Fueled by the desire to obtain all things shiny and new, many businesses find that they're constantly working to aquire new customers.
While new customers certainly have the ability to elicit a sense of accomplishment, that sense of accomplishment happens to come at a price.
So rather than insist upon new aquistions to turn a profit, businesses should aim to consider the value that's right under their nose.
After all, customer retention is not only more cost effective than new customer aquistion, but it's significantly easier to reconvert exisiting customer than it is to convert new ones.
While your business may think that they've got a handle on how to keep customers coming back for more, we've outlined 6 elements that your customer retention strategy might be missing.
In order to build better customer retention, it is important for businesses to set expectations sooner rather than later. This helps to set the pace for the relationship, and eliminate feelings of uncertainty, as they know right off the bat what is to be carried out.
Be sure to set expectations that appeal to the customer, while remaining realistic. The worst thing your business can do is over promise and under deliver, as it will ultimately diminish trust, reduce value, and increase expenses.
Your businesses ability to not only meet, but exceed your customers expectations has everything to do with your ability to keep them coming back for more. If there is a gap between their perception and your ability to deliver, address it. Your business should be perpetually focused on improving all aspects of your customer service strategy to ensure that you are meeting their expectations on a regular basis.
To ensure that you and your customer are on the same page, consider the way in which customer education can work to improve their perception of exactly what it is you do and how you do it. By opening up the floor for this type of constructive communication, your business will find it is much easier to manage their expectations.
Every interaction a customer has with a sales person, customer service representative, or account manager is essentially an opportunity to develop trust. If they feel that the dialogue they carry out with each representative of your business is credible, they'll be more likely to invest their trust in the business as a collective whole. This means that in order to improve customer retention rates you want to be sure that your entire team sets high standards for customer satisfaction to ensure more meaningful interactions.
Build trust with the people who you do business is crucial as it has the ability to minimize uncertainty, and alleviate doubt.
Without trust, customers may struggle with their decision making processes, as they contemplate whether or not your business has the ability to deliver the results they expect. This is particularly troublesome for service-based businesses, as they often times they are responsible to make decisions for the customer.
In order for your business to build this type of trust, it is important that you ensure transparency and encourage frequent communication. Put customers first, make them feel valued, and keep them in the loop as things advance.
Far more critical than the time in which it takes for your business to provide results, is the level of quality you present up front. While speed is certainly a critical part of customer satisfaction, it's only responsible for part of the total experience.
While I am not suggesting that you abandoned your time management routines, it is important for businesses to realize that sometimes speed can take away from the strength of your customer connection. Rather than get something of lesser quality done quickly, set the pace for the highest quality service with the most customer engagement.
In fact, researchers found that the top 2 reasons why people claimed were the catalysts for abandoning a previously favored brand were as follows:
73% cited rude & incompetent staff as the issue
55% stated that issues weren't resolved in a timely manner (Source: RightNow)
Through these statistics we can see that although speed is certainly of importance to customers, the quality of the service that they receive holds more significance.
By showcasing your business's expertise you are not only conveying value, but you are in turn keeping the conversation a float.
You want your customers to have a very clear understanding of what exactly it is that you are doing for them that they can't do themselves. Map out conversations, content, and offers that you can use to engage your customers and help them come about solutions that they would not have been able to carry out without your expertise.
For example, Kiss Metrics uses their Twitter feed as an outlet for distributing consistent insight and resources to help inform their audience. In doing so, their audience has had no trouble recognizing their expertise and over all value. 172K Twitter followers later, they've established a massive loyal following.
When you receive customer feedback, act on it. The truth is, feedback is one of the most valuable tools that businesses can use to inform and improve future customer interactions.
While it is difficult to address customer concerns when you are analyzing the situation through the perspective of an insider, customer feedback serves as valuable insight into the customer's experience with your product or service.
What's great about the digital age that we're living in is that feedback is everywhere. It's likely that many of your customers will turn to social media as a place to drain their thoughts, concerns, and general feedback. By effectively monitoring social media platforms, you'll find that it is easy to uncovered unsolicited suggestions that ring true of your customer's experiences.
Ultimately your customers want to know that they're being heard, so let them know you're listening.
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