Have you ever been on the phone with your utilities company trying to report a service issue? Or, better yet, trying to correct a billing error? It’s nearly impossible. These companies know that, in most cases, they aren’t going to lose a customer over these issues. What are you going to do? Go without water or electricity in your home?
Unfortunately for anyone who doesn’t own a utility company, customer retention is increasingly crucial to sustainable business growth. In today’s hyper-competitive world, your customers have options. So, unless you have an unlimited marketing budget to continually find and convert new prospects, customer retention plays a big part in your growth plan. Thus, the million-dollar question: what do really customers want?
In order to answer that question, it’s important to analyze your customer experience from beginning to end. Whether you go “undercover” as a client or hire a professional mystery shopper, getting a clear picture of your company’s service is the first step to improving your customer retention.
Ask yourself, is your customer experience:
In a nutshell, do you make it easy for prospects to become customers? And, once they are customers, is it easy for them to contact you? This is especially important for businesses who have a low retention rate starting out. Each sign of inconvenience is another opportunity to lose customers.
Evaluate your processes, policies, customer-facing technology, and customer support functions to ensure each experience is as streamlined and simple as possible.
Consider your own experience as a customer for other businesses. Which companies are you most adamant about using or recommending to others? Chances are, it’s those whose employees and team members are most helpful and approachable. An approachable experience not only makes each interaction more pleasant but also enables customers to get the most out of your product or service.
For example, customers who purchase hosting services from us are typically pleased with the level of service that they receive. However, when they contact us for any issue, we try to give examples for how they can get more for their money or other ways they can utilize our services. That extra level of approachability leads to higher customer retention.
Change is inevitable. So, don’t go through this process once and assume your company is in a good shape. Periodically review customer service logs, documenting any problems or hurdles that customers tend to face and determining a plan for addressing them.
Ultimately, customer retention is the basis for any company’s growth. If you’re confident that your current clients are happy and the revenue that they represent is steady, you are able to re-invest in growth strategies to target new clients.