How to Keep Loyal Customers (and Annoyed Customers) Coming Back for More
The art of acquiring, and holding onto, the repeat customer.
Customer retention has saved billions of advertising dollars for millions of companies.
Clients that continue to make purchases, support special offers, are comfortable trying new products and willing to share their experiences ensures your business remains profitable.
On the other hand, a customer that’s not willing to make additional purchases, nor offer referals, can create disproportion in revenue goals. In other words, retaining your loyal followers can save on advertising costs.
This method of extracting their specific needs is called “data collection”. This information can be used to create offers, products and additional services while letting you know what works. The issue is most companies won’t stop to gather the data and, if they have, didn’t use a monitored method for collection thereby tainting their results.
When you know and serve within your clientele's needs and wants you have developed what is called “customer loyalty”. They appreciate you, because you appreciate them. A new survey on this very subject, conducted by DaySmart Software, found that 42% of respondents claimed they'd be most likely to recommend a business when they consider themselves a regular and always have a positive experience.
Related: 4 Ways Weed Shops Can Keep Their Customers Coming Back
What every customer wants
Pareto’s 80/20 principle works amazingly well with sales and marketing, even a century after its discovery. By studying the top 20% of your customers, you can work out how to attract similar people and increase your future profits.
The importance of your base can also be found in the philosophy of Lean Six Sigma. Everything within the Lean principal involves using a “customer first” approach. Patrons seek four main things...
Familiarity: We want you to look at our records before engaging with us. Preventing us from repeating every conversation we’ve had with prior representatives. It would also be great if you know how long we have been with your company.
Simplicity: We want a simple method to connect with a person that can solve the issue. Automation is not always the best for every experience. In addition, we want to know how this can quickly be fixed. We want the ease of transaction processing, whether it’s a return or a purchase.
Loyalty: Show that you have our best interest in mind. Remember, we are the customers that have been there through the name, policy, price and personnel changes.
Accountability: Do not play pass-the-ball with my issues. Do not continue to toss us from department to department. Review you SOP’s (standard operating procedures) and know what department our issue falls under. Stay on the line and provide a warm transfer. Create a CRM (customer relationship management) system that has my activities recorded.
Related: AI-Driven Customer Retention Strategies For Banks
A personal anecdote from an annoyed patron
This is why I have left my cable company after more than 10 years of service: I had purchased every package that I was offered while having the highest level of internet speed and my bill was more than $200 a month.
In 2019, the business underwent another acquisition, which for customers can be both confusing and irritating. Confusing because there was no announcement, irritating because the changes did not benefit the customers and the employees were still unsure of the new policies.
Today there are far too many options and traditional cable services are no longer a necessity, so I decided to try another route. It was during this time I saw my present company offering a special to customers. A third of the cost for what I was paying! Unbelievable!
I called to inquire about this new deal, shared that I had been a customer for more than 10 years, looking to streamline my costs and wanted to see about this new option. You no doubt have heard this answer yourself: “I’m sorry madam but that special is for new customers only."
Simplicity, loyalty and accountability
Customer Service is a company issue and customer retention is a customer service issue.
Here I am a client who has been doing business in the same place for years and yet is treated like a stranger -- and worse -- a patron who is about to be fed up and take her business elsewhere - and share her negative experiences with friends and associates. And, yes write an article in a magazine published around the world.
Some final numbers via Small Biz Genius:
- 69% of US consumers say customer service is very important when it comes to their loyalty to a brand.
- Revenues for businesses that prioritize customer service rise 4-8% above their market.
- Satisfied US customers will share their positive experience with 11 different people.
Developing a focus on customers means a lot more than just doing a survey now and then. It means developing an awareness that their needs should shape most of the work you do every day. In all things ask yourself: Am I remembering my regulars?
Related: 4 Mistakes Your Startup Is (Likely) Making With Customer-Relationship Management
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