Customer retention, which is often measured in terms of repeat purchases, plays a vital role in the profitability of most businesses. When a business excels at customer retention, it’s better positioned to achieve long-term success, and it will have a much greater competitive advantage over its competitors.
So, how can your business master the art of customer retention?
Well, there are a number of contributing factors that influence customer retention, one of the most effective ways is perhaps offering superior customer service. In essence, customer service is meant to create a very positive experience for the customer, and in turn improve customer loyalty and eventually, long-term customer retention.
Superior customer service is such a worthwhile investment, and we have put together 5 essential customer service tips to help get your business up and running, and maintain high customer retention.
Building Personal Relationships
Actively working to have a personal touch in your business is very important for customer retention. If you work with just a few customers, ensure that you interact personally with each one of them, and find out if there are things you can do to help them out.
For those businesses with a lot of customers, you can set an autoresponder system that replies to them whenever they purchase from you or join in your community as a prospect. Treat prospects differently than buyers, but more importantly, stay in touch with both.
For example, with our moving company, we always take an active interest in the personal relationship with our customers. They get to know their moving crew and that always helps the jobs go smoother, with much less stress for everyone.
Respond to Every Complaint
Social media is the cornerstone of this modern world, and closely monitoring what’s being said about your business online is vital. While it’s very easy to get carried away by a petulant customer and brushing them off completely, it can be costly for your business.
What you want to do is take charge and be polite with them, as you listen intently to their problem or concerns. With this approach, you will have a calming effect on the upset customer, and in most cases, they will reason with you and leave knowing that they can always return and do business with you again.
Remember that a personal touch can help to resolve an issue that can result in a client removing a poor review for your business!
Ask Your Customers!
Asking your customers exactly what they are looking for in your business, what concerns they might have, and how they want it delivered is probably the easiest approach to retaining customers. You can ask them via an online survey, a printed survey, via email, over the phone, or in person. But regardless of the method, asking them is crucial.
You’d be surprised how detailed the responses can get, and sometimes, they will save you time, effort, and money you could have used on market research.
Consider performing an informal focus group or focused discussion with your customers. This way, you will have the opportunity to identify their collective wants or needs, and you can then reward them with discounts on their next purchase of something that highlights your sincere appreciation of their time.
Always Listen to Your Customers
Be sure to pay careful attention to everything your customers are talking about, and identify any difficulties they may be experiencing. How much do you hate repeating yourself? Well, the customer isn’t any different. Make sure that you respond to them quickly and when suitable, but don’t interrupt them. Butting in can show them that you are not paying attention to them.
This might seem like a simple thing to do, but it’s not what many businesses do. Our natural instinct might be jumping right in with a solution when it comes to mind. Some business owners want to ignore a problem – hoping it will go away. However, you might not have fully understood the problem if you’re not paying attention.
Waiting it out and carefully listening to the issues allows you to have a better understanding of the context and situation of the customer. Plus, they will see that you are paying attention.
Nowadays, customers are very savvy, and will sense a sale pitch from miles away. Although they love buying, they hate to be told what, how, and when to do so. Instead, let your approach be providing them with effective solutions. This shows that you sincerely care about their needs.
Let them know that you are not after their wallet, but you want to collaborate with them in helping them what they want in such a way that both of you benefit. Such an approach works nearly all the time, and is considered the secret sauce to high customer retention.
In a world where small businesses have to constantly compete with the big businesses and corporations, superior customer service will help you to stand out from the crowd. With the tips discussed above, you are at a much better position to continue improving your customer service, retaining your customers and getting great referrals for new customers.
Don’t forget that customers appreciate working with businesses that care about their needs.