In order for a business to be growing for several years, it needs to make sales. Making a meaningful profit is the goal of every business. For this to occur, a business needs to have a sufficient number of customers, and it’s been noted that it is more facile and cheaper to retain a customer than to attain a new one. Research indicates that a five percent increase in customer retention can certainly improve the profitability of a company by up to ninety-five percent.
According to a recent study, sixty-eight percent of customers stop purchasing from a brand due to not liking the product or service they have attained; therefore, one of your main goals should be to address customer complaints in a timely manner so that they can be satisfied with your business. If you can do this, then you’ll be able to not only grow your business but excel as well.
As long as the issue was caused by some accident and not negligence, you’re still winning customer’s loyalty. There are a couple of things, in particular, that should be undertaken (below) in order for a business to thrive in the market.
Here are “4” elements every business should be aware of going forward:
A Listening Ear-
You should always listen to the customer from A to Z. Provide them as much time needed to vent, and explain the issue. This way you fully understand the issue, and take the right action.
Find ways to connect with the customer. Remember that your concern should be placed in solving the present issue.
Provide an Apology-
An apology can go a long way, and you should always keep that on your mind. When you sound like a person and not a company, customers can be very understanding.
Solve to Retain-
Let the customer tell you how he or she believes the issue should be solved. You can also go ahead, and provide solutions for them to choose from. To maximize your chances of retaining a customer, you should always go the extra mile because customers see that and it adds to your value.
It has been noted that businesses only hear from four percent of dissatisfied customers. Why? Well, most businesses don’t provide visible contact information where customers can place a complaint; therefore, make sure that your customer service contact information is clearly on your website, letters, emails and receipts.
It’s true that hiring a service representative will cost you money, but its well worth it in the end of the day as you’ll make 10 times that in the long run from the customers that you’ll retain. Think about having a toll-free phone number because Its been noted that customers prefer to speak to an actual person. A live chat option should be also present on your website. This is a complimentary option, and you also want to make sure you follow up the same way that you were contacted.
A customer service representative who has been trained in capturing customer feedback can detect clients who are not satisfied or who are considering buying from the competition, and thus, they can pass this information to the company. A customer service representative must be trained to pass the competitive information so that your marketing department can take appropriate action.
State the Obvious On Every Product
Make sure you state the obvious on every product so it’s completely transparent to your customers. Customer are very aware about the product they are purchasing, and any issues will cause them to go to your competition. For example, what you see is what you get….right? This is EXACT what should be the bases of your company when selling products. State what the product is, and make sure it lives up to the hype…it’s that simple!
Not only that, but you should provide a FAQ (frequently asked questions) to eliminate a grand number of bad customer experiences. Remember, if you attain a complaint about a specific issue, this could reflect that there are other customers who have the same problem. It’s always better to prevent than have an ongoing issue.
Never Leave Customers Feeling Used
A lot of businesses often forget about customers once they spend some money purchasing products. A relationship with a customer should be beyond the idea of just getting money from them for your products. They should feel that your primary goal is to improve their lives with the products that you provide.
Create an image of your business that’s positive. There are many companies out there that are doing something positive; take the company Tesla, for example. This company is trying to create an environmental-friendly technology to help planet Earth. This has helped them grow each year tripling profits, and customers.
Promotion of New Products Is Important
Never stop communication with new or old customers as this will cause your profits to drop substantially. When a customer purchases a product from you they are building a special bond with your company. This means they expect to know about company changes, and updates going forward. I encourage all of you to make sure your company always highlights new products to your customer to show you care. However,
Before promoting your other products, you need to take care of every aspect of your customer’s order. After an appropriate amount of time, check in with your customer to find out if they’ve receive their product. Invite them to leave a review on your website which can grow your business through new customers. There are numerous companies that do this, like Dell, Nike, HP and Even Apple. For example, Dell will check in with customers 2-3 times per week after them placing an order. You want to check in order to find out if there are any issues with the product or throughout the process since is important to increase loyal customers.
