Finding new customers is important, but 3C Contact Services, the leading provider of outsourced call center solutions, tells their customers that they should dedicate just as much time and resources to retaining existing clients.
And with the cost of acquiring new customers on the rise, you want to hold on to your existing customers; it costs five to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. While a new customer will doubtlessly turn into an existing one, you should still work hard to hold on to the ones you have.
Considering that a customer’s profitability tends to increase over the course of your relationship with them, it’s little wonder you want to establish a good relationship with your existing customers.
Here are just a few of the tips that 3C’s partners have shared for successfully retaining customers:
1. Establish Expectations: Put simply, this means over-delivering on the promises you make for your products or services. Establishing expectations lets the customer know that you take your service seriously and that you’re promising that their satisfaction is guaranteed.
2. Show Expertise: In addition to your products and services, being a trusted source of information is vital for any business. Being an expert will go a long way in helping you to hold on to your customers. Knowledge that your products or services are superior should be demonstrated at every opportunity.
3. Courtesy Calls: Letting your customers know that you’re thinking of them and making sure they’re enjoying the service you provide goes a long way to building loyalty. It can also catch any issues before they escalate.
4. Provide Regular Updates: Whether it’s sending out a monthly newsletter to let your customers know about any updates or starting a regularly updated blog, this can go a long way to building customer loyalty. This is especially important to keep in mind if you are following up on a customer service issue, or engaged in a multi-contact process. Providing clear and concise follow-ups and timely updates will reinforce that you care about their business.
5. Be Proactive: If your organization provides timely service, let your customers know in advance when there may be delays. For example, let them in know in advance when their bills are due or about any changes to their service. If you’re aware of a concern, don’t wait for them to come to you.
6. Automation: When possible, leverage automation in your business to streamline repetitive processes and allow your employees to focus on other aspects of your business.
7. Respect Your Customers: One of the main reasons many companies lose customers is because they are not satisfied with the level of service they receive. We realize that dealing with customers can be a challenge, but one way to get around this is to offer bonuses for providing friendly and considerate service.
8. Build an Online Presence: Having a Facebook page or Twitter feed is an excellent way to keep in touch with customers, since social media offers the chance for one-on-one interactions.
9. Offer Surveys: If you want to truly find out how your customers feel, releasing regular surveys can help you to identify areas where there may be issues or a need for improvement.
Going above and beyond for your customers is a huge step in ensuring that they will remain loyal. Pay attention to what your customers want and make an effort to fix any problems before they become an issue.
Beard, R., “9 Customer Retention Strategies For Companies,” ClientHeartbeat.com, November 18, 2013; http://blog.clientheartbeat.com/9-customer-retention-strategies-for-msps/.