Sometimes auto correct can be prophetic. My friend’s phone accidentally spelled CrushLove instead of Customer Service. It got me to thinking about crushes and love and customer retention. (and what the heck is up with autocorrect?)
Just like crushes that turn into mutual affection, customer relationships, cultivated properly, lead to loyal customers – one of the best types of relationships you can have.
Many businesses opt to focus budget and energy on finding new clients. This thinking is somewhat misguided
Let’s talk about the importance of retaining existing customers.
What do you do to let your customer know you have a crush on them? The answer: they know you have a crush on them when you pay attention to them. We all want new clients and the research supports this thinking because businesses spend 80% of marketing budget looking for new clients. While gaining new clients is important for growth, a significant percentage of revenue comes from existing customers.
According to a study on how first time shoppers become long term clients, “Successful relationship building produces highly-desirable results: repeat customers have a 60-70% chance of making another purchase on a future visit, and prospective clients have a 54% chance of buying after a second visit.” The take a away here is that you have a better chance of retaining a customer if they already know you. Don’t put all your eggs in the acquisition-of-clients basket.
So if limiting attention and efforts to new customers is a mistake, then what do you do? Crushlove…let us count the ways. Here are 4 ways to make existing customers fall in love and stay in love with you and your business.
- Find the best solution for the problem at hand. Even your best intentions can’t prevent customer problems. Listen first then find a solution. Sometimes that solution might be a robust way for customers to find answers themselves. For example, create multiple channels for customers to gain access to common questions and answers like informational videos or blog posts. Other times, problem solving requires an actual person listening to an actual problem and coming up with a solution. Whatever you do, the key to finding a solution is making sure the customer contact person at your company, if you have one, knows how to listen and act. Solving problems proactively not only shows that you’re paying attention, it shows that you’re taking action.
- Get feedback. Getting feedback after an interaction or event will help you to better serve your customers in the future. Feedback comes in many forms including surveys and online forums. 63% of consumers read negative reviews via social media. Wouldn’t it be useful to be able to do something about negative feedback before you see it online, after the fact?
- Ensure your customer has a good experience. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.” – McKinsey. Customer service is really part of the bigger picture of customer experience. Take a holistic approach to a customer’s journey especially after they are using your product or service regularly. A good place to start is to gather data on your best customers. Understanding their positive experience will help you to replicate that same experience for others. A good experience will produce a loyal customer.
- Tell your Story. Let your customers know why you’re doing what you’re doing. These days, it’s not enough to offer a service or product. People connect with companies that stand for something. People want to feel personally connected to companies they buy from. Sharing your story will not only facilitate that relationship, it will help people remember you.
In the long run, crushlove your customers and they’ll crushlove you back. Need to meet other business owners and professionals who care about customer service? See our events calendar for an upcoming Rainmakers event.