We have talked A LOT about the importance of customer retention over the past few weeks. Of course, customer retention is critical in having a successful business. But how do you retain customers?
1) Deliver what you promised. According to statistics from Business.com, when a customer is dissatisfied, they will likely tell 20 people about their negative experience with the brand. That could do some serious damage to your business. Do not make promises you cannot fulfill! However, if you demonstrate that you are reliable and are committed to your client's business goals, you can prove that your customer made the right decision to work with you. One way to impress your customer is to underpromise, but over-deliver; you would be happy if you were told you would get $1 million dollars from a business deal, but ended up with $2 million! Keep your goals realistic in order to avoid over-promising your client.
2) Build trust with your clients. Trust is a fragile thing. Once it is broken, it can be very difficult to get back. Building trust takes time— you cannot expedite the process. Show you are interested in your client and willing to take the time to understand what your client does. Think deeply before making important decisions with your client and be willing to collaborate. Moreover, be consistent with your client. If you schedule a meeting at 12:00 PM, make sure you are on time.
Honesty goes a long way too. If you make a mistake, own up to it. It can be easy to deflect or act defensive, but that is an assured way to break a client's trust and confidence in you.
3) Be a resource. Be available to chat! If you create a relationship where your client feels like a priority, they will likely continue doing business with you in the future. Do not be afraid to give them your phone number or schedule weekly calls to build a better relationship. Be knowledgeable in their industry. Dedicate time to understanding what other companies in the industry look like— you can only be so helpful to your clients without knowing about their industry! Your clients will be thankful that you took the time to understand their specialty and needs.
4) Promote their business. When you promote your client’s business, it demonstrates that you trust them to do a job well done. In turn, your clients will be thankful for the recommendation and will possibly refer their friends to you. Be amicable and generous with your clients— there are mutual benefits in doing so.
5) Be open to feedback. Feedback can be hard to take. However, it is one of the most important tools for customer retention. Truthfully, people are not always the best at judging their relationships with others. However, by sending out surveys, you can gain valuable insight into what you are doing well and what you need to improve on. Genuinely reflect on your feedback as well; if your client does not think you are trustworthy, then it does not matter what you think. Always accommodate your client and their needs in order to retain them.
Do you have any tips you recommend for client retention? Leave them in the comments below! Afterward, follow us on Linkedin at “Encompass-CX” for more blogs and other updates.
Co-written by Alexis Audeh