All too many companies spend much of their energy and budgets on customer acquisition without investing sufficiently in customer retention. Of course, where subscription services are concerned, there’s a greater realization that keeping the customers one has is much cheaper, and theoretically, much easier, than trying to get new customers. But whatever your line of business, the basic principle applies. Now that you have customers, can you keep them? These tips might help you to do just that!
1. Help Customers to Succeed
Why do customers support your business? They do so with a goal in mind. Do you have a customer success strategy? Knowing what your customers need and want and actively working to help them reach their goals with your product or service is at its heart. It takes dedication to your customers and a matching commitment to benefitting the business. It’s a whole field of study on its own, and will be well worth exploring in greater depth if you haven’t done so already!
Your aim should be to make getting satisfaction from your products so easy that your customers don’t feel the need to communicate with you – except perhaps to say how much they love what you do. But no matter how proactive you are, you should still sit up and take note when your customers communicate with you.
It’s not just a matter of resolving their questions and issues: think about the things you can do to make those questions unnecessary and to eliminate issues your customers frequently encounter. Not hearing from your customers? See if you can uncover little complaints they haven’t mentioned to you by sounding them out at key points in your relationship.
3. Respond With Speed and Relevance
If your customers feel the need to communicate with your customer service agents, they will want rapid responses. Giving them the right answers is important too, and that means knowing your customers’ history with your business, any interventions they requested earlier, and what the next steps might be.
While many interactions can be automated, making it easy for them to talk to a real person who will work to understand their situation and offer solutions. This reduces frustration and may even turn neutral or slightly disaffected customers into ardent fans.
4. Keep All Your Promises
From your marketing messages to your product specifications and beyond, keeping all your promises is vitally important to keeping your customers. Marketing messages can be particularly tricky, and you can probably think of at least one or two companies that overstate the benefits of what they have to offer. If those overstatements amount to promised benefits that fail to materialize on closer inspection, they may not be able to retain their disappointed customers. Don’t let this be you!
5. Reward Loyal Customers
Showing loyal customers your appreciation helps to build longer-term relationships. With your competitors snapping at your heels, you can’t afford to take your customers for granted. Freebies, discounts, referral programs, service excellence and, most important of all, your ongoing commitment to offering your customers real benefits from using your products all contribute to this.
Keep Your Finger on the Pulse
We all like to think that we’re “the best” at what we do. But the proof of that lies in your customer retention figures. Of course, there always will be a certain amount of churn among folks that no longer want or need a product like yours. But if your customers are leaving you for your competitors, it’s time to double down on customer retention, and the most important elements there remain the products and service you offer.