Are you focussing on your customer’s wants and needs?
Developing a lasting relationship with customers is an important step in building a competitive business. This is especially true in these times, where social media goes a long way in dictating the success of a business.
It is easier than ever to build up a business or tear it down with comments posted into the “abyss” of the World Wide Web. Therefore it is more important than ever to consistently produce high quality products and services that meet the expectations of existing and potential customers.
Studies have shown that new customer acquisition is more expensive than the cost of retaining existing clients. This is due to the cost of advertising and the additional time required internally to accomplish new customers awareness and attraction campaigns. Therefore it makes sense to focus a significant amount of time and resources into keeping existing customers satisfied.
Customers will continue to be loyal to your company if they feel and believe that you are looking out for their best interests and value their patronage. They are often less price sensitive and easier to sell to because they have found the product or service beneficial to them in the past. These customers are less likely to shop around and end up on a competitor’s doorstep, and customers with a long-term relationship with a company are more likely to refer new business.
So how does a company retain customers? Here are some of our key pointers:
- Communicate with the customer
Make it easy for a customer to do business with you. Returning phone calls and emails in a timely manner is imperative, nobody likes to be kept waiting or to feel like they are being ignored.
Engage regularly with your existing customers to show that they are important to you. Social media is a great platform for opening up interactive communication.
Most importantly LISTEN to your customers. Listening is the key to effective communication, this will develop a rapport with the customer and will help when answering questions and resolving problems.
- Communication within the business
A system that enables staff to access real-time information on customers and their jobs will create an environment where everybody is informed, building a good support structure for the customer.
- Stay competitive
Innovation is so important in the 21st century where product life cycles are much shorter. Companies need to keep abreast of new ideas, skills and trends in the market place.
Make sure your customers are always kept up to date about any new service or product upgrades as they become available.
Customers expect more as competition increases. Without, offering customers up-to-date products and services a business will become redundant.
- Employ staff with people skills
Employing people with interpersonal skills is important for customer service. People with these skills are better at communicating and understanding a customer’s wants and needs – improving customer satisfaction.
- Resolve customer complaints quickly and effectively
They always say bad news travels faster than good news. An unhappy customer will tell between 10-20 other people about a complaint with a company, that is a lot of bad press! Fairly resolving customer complaints in a timely manner goes a long way to repairing the damage of a customer’s bad experience.
- Be transparent with your customers
Customers don’t like unwelcome surprises. Being as transparent as possible leads to customers being better informed and as a result creates a trusting and enduring relationship.
- Seek regular feedback
Understand how to create and deliver value to your customers. Regular surveys are a great way to quickly and effectively collect data that will help measure and improve a business’s performance.
By focusing on and delivering what a customer wants and needs ensures the growth and success of a business.
Want help engaging your customers?
Vividus offers a range of Social Media, email marketing, and other services that will help businesses better connect with their customers. Vividus also offers Survey and Research services that will increase understanding of your customers, competition and business landscape.
Contact us today to discover new and effective ways of communicating with your customers.