Even if you do everything right, some level of customer churn is going to happen. Customers may move away or outgrow the need for your product or service. But if you dig deeper, you will find that most customer churn is controllable. You and your team have the ability to retain valued customers.
Why Customers Churn or Leave
When businesses lose valued customers, they often assume it is related to price or competition. But too often, that’s the go-to reason to justify the loss – covering up the real issues.
- Outdated products or services. Customer needs change. So should your products or services. Do yours need a facelift?
- Lack of engagement or perceived indifference. Most businesses invest a lot of resources on new customers. What are you doing to make valued customers feel important? Make sure they know you care.
- Poor customer service or quality. It’s all about your customers’ expectations. They deal with a lot of companies and industries, not just yours. What should your customer experience look like? Does your team have the tools and know-how to deliver it consistently?
- Attracting the wrong customers. It is not easy to turn away customers. But too many one-and-done sales or dissatisfied clients do not help your business. You want people who value, want and need what you offer. People whose problems you can solve – and are happy to pay for it. Is your marketing and sales attracting the right customers?
- Over promise and under deliver. If customers expect the Taj Mahal and get a hut, they feel cheated. When it comes to quality, service, performance, lead time, results or other benefits — be honest.
How to Retain Valued Customers
Get Your House in Order. If customer service or quality levels are broke, work to fix them. It’s the number one way to reduce customer churn and retain customers. If you fail to deliver what you promise, customers won’t stick around and will share their bad experiences with others. Identify what you want the ‘buying experience’ to look like and have procedures and tools in place to help your people deliver it consistently.
Talk to Customers. Customer needs change over time. So, take the time to ask them for feedback on what they need and how well you are meeting their needs and expectations. It’s also a great way to uncover new product or service opportunities.
Reward Retention. If retention is really a priority in your business, demonstrate this to your team. Set goals for improvement areas and reward the team when they are accomplished. This approach works for any improvement you wish to make. It becomes a focus for your team. And with focus comes improvement.
Choose People Wisely. When you hire employees or select subcontractors to interact with your customers, make sure they value customers and possess the skills to deliver to your standards. Are they empathetic and trustworthy? Can they communicate well and listen? Each customer contact with you, your team or other partners is an opportunity to build your reputation or destroy it. Make the selection of people a priority.
Say Thank You. Sounds obvious but consider this. When was the last time you received a personal thank-you note from a company you do business with? This simple strategy can really make an impact and says a lot about your company and the value you place on customers.
Stay Connected. Social media can certainly keep your name in front of customers, but nothing beats a personal approach. Whether you do it by phone, mail or email, make sure your customers know you are thinking of them. Too often, we only connect when we’re trying to sell something. A simple thank you, a request for feedback, or a holiday greeting card can all do the trick. If you want to add a special offer, just for them, even better! While the frequency may vary based on your business or industry, quarterly contacts should be your minimum goal!
Make Customers Feel Important. Your current customers need to feel more appreciated than non-customers or prospects. While new customers are important to growth, make sure current customers get some VIP treatment. Programs, offers or specials that are exclusively available to them work well – so build some into your marketing efforts.
Make Service Everyone’s Job. Does everyone in your company understand the value of customers and are they ready to help them regardless of whose job it really is? Train your team on customer service and give them the tools and ability to take care of your customers. From the receptionist to the technician or delivery driver, your team will make an impression. The kind they make is up to you!
Ready to Put Your Business on the Path to Success?
Would another set of eyes, ongoing support and accountability from an expert help you take your business to a new level of success? Then let’s explore the possibilities with a complimentary consultation. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call me at (856) 533-2344 or drop me an email Joan@HybridBizAdvisors.com