It is common knowledge that retaining customers is significantly cheaper than soliciting new ones. In fact, it can cost between five and ten times more to acquire a new client than retain an old one. A study conducted by Bain & Company found that profits can rise 25 to 95 percent if a company increases customer retention by 5 percent. So, what does it take to generate a loyal customer versus a new customer?
Provide excellent customer service
Good customer service is the backbone of any company. There are two serious issues that companies face: Resolving customer complaints and identifying clients that do not report bad experiences.
Customers that have bad experiences turn into spokespeople against your company. However, you can change their position if you have excellent customer service. In essence, your team must do four things: Listen to the client, express empathy, apologize and resolve the issue.
Do not interrupt a customer that is venting, let them finish before you try to address the issue. Train your team to relate to the client and express empathy. The goal is to change the situation to cooperative rather than confrontational.
Apologize for the problem. Keep the apologies personal and relatable. It changes the entire tone of the situation if your client views you as a person, not a corporation.
Finally, resolve the problem. Ask the customer if they have a preferred method of resolution or present them with a series of options and let them choose. Do not impose an option.
The next issue is identifying clients that do not come forward. According to a study from the Dunvegan Group, 20 percent of customers who reported being satisfied with their purchase end up switching to another company. Only 4 percent of clients with problems actually come forward.
You can improve response rates by making it easy to contact your customer service team. Keep the information prominently displayed and encourage clients to call or email for any questions.
The other half to customer service is anticipating and resolving problems before they arise. Most people are dissatisfied because they do not understand the product or service. It could be because the client did not fully read the product specifications, your website isn’t very clear or both. Regardless, it is up to you to anticipate and resolve these issues.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) pages are a cheap and effective way to resolve issues before they happen. Consider the customer’s perspective. How do people plan on using your product or service? Outside testers are a good way to flesh out all the potential issues.
Don’t use your customers
How would you feel if you had a friend that dropped you the moment that they got something from you? You would feel used and no one likes that feeling. Remember, you are trying to build a relationship. Customers want to feel that you are trying to improve their lives.
Contact with your clients shouldn’t be on an intermittent marketing basis. Once a campaign ends, you should continue to send them free and useful content. This creates the relationship that customers expect from their companies.
Highlight satisfied customers
Case studies are a great way to showcase: how the product is used (to anticipate problems) and how customers appreciated it (to reinforce satisfaction).
Stand by your product. Offer additional services to support your product, it can be anything from one-on-one phone calls to excellent technical support. Think about your product and how you can integrate these additional services. One of the most effective ways to create loyal customers is by exceeding expectations.
Want to learn more about finding and keeping customers?
Sometimes new customers just can’t find you because you don’t have a website or maybe you are marketing to the wrong audience. If you have any online marketing needs, contact us here at TopZone Media Group. Give us a call today at (806) 553-5332 or Contact Us via email. You can also stop by in person at 3226 Hobbs Rd. in Amarillo, Texas. Be sure to check out the other various services we offer to help push your business to the top!