Customers Should Feel Confident “Always”
There are a couple of things that you can do in order for customers to feel confident in purchasing a product from your company. For example, you can showcase happy customers in your case studies by providing them the option of writing reviews, etc. The goal should be to make customers feel confident before, and after purchasing a product. You want them to feel they have made a good decision, and thus feel happy about receiving your company product it in the mail. By delivering this good feeling, you can build loyalty and increase company growth.
With all purchases there are various risk factors. The two most common are functional and financial. The first is the risk that the product or service does not work as it should, and the second is the risk of paying more for something that is worth less. One way to make your customers feel good about doing business with you is to minimize those risks. By getting feedback from your customers, you’ll be able to take proactive steps to make sure risks are being taken care of.
Analyze Different Customers
Understanding the different types of customers that make up your customer database is very important. It is recommended that you separate the types of customers into groups so they can be analyzed better. There are loyal customers, those which are purchasing less than usual, clients who are no longer active, etc. This can allow you to tailor different offers that would be irresistible for certain groups. You can tweak along the way until you find a system which works.
Always Meet Your Commitments
There are a number of things that customers will forgive and forget, like when the company they are doing business with doesn’t meet commitments. For example, the biggest is shipping a product late then what’s expected. 80% of customer will forgive this the first time around, however there are some which will start shopping with your competition the 1st time this happens. It’s important you make sure you are 100% sure that you can deliver products and services as mentioned on the checkout page.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
If you offer products, and services that your competitors don’t offer then you are one-up on your competition. You have to work to become a ‘one stop shop’ by adding new products, and services also improving your existing ones. This will keep you ahead of the competition making sure you keep customer retention high.
Keep Track of Cancelled Orders and Loss Business
It’s important you keep track of every order which has been cancelled or lost throughout your business. Do not be afraid to ask customers why they cancelled an order or why they opted to take their business elsewhere. By getting this valuable information, you’ll be able to identify the necessary steps to recover from the loss of business, and thus avoid the same mistake in the future.
The price is always a concern for people when buying a certain product or service. What you do not want is to get into a price war with your competitors. It’s important to implement a pricing strategy which you’re not the cheapest or the most expensive. This is a bit tricky, but you’ll have to research competitors and how you manufacturer products. Find ways to save money so you can offer your customers lower prices than your competitors. When you do this your actually training your customers to look for discounts before ordering from your competition.
Keep Track of New Customers
This is a gold strategy all businesses should strive to achieve, but it’s especially important for an e-commerce business. This will allow you create the foundation for a loyal customer relationship. Keep track of their buying habits, and then offer the discounts on those products. Engage with them and offer incentives to buy from you so you can gather the right research. After, you can implement strategies which work to engage new customers while improving customer retention at the same time.
Extra Noteworthy Tips:
Look Around –
It’s important that you look around at small or big businesses that are thriving in order to find out what they are doing so you can implement the same strategy into your business model. Pay close attention to the biggest chains within your niche, and find what they have done to grow throughout the years.
Wal-Mart believes that if every customer is treated with kindness, this will enhance their shopping experience, and thus, they will keep on coming back. By doing this you are NOT only growing your business, but expanding the retention element of your business.
There is a lot of information mentioned throughout this content, and it’s important you absorb as much as you can. However, it’s just as important you start implementing the strategies which have been discussed throughout because this will help your overall business model. Go through the content one more time making the right type of notes so you can implement later on into your website. In the beginning, it will be hard because a lot of time will be taken to research and collect data, but I promise this will get much easier. Next,
Once you have gathered all the data you can start to draw out your game plan going forward. You can start optimizing customer retention strategies which you by now know will work. This will improve your new customer rate, and improve customer retention at the same time. Overtime I recommend you keep testing because things will keep changing as new customers start buying your products or services.
Going forward, here are the steps to pay close attention to before implementing…
- Read through and start writing down each of the steps in point form. This way you’ll have a quick reference sheet if you need afterwards.
- Go through the list checking which ones will, and can apply to your business. After research the list you’ll know some might NOT apply to you fully.
- It’s time to start implementing some of the strategies going forward. This will help prepare you to collect data going forward.
- After you should track each one looking for performance data. You can use this info to optimize at a later time.
- You can then implement the strategies which have provided the best results going forward.