Be AvailableMake it easy for customers to contact you. Ensure you have sufficient resource to answer phone calls, emails and other forms of communication, including social media, in a timely manner.
Manage your customersBy managing your customer relationships effectively, keeping an open dialogue and building trust, it is possible to build loyalty and long-term customers. If resource permits, assign a dedicated account manager to your customers, so they benefit from a personalised experience and a human connection to your brand.
Service Excellence25% of customers have abandoned a business over the past 6 months due to poor customer service. Research on HelpScout.net shows customers value quality over speed. It is therefore imperative that you provide a good quality customer service to prevent losing your customers to the competition.
Be HonourableA great tip comes from MarketMe.co.uk, “So long as you’re operating with honourable intentions to become lasting partners with your clients and you’re promoting positive communications with every interaction, the only challenge you’ll face is consistency.”
Know Your CustomersCustomer feedback is invaluable, especially feedback from dissatisfied customers. As stated on Forbes, “If you don’t know why a customer is leaving you, it’s really hard to figure out how to increase future satisfaction.”
Set ExpectationsEnsure your customers know what they are getting. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver, by under promising and over delivering you will delight your customers resulting in increased loyalty.
Be EfficientUtilise automation tools and streamline repeatable processes, to increase the productivity of your workforce. By being more efficient your staff will have more time to focus on your core business and going the extra mile for your customer’s.
Be SelectiveA great tip comes from Entrepeneur.com, “Cut your losses with accounts that never seem to appreciate the value of your services; they take away from building the accounts that will pay off in the long run. They constantly hammer you on price, ask for everything for nothing and end up sucking the life out of you. Go after more qualified accounts so you can afford to pick and choose.”
Be SmartCustomer data is invaluable, but to be effective make sure you are recording the right information that offers value to you. By implementing the right systems and processes to capture insightful data you can understand your customer’s behaviour and adapt your offering accordingly.
CommunicateAs Alex Lawrence on Forbes says, “Companies that play an active part in communicating with customers to keep them engaged and better meet their needs and expectations, are well on their way to achieving the prime objective of any customer retention program; greater customer loyalty.”
To find out what people value the most today, we asked business professionals around the world for their top tips for customer retention, and here’s what they had to say…Marketing Coordinator, Tatiana Ceresa said, “CRM is important for customer retention because it tracks your relationship with each client. Using your CRM, you are able to find out how a contact is interacting with your brand and respond accordingly.” She goes on to say, “If you are constantly fulfilling a customer’s needs and wants, then they will remain loyal.” Business Owner, Kim Gauthier said, “Build a relationship that goes beyond the sales transaction. Can you refer customers to them? Can you provide them with networking opportunities? Share articles, insights or other information relevant to their business. Most important, be genuine.” Chief Business Officer, Donna Callejon said, ”Know them and their work/programs well enough that you can anticipate how they will respond to something you deliver. And surprise them with having already thought of it and “solved it” by the time you deliver.” Business Owner, Tara Giffin Lamb said, “Take an interest in their business/needs and if you have an opportunity to give them some information, then take the time to do that. Whether it benefits you up front or not, they will remember that.” Business Manager, Steve Tade said, “…having a CRM would help in account management, personalized service, Multi-channel support. Having a mobile access would be an added advantage making customer service easier & faster like never before.” David Vickers explains that it’s not all about service, he said, “…the obvious answer of “Excellent customer service” is too easy.” He goes on to say, “…good CRM strategy and well implemented tool set is a vital component to customer retention. This is your company’s finger on the pulse of your customers.” Business Owner, Tim Schultz said, “…be sure to follow these two simple rules: Rule Number One, the client is always right. Rule Number Two, when the client is wrong, first provide your professional counsel, then if the client does not agree, refer back to Rule Number One.” Digital Content Marketer, Samantha Mykyte said, “Listen to your customers. Even the most frustrated customers can usually be turned around if you assess their needs correctly and help them out.” She adds, “…be there to respond to them when they need it. Social media has been a huge tool in customer retention for my company.” Services and Support Executive, Haim Toeg said, “Understand what’s the single biggest thing that makes customers defect and fix that, and then repeat.” Digital and CRM Strategist, Elaine Gamble said, “Bringing value in product information and more ‘intangible’ ways too. Demonstrating you are listening by consistently requesting feedback and acting on it. Giving customers a choice of how and when they can engage with the company with multi-channel alternatives.” Share your top tip for retaining customers in the comments section below…