Tips for attracting and retaining customers
By Dan McInnis, Director of Cox Business Sales Support and Order Management
We’ve all heard it – attracting new customers will cost your company five times more than retaining an existing one. So what are you doing to ensure your current customers are loyal to your company and your brand? If there’s a big question mark in your thought bubble right now, here are a few tips to get you going on the right track – and working towards a return on your investment when it comes to new customer acquisition and retention.
- Offer a product that delivers – This one is pretty simple. Walk the talk. If your product promises to deliver X service or X result – make sure you are equipped to fulfill that promise. It’s no surprise that, according to a recent RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report, that 82% of consumers in the U.S. said they’ve stopped doing business with a company due to a poor customer experience. If by chance you fail to deliver on your promise, there’s always a chance of redemption with how you handle the situation. You want a staff that is going to treat your customers like they treat their grandmother – give them your undivided attention, treat them with respect and address problems with a sense of urgency.
- Give your customers a personalized experience – Your customers should feel good about doing business with you. Aside from getting to know them on a personal level, like asking how Johnny did during his first peewee football game last weekend, make sure what you’re offering your customers is relevant. Do the promos you offer make sense or are you finding that you’re trying to sell ice to an Eskimo when you should be selling him a down-filled jacket? Do your employees understand the concept of the customer lifecycle and are they going above and beyond to make sure you are the “go to” for their product or service needs? Are you following through on suggestions and feedback from customers or just putting it in the circular file?
- Take advantage of technology – As a small business owner, you’re likely wearing many hats. You’re the CEO, CFO, marketing director and janitor. Finding time to keep tabs on your customer satisfaction and retention metrics might not be at the top of your to do list every day, even though it probably should be. Thanks to robust technology specifically designed to support the needs of small businesses, you can leverage tools that can streamline your processes and help you make good on commitments to your customers.
Remember, you are the expert and your customers expect you to be! Customers are becoming more dependent on businesses to give them answers quickly and guide them in the right direction. If you are unable to assist your customers to their satisfaction, they’ll find someone else who will. Unfortunately it only takes one negative experience for a majority (68%) of customers to take their business elsewhere. From the first contact to the closing of the transaction and beyond, your customers expect to be wowed. If they are, you’re on your way to building a relationship that your customers will depend on. They will trust you, rely on you and ultimately recognize that you play an integral part in their success.