This blog post is another in a series on how to “KEEP more of your Customers”…
The best way to prove your commitment to delivering a high level of service is through your actions. When a customer has an issue or needs technical assistance, make it your priority to resolve it immediately. Every time an issue is resolved in a timely manner, you will build the confidence your customers have in your company to deliver what they need. Prompt follow-up is a great opportunity to show your commitment to the customer, and turn a potentially bad situation into a real positive one.
Let’s say you have made all the right changes and have now turned your customer service/support center into an asset for your company. You’re now in a position to turn this into an area that can actually generate more revenue for your company. With the right approach and the right information at their fingertips (by using a good CRM system), your customer service and support team now has the opportunity to cross sell or up-sell the existing customers that they support. If done right, this part of your business can transform from a pure overhead item to a profit center.
An essential part of any client retention program involves direct feedback from your customers. There are a variety of ways to gather feedback from your customers, but one of the most efficient and effective tools we have used is a customer survey. It wasn’t too long ago that the common practice was to send a survey in the mail. You sent it out and then waited for your customers to mail it back to you.
Today, there are a number of great, easy-to-use survey tools that allow you to simply email the survey, collect the data electronically and gain a good picture of where things are. All without licking a stamp or running off to the post office with a box full of envelopes.
This function should be a built-in tool in the suite of tools that you use to manage the customers’ lifecycle. A well-written survey can provide invaluable insights into what your customers like and dislike about your product or service. This information can help shape anything from the direction you take in your product development to the way you deliver customer service.
Listening closely to this feedback and acting upon it will go a long ways to increasing your customer retention over the long run. If your customers share their complaints with you in this process, that’s a very good thing.
What can you gather from a survey?
Customer satisfaction: Find out what your customers think about your product or service.
Company insight: Identify any improvements that you could make to increase satisfaction for both your customers AND employees – as your employees ultimately influence customer satisfaction.
Evaluate the competition: Find out what other companies your customers may like and what they like about them.
According to 1st Financial Training Services, 96 percent of customers don’t complain, they just leave. Of those that leave, 91 percent will never come back.
Finally, surveys are also effective with former customers. If you can find patterns for why they left in the first place, you can work to improve the experience for current customers. No matter how well your product or service ranks in your specific marketplace, you can grow your business by mastering the customer lifecycle.
If you put the right processes and technology in place you can outmaneuver, outsmart and outshine your competition – all without improving one thing about your product. Getting this critically important aspect of your business right will ensure that you have a healthy business for many years to come.