‘The customer is always right’ was popularised by Selfridges Founder, Harry Gordon Selfridge in 1909, but does it still hold true? Are we all guilty of jumping on the bandwagon with little or no insight into what a customer retention strategy actually means for our business and how we can successfully achieve it?
According to a study by Totango, 80% of a company’s future profits comes from 20% of it’s existing customers so investing in building loyal relationships with your customers is important, we all know that, but what do your customers really want?
How to figure out what your customers really want
Finding the right solution to their challenges is the simplest way get prospects to choose you over your competitors. However, the customers’ needs and buying habits have evolved significantly now we’re in the fourth industrial revolution; now customers expect a service that makes them feel valued.
A study on Why Companies Should Invest in the Customer Experience by Zendesk revealed exactly what impresses a customer. 40% of people began purchasing from a competitive brand because of its reputation for great customer service. The same study revealed 85% would pay up to a quarter more to ensure a superior customer service experience. What does this mean? Customer engagement is key to developing a customer retention strategy that works.
First impressions still count
The most important step in the customer retention strategy is the way you greet your latest customers. A common mistake is once a customer purchases your product they’re no longer nurtured or treated as valued which is what you’ve just convinced them they are.
So how do you show your customers you value them?
Customer Success Specialists can be key to this they need to excel at embodying your company values. Reaching out with personal messages to let your latest customers know you support them. They should feel that they can go to their Customer Success Specialist with any queries or problems that they have regardless of if they’ve been told the answer thousands of times before.
“Setting yourself up for success […] in customer relationships is about your people. Empowering the staff, the employees, the customer-facing people on your teams to do what’s right for the customer.”
– Mikkel Svane, CEO of Zendesk
Response times – are you quick enough?
Businesses with substantial client databases tend to struggle with response times, often because their database is bursting with data but no one can make sense of it. Your database should hold vital information regarding every account but do you teams always find time to update those accounts? And how do you solve the problem of updating contact data in your CRM?
Invest in the right tools
Companies that are serious about a customer retention strategy will see the benefits of having a customer relationship management system. Take market-leader Salesforce as an example – you need your Customer Success Manager and Specialists to have instant into accounts so they can determine any problems or issues that could prevent the customer from renewing.
You should research tools that will keep your data clean, update your contact records and automatically sync your calendars and inboxes to your CRM environment. By automating manual processes you will enable your Customer Success team to deliver more personalised customer interactions and a more effective customer retention strategy.
Utilize your early adopters
By 2020, customer experience will outweigh the importance of price and product according to Walker’s analysis of the future of B2B customer experience. So you be showering your early adopters with attention during their initial stages of using your product. Your early adopters are the ones most likely to give you feedback that can improve your offering and become brand ambassadors for case studies and testimonials. Early adopters are also the most likely customers to renew with your organisation having had a positive experience.
Consider loyalty schemes
Loyalty schemes are a great way of keeping your customers and you should consider them as an option in your customer retention strategy.
Keeping your customers can be a strategic move but it can be made stronger with some creative input. Reward your customers with the customer service that they deserve.
Develop a strong customer retention strategy
Keeping your customers is no longer dependent on the quality of your product (though this is obviously important) – you should carefully consider how to deliver the best service to them to give yourself the best chance of retaining them. Get yourself in the mind-set of building long-lasting customer relationships and remember ‘the customer is always right’…?
Ready to gain insight into customer relationships? Try our Customer Intelligence tool for free today!