Retaining customers is vital to any business, whether small, medium, large or massive. It costs money to acquire a new customer and when you lose them, you have to pay to replace them. No company wants to lose customers, but it happens. However, you can take a few steps to ensure you don’t lose as many customers in the future.
Why do Customers Leave You?
Before understanding a few of the things you can do to ensure you retain more customers, it’s important to know why they leave. Nearly 70% of customers that leave one company for another do so because of customer service issues. You can have the best product on the market, but if your customer service isn’t good, you may struggle to retain customers.
Only about 15% of customers leave because they are not happy with the product or service you are offering. This is a very small percentage compared to those leaving due to poor customer service.
How to Retain More Customers
The obvious answer to retaining more customers is to create a better customer service experience. Since the top reason customers leave is the service they receive, this should be your area of focus.
Some of the easiest ways to improve your customer service include:
- Setting Customer Expectations – It’s always good to under promise and over deliver. You want to set the expectations of your customers early in the transaction and make sure you can go above and beyond what they expect.
- Become an Expert – Nobody wants to deal with somebody that doesn’t really know their product or service. Make sure you and your employees are well versed in whatever you provide.
- Engage Customers Online – Social media and blogging have made it very easy to engage your customers online. Many people love this type of communication and will trust a company more if they feel they have been reached online.
These are some of the very easy ways you can start making your customer retention rates skyrocket. However, the most powerful way to provide better customer service isn’t quite as easy.
Building Customer Relationships through Communication
Retaining customers for the long term means building relationships, which is done through communication. Just engaging the customer through social media or your blog isn’t enough. You have to read the customer and give them exactly what they need. Personalization is key.
Many experts may tell you to automate specific processes for better customer service and this is true, but only to an extent. Some aspects of your business simply shouldn’t be automated because they will lose the personal touch customers need and want.
One of the best ways to communicate with your customers is over the phone. Customers often call with questions, needs and wants, while you call them to remind them of appointments, speak about a promotion they could benefit from or to make sure everything was delivered properly. These conversations are vital to your overall customer service and customer retentions.
Avoid choosing an automated phone service that causes customers to enter numbers and select options. This takes away the personal touch of a live person answering the phone. An actual voice on the other line can make a huge difference as a large percentage of customers complain when they have to deal with an automated machine.
Instead of using automation, choose a virtual receptionist service. This type of service gives you the ability to have someone else answer your phones, take orders, schedule appointments, provide answers to basic questions and give your customer service the personal touch it needs.
If you want to retain more customers, make sure you take steps to provide the absolute best customer service. It starts with small changes and becomes impressive when you provide a personal touch your customers love.