Retaining customers is a crucial part of the business. It has been defined as an organization’s ability to hold on to its existing customer base and acquire new ones says Brian C Jensen. Retained customers are the best source of revenue, and they cannot be achieved by blindly increasing your advertising and marketing spending. To retain customers you need to pay attention to what they really want and follow some key principles that ensure that you succeed in retaining them for a longer time period.
So let us go ahead and look at the mistakes made by companies when it comes to retaining their customers:
1) The company does not recognize that there is a problem:
If you do not recognize that retaining customers is an issue, then it becomes very difficult for you to put into place the processes and procedures required to retain them. Most companies believe that they are doing a reasonable job of customer retention but this is often not true. According to industry estimates, only 30% of customers leave because of price. The majority leaves because of what the company has done or failed to do for them as a customer. This includes lack of attention, poor service, and bad products, and so on. When you don’t pay attention to these issues, your customers will go away and never come back no matter how low your prices are!
2) Company does not have a way to measure performance against customer retention:
You need to know where you are succeeding and where you are falling short. Without this information, it is very difficult for you to get the required understanding of what works, what doesn’t work, and what needs improvement explains Brian C Jensen. You need to get information about your customers’ feedback on your products, quality of service provided by your customer care department, speed of response from technicians when servicing a complaint, etc. This helps you in deciding if any action needs to be taken at an individual level or at a corporate level to improve customer retention. For example, increasing prices may not necessarily mean that your turnover will increase because there could be other factors at play such as increased competition in that market space or reduced consumer spending power.
3) The company does not communicate with its customers:
Good customer satisfaction comes from good communication. When you do not communicate with your customers on a regular basis, you are likely to lose them. Brian C Jensen says this applies at all levels of your business including sales calls, emails, product updates via social media, etc. Good confidential communications are an excellent way to build confidence in the company and create the trust required for customers to stay loyal to you. You need to know what is worrying or concerning your customers so that you can address issues before they become big problems.
4) Company does not pay attention to consumer behavior patterns:
Customers change their behavior patterns quite often these days due to technological changes, access to better information about various products and services available in the market, etc. So it is important for you to pay attention to these changes and keep your product range, marketing communication, etc. relevant for customers. You need to find out if the reasons that caused customers to buy from you in the past are still relevant today. For example, if the TV was a big driver for consumer purchases of washing machines in the past, what is it now? How many people are buying online and how can you ensure that they choose your site?
5) Company does not listen to customer complaints:
Listening is very important when it comes to retaining customers and ensuring that they stay with you in future as well. If there is a problem and your customer complains about it, then studying that complaint carefully will tell you what went wrong and how it can be avoided in the future. You need to show your customers that you are listening by giving them some feedback on how they can improve their experience or resolve their problems.
6) Company does not have a customer service policy:
Until you have formalized your policies, it will be difficult for you to give good customer service at all levels of your company. According to Brian C Jensen, everybody should know what is expected of him or her and also what he or she can expect from other employees or departments within the organization. A good policy allows everyone to work more effectively because there are no misunderstandings about processes, roles, etc.
7) The company does not train its employees:
It is important for every employee to know how his role affects customer retention. And how he can do his job better to retain customers. It is the duty of the HR department in every organization. To ensure that all employees are trained in customer retention issues at regular intervals. The training should be done without being too technical. So that it appeals to every employee in an organization equally including senior management, support staff, etc. You need to have a formal program for retraining your employees. Because experience teaches us that our initial impressions about people or situations may not always be correct. And we need to revise them sometimes if we want good customer retention rates over time says, Brian C Jensen.
8) Company does not look into cultural differences:
A simple change in the approach towards servicing customers (more helpful versus more aggressive or defensive) can make a big difference to your customer retention rates. For example, in some cultures direct question such as “How can I help you?” is so aggressive that it causes alarm and resentment among customers. So when your employees deal with foreign customers. They need to put themselves in the shoes of their client. Imagine how they would feel in a similar situation in their own country or culture. Then ask questions that will not cause problems for them and also will not cause offense to others.
9) Company does not pay attention to product quality:
If your products fail often and do not continue to function properly over time. Compare with similar products available from competitors. This may upset customers more than anything else. Because they eventually lose faith in your brand’s ability to deliver whatever you are selling to them. If you want to retain customers, make sure that your products are not only durable. Also trustworthy, reliable, and efficient.
10) Company does not care for customer loyalty:
You can create a lot of goodwill among your customers by giving those gifts or discount coupons at Christmas time. Letting them use some important services at no cost occasionally. Such things have an enormous effect on customer retention rates. Because they encourage positive word-of-mouth promotion of your brand. Which is one of the most powerful forms of marketing available today.
Customer retention is one of the most important aspects of every business. Because repeat customers will give you more money than new ones says, Brian C Jensen. However, customer service and good products are not enough to retain customers. You also need to be aware of some other factors. Such as cultural differences or how your organization can train its staff better. Creating a culture of customer loyalty. Good training and useful feedback about what went wrong in the past will help you develop a culture that retains customers over time.