5 Effective Strategies for Customer Retention
There are countless studies that suggest that retaining current loyal customers is far and away more valuable and cost-effective than exhausting all your efforts to find new ones. And yet, too many businesses don’t give their loyal customers the benefits they deserve. Profitability tends to increase over time for a long-retained customer, which should be incentive enough, but there are also studies that show that acquiring a new customer can be five to seven times more expensive than keeping an old one.
It’s also worth noting that 68% of loyal customers switch brands because they’re unhappy with service.
Don’t lose your loyal customers. Take these tips into consideration – though you might not think it’s true, you’ll reap the benefits as much as your long-time customers will.
Set Expectations in Areas in which you can Deliver
Anyone in business knows that a negative experience stands out in a customer’s mind way more than a positive experience. If you adhere to your customer’s needs 9 times and fail to on the 10th, which do you think they will remember? Make certain that any promise you make is one that you can keep – even if this means setting the bar lower than you know you can reach. It’s better to be always over-delivering than occasionally under-delivering.
Build Trust and Consistency
Trust is the #1 thing that keeps clients coming back. This plays off the first point in that they want to trust that you will deliver. However, your customers also want to know that you care. It’s extremely easy to send out a monthly service check-up e-mail to make sure that your customers are satisfied. This also gives you the opportunity to fix any issues before they go on for too long. Furthermore, you can start a blog to position yourself as an industry expert who takes an interest in the latest relevant news. As a business, you have to make yourself look as dependable and knowledgeable as possible.
Speed bumps happen, but it’s better when they don’t happen by surprise. Being proactive means that your customers are eased into inevitable situations. If you’re a telephone provider and you know that telephone systems in a certain area are going to be spotty due to storms, send out an e-mail to make them aware. If you run a cab service and you know that there may be a long wait or a lot of traffic, send out an automated text to your most frequent customers. It’s simple and very effective.
Base KPI’s on Customer Service
As a business owner or manager, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. If everyone else doesn’t have customer retention on their minds, then it’s simply not going to happen. Base your department’s KPI’s around customer satisfaction levels, upsells, customer retention, customer reviews, et cetera. At the end of the month, reward the employee whose KPI’s best reflect good customer service. This will boost morale and avoid dissatisfaction which, if you remember, is the main reason loyal customers leave.
Social media, telephone, e-mail, lunch meetings…if your customers want to talk, make it happen. Don’t be difficult to reach. Don’t take two weeks to respond to an e-mail. Don’t ignore a disgruntled customer. It should be common sense, but it’s easy to get caught up in other business efforts and forget about communication.