The best companies don’t stop at customer acquisition.
Superstar brands want their customers to become true brand ambassadors who stay with them for life. Retaining a customer is much cheaper than acquiring new ones. In fact, the estimated cost of customers switching providers due to poor service is $1.6 trillion dollars. Even more reason to “love the one you’re with” and not get obsessed with customer acquisition only.
Not only are engaged customers more cost effective to keep, but far more profitable. Engaged customers buy 90% more frequently, and spend 60% more per transaction. These factors (and others) lead to engaged customers delivering 3X the value to the brand just over the course of a year.
So how does a company go above and beyond and keep their customers happy for years to come? It’s a lot easier than one might think!
Time is always of the essence. And even more so for the customer’s you want to retain.
Even if it’s in the form of an auto-responder, have an immediate answer set up for your customers so they know someone is on the issue and feel supported. According to SuperOffice’s 2017 Customer Service Benchmark report, 90% of companies don’t inform a customer when their email has been received, an ironic figure considering that response times are accelerating, especially with Millennial consumers.
With the average email response time coming in at around two minutes, if your company is one of the 90% that take up to 15 hours to reply - you’ve already lost.
Personalization is No Longer Optional
At one point, personalized customer service was optional, an added on bonus that fell under the category of “above and beyond”.
Now, customers expect personalization just as much as they expect a quick response time and extraordinary customer care.
While it’s already a given, to listen well and always call the customer by their name, make sure to go off the script and ask personal (but relevant) questions and take notes on what they learn. This helps to deliver a seamless, more personalized customer experience the next time around.
Think this touch goes unnoticed? We dare you to try it. They’ll be so impressed you remembered the name of their hometown or how their last issue was resolved.
Leave the analogies and flowery prose for the poets and literature majors.
People who communicate directly get the job done more quickly than those who are passive talkers. At the end of the day, how fast the job gets done is way more important to the customer than a polite answer that dances around the issue.
Obviously, direct communication doesn’t mean rude, instead it means being clear and concise with sparkling clear expectations. Direct communicators always let their customers know what they can expect and when - and they deliver on those words.
Customers trust a direct and authoritative tone. It’s an easy way for them to feel at ease, knowing they’re in the right hands. And you want them to feel that way, since a totally satisfied Customer contributes 2.6 times as much revenue as a somewhat satisfied customer.
Walk The Extra Mile
It’s the little things that matter. Follow up with an automated check-in message to make sure everything is still running smoothly 24-48 hours after the issue has been “resolved.” Schedule automated birthday emails to celebrate customers. Create an email funnel that helps onboard customers to your service/program/product over the course of a few weeks, so they don’t feel lost after the sale is complete. Automation makes it easy-as-pie to ensure that new customers feel welcomed, get acquainted and never fall through the cracks.
Use Complaints as an Opportunity
Legendary sales trainer and New York Times BestSelling author of The 10X Rule, Grant Cardone makes it a point to teach his team to use every complaint and every disgruntled customer as an opportunity to create a new fan. While this won’t be possible 100% of the time, sometimes the extra attention and the fact that someone cares that much will be such a shock, it’s enough to transform a once-unhappy customer or critic into a loyal-company fan for life.
Don’t forget, as hokey as it sounds, that we’re all customers. Sometimes the best advice when it comes to retaining customers and keeping them happy for their entire customer life span, simply means putting yourself in their shoes and treating them the way we all would want to be treated.