Heading into week 3 of quarantine means we all could probably use a little bit of extra love right now… and that rings especially true when it comes to reminding your customers you care. Send out an email or text campaign, make personal phone calls, be available for questions. Going the extra mile during this time will do wonders for your retention. We’ve compiled some great ideas on how to spread love/not sickness to your customers… plus some general retention tips to follow.
Spread the Love
Help Customers Learn Something New: We all have some extra time on our hands lately… Use social media or your website to direct people to free trials or tutorials to learn a new language, skill, recipe, etc. Or create a video of yourself teaching something you love! Your customers will love this personable interaction.
Give a Book: Send your customers a book or provide book recommendations. Choose a book that has been influential to you and your business. This will give your customers a great insight into your company culture.
Send a Treat: Small businesses are still open! Which means it’s a great time to support your local bakeries while giving your customers something sweet.
Send a Note: Be genuine and let your customers know you are thinking of them!
A Refresher on Retention
Customer retention will keep the lights on, and the bills paid. Constantly improving customer retention rates is critical to protecting and growing your business. But often, customer retention improvement efforts are labor-intensive. Most of us are busy people. While you probably understand the importance of customer retention, how can you do it effectively without spending hours on the process? Below are a few easy ways to improve, without spending too much time.
Set Clear Expectations
As a business owner, one of your main jobs is setting expectations and creating experiences for your customers. For example, do you talk about offering superior customer service? What value proposition are you announcing to the world? Potential customers and current customers are paying attention to what you say you’re going to do or offer. If their expectations don’t match their experience, you’ll fail to retain loyal customers. Always make promises to your clients that you can keep.
Answer the Phone
When people invest money into your product or service, they want accessibility. People want to understand what’s going on and experience full transparency. As a result, your customers will want to get in touch with you so you can clarify things for them and put their minds at ease. Issues with retention often come down to simple miscommunication issues. Customers who can’t get a hold of your business will become frustrated and distrustful, taking their business elsewhere. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to prevent if you make the effort to be available.
Keep a Close Eye on Social Media
Facebook and Twitter are the perfect places for clients to vent their frustration about your business. Unfortunately, this means that a significant number of people will end up seeing the negative feedback on your business’s social media profile. While you may not be able to prevent negative feedback on social media, you can nip it in the bud and prevent it from getting out of hand. Be careful to monitor your social media profiles regularly so you can quickly respond and resolve these problem posts. Refrain from becoming defensive or angry in your response. Be polite and patient, despite the negative feedback and try to take the conversation offline. Doing these things will show people that your business takes care of customers.
Every business can benefit from identifying potential issues for clients before they become harmful to your business. Be proactive about identifying customer pain-points when they’re in their earliest stages. But knowing isn’t enough. You’ll also want to design and implement systems for dealing with these issues.In many cases, people rarely express their initial feelings of displeasure openly. On your end, you may think a customer is doing well and pleased with your service. But then suddenly, they leave. Why? Well, most clients do not make a sudden decision to stop doing business with you. It’s a gradual process. Their dissatisfaction tends to fester below the surface, and then they defect. It’s your job to identify this initial point of discontent and eliminate it so you can improve customer retention rates.
It’s not easy, especially when you consider that most clients won’t voice their frustration initially. So it’s your responsibility to figure out ways to pinpoint when customers first start the journey of deflection. Surveys are a great way to identify slight bumps in the road. When asked directly via a survey, clients are much more likely to express their frustration. If you recognize a pain point in your client that could cause future deflection, contact them directly. Ask them how you can improve your service and try to resolve their problem. Check out the chart below for reasons why customers leave.
Customer Retention Tips and Tricks
- Is the phone ringing? Take the time to answer it. Return messages promptly. Poor communication is one of the most common reasons why clients will go to a competitor.
- Make your contact information easy for people to find. Attach any relevant contact information to all communications you have with clients, like email addresses and phone numbers for secretaries. A client should not have to go to your website to find the necessary contact information.
- Offer a live chat option on your business website. Chat options make it easy for current and potential customers to ask questions and get clarity on your services. Many affordable companies provide a quick way to install widgets on a website. The widget sends you notifications in real-time when someone is trying to contact you online.
- Consider getting a mobile app that lets clients talk directly to you or use Google messaging.
At Lift Local, we take the guesswork out of knowing what your customer’s pain points are, and how to mitigate them. With the right processes in place, you can improve customer retention rates and grow your business. Contact us today and request a demo.