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Fight customer churn with UX writing

Building a great user experience is one thing, but developing an ongoing strategy? That’s quite another. Read: really, really difficult.

  • How UX writing influences attrition
  • Case studies that prove the point
  • Proven strategies to reduce high churn
Source: ProfitWell

What is churn?

Also known as attrition, churn is a percentage of customers who stop purchasing from a company. In other words, it’s about people who break up with your business.

Source: Baremetrics
  • Lower client retention: 1 in every 26 churned customers leave a bad review, which tanks ratings and word of mouth (WOM) marketing
  • Expensive maintenance: It costs five times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one

The importance of good UX

If you focus on your users, their behaviors, and their feedback, you already know how to make user experience a priority. The ultimate goal of any UX writer is to:

  • Make navigation easy
  • Help customers get going
  • Boost engagement
Source: UX Collective

How good copy influences churn

As a UX writer, every word you write needs to mean something. It will either help consumers understand their investment, or it will frustrate them into leaving for good. If you’re willing to find the sweet spot between short and sweet, you’ll be able to see the true power of writing: an anti-churn-making machine.

Churn case studies

Between dropping signups and falling online reviews, high churn rates are grim indicators of a downward spiral. But not all companies fall victim to attrition, and they have the writing strategies to prove it.

Source: GrooveHQ
Source: Vilmate

Strategies for lowering churn rates

We’ve looked at the reasoning behind the strategy, and we’ve outlined some companies who’ve made it work. Now we’re going to take a closer look at the practical strategies you can use to stop churn before it occurs.

Identify metrics

Like GrooveHQ, you have to know who you’re writing for (and why). Look for missing links, or holes in the basket if you will. You can’t plug them all, but you can certainly go after the biggest ones!

  • Aim for an 8th-grade writing standard (the simpler the better)
  • Go for clear and concise, not verbose

Content creation

The content you make should be all about your user. Ask yourself what you’d like to see as a first-timer on your own platform. Go with your gut and revise from there.

  • Go for ‘valuable,’ not ‘filler’
  • Keep your established brand voice in mind (do you have a style guide yet?)

Tech solutions

Not all of your customers are technologically oriented, so do what you can to make their understanding of your product a little more holistic. Remember: users don’t need every detail. Just enough to get oriented.

  • When writing about tech, use as many layman terms as possible
  • Don’t oversimplify, just be straightforward

Microcopy

Microcopy is a huge part of UX, and for good reason. According to Google I/O ’17, just changing two words can create a 17% increase in engagement. If you want less churn, start small.

  • Make it easy for users to read quick tips or tutorials
  • Cut redundancy and soft copy

Community feedback

Create surveys that provide insight into what your customers really think, from emails and in-app questionnaires to social media polls. You might be surprised by what you learn.

  • Provide feedback forms on-site or in-app
  • Reach out to at-risk ‘churners’ for how you can help

Where do you go from here?

I won’t pretend that stopping churn is easy. It takes a lot of work to slow down that rolling boulder, and if you’re not committed to the cause, it’s just not going to work.