Customer retention is a serious issue to be managed with due diligence. Here are some ways ,following which one can ensure not to lose a customer.
1. Changing Employees :
It’s tempting to assume long-term customers love your brand. More often than not they love your employees.Customers don’t buy from companies. They buy from people,your people. Since relationships are the lifeblood of a small business, don’t rotate salespeople, customer service reps, or key contacts unless you have to. Do everything possible to protect and foster the relationships your employees forge.
2. Making problem resolution painful :
Policies and guidelines are great for ensuring that employees comply, but a customer with a problem doesn’t care about your policies. He/she just wants his/her problem fixed. Let employees use complaint-resolution policies as guidelines rather than rules. Give employees the freedom to make judgment calls. Resolving a customer problem or complaint can help your business establish an even stronger customer relationship when you give employees the freedom to make that happen.
3. Influence With Social Proof:
How does social proof impact your client retention rates? It’s actually very simple. If your client gets the feeling that your other clients aren’t happy, they’re more likely to become dissatisfied themselves. This can happen even if they’ve received good service up until that point. For this reason it’s a good idea to promote all the positive feedback you receive on social media channels. You should also be vigilant for negative comments. If a client has complained about you, try to take the conversation offline as quickly as possible. Respond kindly (be understanding, but also try to make their experience sound like an anomaly). Then try to resolve the issue through private correspondence.
4. Establish a VIP Club Exclusivity: It is a powerful motivator:
Psychologically we’re drawn to things that make us feel special, or part of an elite group. If clients feel they have achieved a certain ‘rank’ and reached an upper level of privilege, they’re more likely to stay with your company. While it does depend on your industry, it’s often possible to establish some kind of VIP Club to encourage returning customers. In eCommerce this is generally done by creating customer accounts and awarding loyalty points for each purchase, but there are plenty of ways for different businesses to replicate the exclusivity experience. For example, at a creative agency you might offer a discount to your recurring clients, and give them a prime spot in your marketing collateral. You could offer a ‘referral rewards’ club, and send them gift baskets or shout them to a restaurant when they introduce you to
5. H.E.A.R.D :
This wonderful strategy can be used by pretty much anyone who interacts with clients or customers on a professional basis.
Hear : And listen. Let the customer tell their full story, without interruption.
Empathise : Create an emotional connection. Use phrases so they customer knows that you understand their feelings, e.g. “I completely get it, I would feel the same way.”
Apologise : Sometimes a genuine apology is all that’s needed. Never underestimate the power of this. Be sincere and take ownership of your mistakes.
Resolve : It’s critical that you address problems quickly, and offer compensation if needed. Give your employees the authority to make corrective decisions.
Diagnose : Put blame or guilt aside, and get to the bottom of why the problem occurred. Do your best to fix the process so it doesn’t happen again. Use this approach to turn any negative client experiences into happy ones- an absolutely essential skill for improving retention.
6. Share Things of Interest:
You know your clients, you’ve built relationships with them. Hopefully you understand a little about their personal lives, including their interests and tastes. Now you can leverage this information to form a stronger relationship with them. Your client sells handcrafted soaps but she’s been struggling to build her social media audience. You see an awesome Marketo article with step-by-step suggestions. Why not add a link to that the next time you email her? Passing on pieces of information that aren’t directly related to your services is a nice ,simple way of strengthening your relationship with your client. It shows that you care about them as a person,not just a business number. It also demonstrated selflessness.
7.Know your customer:
Anxiously wondering if your clients are happy with your services? There’s a simple solution – just ask them. Real feedback from clients is one of the most valuable things you can attain. If you don’t have channels or tools for gauging their opinions it’s time to create some.
There are several ways to achieve this, without causing inconvenience to your client or resorting to cumbersome paper questionnaires. Instead, send out an anonymous email survey periodically, promote a feedback form on your website, or create a social media poll. Use the digital tools at your disposal to make the process as quick and effortless as possible.