Customer attrition hurts the bottom line, but an online engagement strategy that’s targeted at addressing the concerns of unhappy customers can help you stem cancellations. Follow these tips to keep your customers coming back:

Identify common complaints. If you haven’t done so already, survey your customer service center to find out the biggest source of complaints.  In most cases, 80 percent of complaints focus on only a handful of issues.  Next, deploy e-sales agents on the Web pages where those issues arise.  For instance, if customers contact your customer service department with shipping complaints, add a call button on your shipping page in the checkout process.

Engage customers who opt to cancel service. If visitors cancel service via your website, consider inserting an extra step in the cancellation process, one that invites visitors to interact with a sales agent who is skilled in rescuing customers.  In a surprising number of cases, customers cancel a service because they don’t know how to use it, or they aren’t aware that it offers the features that they want.  In other cases, the customer needs to be down-sold to a less expensive plan.  Be sure to have forms and e-signature capabilities at-the-ready to process the down-selling requests.

Address product frustration with multimedia support. Too many customers give-in to frustration and opt to return a product, when all they really need is for someone to show them how things work. Have images, product videos, or a live video feed available so that your agents can show customers how to use the product or service they would like to cancel or return.  For software vendors, a remote-access application can let e-service agents to take over a visitor’s computer. This is a critical capability if, for instance, the customer hasn’t installed the software correctly and doesn’t understand how to fix the problem.

E-businesses cannot be passive about attrition. By reaching out to unhappy customers in meaningful ways, organizations can maintain relationships – and revenue – that would otherwise disappear.