Customer retention isn’t just about bringing customers back. It’s also about keeping them away from competitors. To keep your customer service from growing stale, try out these techniques:

Use chatbots to deal with minor complaints

If you give customers multiple options to contact your business, then it will get difficult to deal with all the complaints. Rather than telling them to contact a separate department, you should attend to the issue on the same platform.
This can get tricky, and many businesses get overwhelmed in the process. To avoid this, a recent Forbes article suggests using chatbots to deal with minor complaints:

“Instead of overwhelming a team member with emails, direct messages or phone calls, chatbots can answer most of your customers’ questions or resolve any issues. This makes the process both instant and interactive. A number of companies I consult for have used some of the Facebook Messenger AI tools and have seen immediate results in both retention and new sales.”

Chatbots are designed to handle complaints just like a customer service representative would. They won’t solve any miracles, but they’ll help you focus on the more serious issues. This will have a positive impact on your customer retention.

Focus on marketing and sales alignment

You know that marketing and sales alignment is important for generating and converting leads, but did you also know that it’s a factor in customer retention? According to this Marketing-Interactive.com article, making an effort to align the two teams has a positive impact in this respect:

“The research above also reveals that clients these days are looking for sales and marketing alignment and it is critical for the bottom line, with 58% of salespeople and marketers saying collaboration delivers improved customer retention and another 54% saying it boosts financial performance.”

When customers come back the second time, they shouldn’t have to deal with an entirely new product offering. If your marketing and sales teams aren’t aligned, then customers might get confused by a conflicting message. Having your two teams collaborate will make it easier for returning customers to refill their orders.

Treat returning customers like new ones 

Apart from marketing and sales nonalignment, some businesses just don’t treat returning customers like they should. They come back expecting the same treatment they got as a first-time customer, only to be disappointed.

It’s well-documented that returning customers are cheaper than new ones. Yet businesses tend to cater to new ones and let old ones figure things out for themselves. According to this Your Story article, this strategy won’t bode well for customer loyalty.

“This is one of the most important pointers in winning customer-loyalty and retaining them. You need to ensure that you treat all your customers equally. You have to be as forthcoming, available, and accommodating to your old customer as you are to your new. Doing so will let them know  you wish to secure their loyalty for the future and will help win it over, as well.”

It’s easy to understand why businesses tend to focus more on new customers. They see it as a way of expanding their company, while they assume that old customers will just come back on their own.

But this doesn’t just happen naturally. That’s not how customer retention works. To build loyalty, you need to reach out to customers, ask them if they’re satisfied, and suggest a refill or accessory product. Treat them like you would a new customer in terms of how far you’re willing to go to close a second sale.

If you’re looking to improve your customer retention, then try using chatbots, aligning your marketing and sales teams, and devoting more time to returning customers. To talk more about customer retention, or anything else, contact us today.

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