Customer Retention: Not as hard as it seems

Many businesses are offering similar products, services and freebies. Their prices are unbelievably great and they have been around for a long time. The mystery, of why customers prefer one over the other, seems to be clearing up and the answer lies in Customer Service. Customer’s perception of how they are being treated and each experience they have with the company is the deciding factor when it comes to deciding which company and brand they would like to stick with. Customer Service seems to be the clincher and the differentiator between the success of one business and the downslide of another. The polarity between companies in the customer interactions is what makes a customer loyal or a deflector. Customer Retention is only as hard as you as a company make it! In the buzzing and overflowing market, it would be detrimental to ignore the fact that your customer service must be inclined towards creating and maintaining congenial interactions and experiences for your existing customers. Growing your business and increasing your customer base is vital too but keeping your existing ones happy is also of prime importance. Retaining customers would be simpler if your customer service treated each one as new and equally important. Your customers not complaining does not always mean that they are satisfied – it could mean that they have given up on you and are looking at moving out. It is much easier and cost effective to retain customers than attracting and cajoling others to become your customers.

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Let’s look at some more ways to make customer retention easier on you:

As a company promote the idea of being thoughtful. Treat your employees well and they will treat your customers well. Inculcate the culture of taking a step ahead and delivering ecstatic levels of service each time. Checking in on a customer after a brief period to understand if the product or service they bought is working well for him or her or making an exception to deliver urgently – are a couple of examples of what a customer perceives as being thoughtful. These will go a long way in helping with customer retention and also for them to speak well of your company to others. Loyal customers take care of attracting new customers too!

Train your customer service staff to be pro-active and anticipate what the customer could need and deliver. Exceeding expectations and serving the unexpected great service, is a sure way to retain your customers. Remember to only create precedence if it is sustainable – be able to do it for all if required. Send complimentary passes to a customer for a great show that your company is sponsoring or maybe two free night’s stay at a resort of their choice for customer’s with high business volumes – these ‘unexpected surprises’ go a long way in packing a punch to customer retention and collaboration. If you know the special interests of your customer, you could probably send him or her something related to that interest. Your customer instantly knows that you are committed to knowing him or her beyond just the business.

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Have a set of thank you cards that have been personally signed by the CEO of your company, handy. Send these immediately to customers that have invested in your brand as a way to show your appreciation and also soliciting their continued business. When customers feel wanted and special, they stay on.

Personalize your relationship with your customers by wishing them on special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries, work successes and even major festivals. As humans we all need to know that what is special to us is being noticed and acknowledged by others. Customers will be drawn towards your company and would stick with you because they know you like them and make every effort to show it.

Keep your customers informed of any major events happening in your company, especially the ones that could possibly impact them. Sending out company bulletins or newsletters either as a physical copy or posting it on social media sites or as emails lets your customer know that you are interested in letting them in to your world and they will appreciate the transparency. Company audit reports and other reports with industry and brand information, can be shared via your website. Customers will be encouraged to remember you by visiting your website repeatedly. When customers can see all the information themselves they are more likely to trust you and trust builds loyalty.
Send interactive videos to them especially when your company launches a new product or service or makes changes to the existing ones. These videos help the customers to get a first-hand feel of your brand and also ask the relevant questions and would be veered in the direction of making a purchase. The more a customer invests in you, the better the chances of him or her remaining with you.

As mentioned, the more the customer buys the easier it is for you to retain him or her. If you launch a product or service that would augment the earlier one they bought, offer it to them with a heavy discount or never before package deal. Not only will your customers buy, they will love doing business with you and are sure to convince their business associates to join them as your customers. You are not only retaining your existing customers but attracting new ones at negligible cost!

Customers love being reminded that you want them to remain with you. A great way to do that is to come up with a one-year anniversary offer – from the time they first invested with you. This says thank you and also keeps the customer interested in knowing what you will do next. Repeat this with all your big spenders and every year if the idea is a hit.

Ensure that your customer service team consistently checks on your customers to know if they have any issues relating to your brand. Get feedback – if they are happy what more can be done and if they are bordering on displeasure what immediate remedial measures can be taken. Build a connection with your customers such that your customer service team can even ask for references of people who can potentially be customers. A happy customer will be more than willing to oblige and you then know that the customer will remain with you.

Your best and most loyal customers must be shown extra attention. Give them only first-hand viewing and access of possible new launches and any special discounted pricing. This can be done via access to restricted portions of your website or pages on social media sites. Customers that feel privileged and important are easier retained than others. Have a customer service specialist ‘walk them online’ through these pages and answer any questions they may have or note any observations they make.

If your product or service is technical in nature, ensure that you send a team of specialists to the premises of your customer to provide a free demonstration of the offering. Customers appreciate a smooth transition to the new product or service, rather than having to spend their own resources on figuring out the offering. A ‘human implant’ in your customer’s office for a week or two will greatly help the customer appreciate your company and its brand. A customer who is knowledgeable about your product or service is likely to use it better and will be more inclined to stay with you because of the excellence of your customer service.

The crux is that with competitive heat increasing and the limited number of resources, it makes for good business to focus your energy towards building relationships that are strong and long. Keep your customers at the heart of what you do and never take their business for granted. Customers can perceive both. Forge ahead by keeping abreast with the latest trends in your industry and your customer’s as well. Customers must see value in doing business with you – not just in the product or service but the overall experience they have with you. Remember your competitor is trying just as hard and is ready to scoop up any customer you are foolish enough to let go off. Build collaboration, trust and transparency in each customer relationship to ensure that your customers never look beyond you. Customer Retention is not as hard as it seems!

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