Enticing the customers through the door is the easy part. Getting them to stay (customer retention) is where the challenge begins. Learning how to tailor your service to each individual customer is the secret to maintaining a positive relationship, and developing it into one that lasts. But how exactly do you ensure your customers stay happy? Sometimes looking at them in a different light can help to deliver a service that will keep them happy, and make them stay…
1. Maintain Communication
Your customer is your life partner
Everybody knows that communication is key to developing a trusting relationship. There’s nothing worse than making a sale and then forgetting about the relationship completely. The job is far from done, and one of the biggest customer retention strategies simply involves checking in every now and then to show how much you still care. Using a calendar as a gentle reminder for consistent communication can help with this, and prevents the customer from feeling neglected. Whether providing updates, making a soft sell or simply inquiring as to how things are going, making consistent contact can go a long way.
2. Keep Selling
Your customer is your favourite – no questions asked
Feeling important and staying in the loop is part of the nurturing process. Just because one sale has been made, doesn’t mean that the process needs to stop, or that the customer wants it to. Continuing to attempt to make cross-sells or upsells makes customers feel important, and when done correctly, ultimately provides the customer with a product or service that they are currently missing out on. One of the best ways of retaining existing customers is to keep providing them with things they need, automatically satisfying them, and ultimately benefiting you.
3. Provide Amazing Customer Service
You are your customers’ brand representative
Treating your customers well gets you, and your company, noticed – and this means whenever necessary, whatever the occasion (within reason, of course). Going the extra mile when it might not actually be your responsibility can speak volumes when it comes to showing how much you care. Retaining customers is all about offering them something that they won’t get elsewhere – and going above and beyond their expectations is a great way of doing just that. Listen out for the little things and show how much effort you’re willing to make.
4. Let Them Complain
You are your customers’ therapist
Everybody likes a good listener. Getting to understand any concerns that your customers may be having is one of the best ways to gauge their current outlook on the service you are providing. Inviting them to be honest about their concerns by creating an open environment is a good way to build the foundations required to gain access to this information. Finding the balance between professional and informal can create a friendly middle ground where your customers are happy to express their concerns. The quicker these are addressed, the better the chances of retaining customers.
5. Address Their Pain
Your customer is your patient
You wouldn’t let a wounded man suffer, so why haven’t you patched up your customer yet? Often neglected when it comes to customer retention strategies, finding out a customers’ specific pain points is the only way you’ll know how to address them – which will ultimately influence what you sell and the way you sell it. Giving them what they want shows them that you care, and helps to solve any underlying problems they may be experiencing.
6. Pander to Them
You are your customers’ servant
You are providing a service for your customer and that needs to be done well, every time. If a customer wants something that you can deliver, they get it, right? Getting the balance right on this one is tricky, as certain customers will require more attention than others – however the demands coming in may not always reflect this. If a customer thinks that they can get whatever they want, whenever they want it – you may have to ask if the action required is worth it. Although customer retention management is about keeping customers happy, this shouldn’t be at the expense of your other customers.
7. Educate Them
Your customer is your student
Customer loyalty comes from hard work, relationship development, and trust – and trust is earned. Teaching your customers something and providing them with valuable knowledge is something that can generate significant appreciation and respect. Instead of just point blank selling – explain, educate and inform your customers about why they might require your product or service. Not only will this help your success rate when it comes to selling, but it can put you in a position of authority and trust, therefore retaining existing customers.
Managing customer retention doesn’t have to be hard. Done well, it can simply become the natural way you sell and manage customer relationships. Knowing how to retain customers is one thing, but putting it into practice is where it all pays off.
Find out more about sales-i and how it can help you to manage customer relationships so that your customer retention rate increases.