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Owing to the rise in the use of digital media and various advertising platforms, there has been a massive increase in the number of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) adopting online advertising. Since Google offers the most comprehensive online ad solution in the world, it was not surprising that many of them opted for Google AdWords, resulting in Google needing to support an increasing number of customers each month.
Having SMB advertisers in the millions, scaling up the existing process of contacting them in step with the burgeoning base and providing the required support proved challenging, if not prohibitively expensive. As a result, the less-than-optimally-supported customers were not able to fully benefit from Google AdWords, and often either reduced spend or abandoned the service altogether.
It was at this point that Google engaged Regalix to deliver the necessary level of support to its SMB advertiser base, with the goal of helping the advertisers derive value from their spend, and thus reduce customer churn.
Regalix started by diving deep into the problems that SMB customers faced in getting value out of their investment in AdWords, and found two key problems. One, being unfamiliar with the platform, customers were not using most of the features that the platform offered to effectively advertise to their end customers. Two - and this was crucial - the customers were not getting support when they needed it, even though Google had an aggressive program to reach out to new and old customers. We realized that if we could solve the second problem -- reaching out to customers when they needed help -- it would solve the first problem, too. The challenge was predicting who needed help, and when.
Regalix undertook a thorough investigation of past situations where advertisers had needed help, to come up with indications -- new or old account, login history, spend trend, conversions and the like -- that could reliably be used in the future to pre-empt similar situations. A platform was built to continually parse millions of accounts for these signals and deliver a prioritized list of high- and medium-risk accounts (that is, accounts where customer satisfaction was low, and the likelihood of customer churn high). The platform even gave recommendations of what help could be offered to customers, based on what had worked in similar situations in the past.
It became evident that at any time (in a quarter) only a small percentage of accounts needed help. A program was initiated to proactively reach out to advertisers based on the prioritized list from the platform, with the recommendations that would work for them. We set up account management teams in locations across the world to connect with them. We put in place over 450 professionals servicing businesses across the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South-East Asia, and India.
Before connecting with the advertisers, our teams studied each customer to understand their business. Our recommendations varied from optimizing websites for content, rethinking budgets and restructuring ad campaigns, to using alternate keywords, running remarketing and shopping programs, tracking conversions and analytics linking.
Our teams would then follow up with customers to review performance and check if the implemented changes had delivered the desired results.
In the three quarters after beginning the engagement, CSAT of Google's SMB customers increased to 95%, and churn rate reduced by more than 70%. These metrics translated into growth in ad revenue for Google and a satisfied customer base. Lastly, since the focus was on providing pre-emptive support for at-risk customers, the cost of support reduced by more than 50%.