How Many Customers Can you afford to lose?
According to the Harvard Business Review, 67 percent of customers who choose a new supplier said they were satisfied with their former supplier! On an average, most U.S. companies lose half their customer base every five years. So why would customers who are satisfied stop doing business with you? Well consider this: Customers go where they are wanted and stay where they are appreciated.
Varying estimates place the cost of acquiring new customers at six to ten times more than selling to existing customers. Losing customers can drastically affect your company’s reputation, credibility, referrals, sales, and profitability.
Seven Ways to Retain Your Valued Customers:
1. Never assume you know what customers want ask them! Customer surveys are a great tool for understanding customer needs and identifying innovative ways to solve their problems or exceed their expectations.
2. Measure and reward customer satisfaction.If customer satisfaction is really a priority in your business, demonstrate this to your team. Develop a method to measure it, set goals for improvement and reward the team when the goal is accomplished.
3. When you hire people to interact with your customers, make sure they possess good customer service skills like trust, empathy, flexibility and verbal communication proficiency. Each customer contact with your team is an opportunity to build your reputation or destroy it.
4. Say Thank You. Sounds obvious but consider this. When was the last time you received a thank-you note from a company you do business with? This simple strategy can really make an impact and says a lot about your company and the value you place on customers.
5. Stay connected with your customers by phone, mail or email. While the frequency may vary, every customer should receive a “touch” at least once per quarter.
6. Make valuable customers feel more appreciated than non-customers or prospects. While new customers are critical to growth, make sure current customers get some VIP treatment. Programs, offers or specials just for current customers work well.
7. Look for opportunities to sell multiple products or services to your existing customers to create the perception of a one-stop solution provider. Research shows this builds loyalty and retention. It’s also a great way to increase revenue and profit!
Finally, make customer service everyone’s responsibility especially in a small business where team members wear many hats. Train your team on customer service. From the receptionist to the delivery driver, your team will make an impression. The kind of impression they make is up to you.