Those little moments are huge for your customers, and they’re tough to catch if you aren’t consistently auditing your own CX.

Here's the bite-sized version of my process. Run through this checklist, and I promise you'll find something to improve on.

High-Level Retention:

  • Is there a retention mindset throughout your entire company?
  • Is there a cross-departmental focus on the customer journey?
  • What are the values and deep motivations your brand stands for?
  • Is your brand messaging consistent? Does it explore your deeper values?
  • Does the messaging stay consistent throughout the entire experience?
  • Do you value the customer experience above all else?
  • How well do you know your customers? Do you know the stories they are living?

Paid Advertising:

  • Are you prospecting with a retention mindset?
  • Does your ad tell the customer what problem in their life it’s solving?
  • Does the creative and copy speak to brand values?
  • Does it make your customer the hero, or your brand the hero?
  • Does it feature your hero product?
  • Are you leading with your hero product?
  • Are you using intentional up-sell/cross-sell campaigns to increase LTV?
  • Are you factoring in your 60-day LTV when determining what your CAC target is?
  • Are you excluding existing customers from paid campaigns?
  • When remarketing, are you running copy/creative that will IMPROVE the brand experience?
  • Founder videos
  • How-to videos
  • User generated content

Important Emails and Channels:

  • Welcome flows (newsletter subscribers)
  • Site abandonment flows
  • Abandoned Cart flows
  • Post-purchase flows
  • Content emails vs. Product emails- what’s the balance between these?
  • Transactional emails: Upcoming delivery, dunning, password reset, etc. Are these messages speaking to your brand? Are they a positive experience?
  • Bonus: SMS- does it add to the experience or detract from it? Do all your channels work together to create a holistic (positive) experience?
  • Social media: Does it speak to your brand narrative? Are you connecting with customers and leads? Is there an active conversation happening?

Experiences to test:

  • How’s that unboxing/delivery process?
  • Are you educating on the product?
  • Does your customer understand *how* to use it when they get it?
  • What happens when there are issues with delivery?
  • What happens if a recurring charge fails?
  • Is the brand standard upheld in CS interactions?

Bonus Retention-Drivers to Consider:

  • Loyalty program- do you have one? Is it working?
  • Subscription management/account management- how is it? Is it easy, clear, and enjoyable?
  • Referrals- would you refer based on the communication from your brand?
  • Upsells/Cross-sells- are you doing them? Do they feel natural?
  • Surprise and delight- are you wowing your customers?

Remember: The brands who will win this year are the ones who have an unrelenting focus on customer experience.

Run this bb audit, you might be surprised by the things you catch! Enjoy :)