People are always looking for the best way to find new followers, new traffic, and new customers all in an effort to increase their revenue and profits. It’s common to feel this way in our society of more, more, more, but the reality is there is a much better, and easier, way to increase revenue: retain your current customers.
Yes, it’s simple, and obviously you want to retain customers, but are you giving it any conscious thought? If not, and you are seeing customers leave happy but not return, then there are likely a few things you can do better to encourage them to return – or, if it is a one-time service, how to get them to recommend you to others.
Below are proven methods to helping you wow your customers so they return or send a new customer in their place.
1 Under-Promise, Over-Deliver
I cannot emphasise enough how important this simple mantra is, not just in business, but in life. While the promises and guarantees you make clients should make you a little worried about ensuring you deliver, you should never promise more than you can give. In fact, you should try to hold a little back so that you can over-deliver, just enough to wow your client.
The only danger with over-delivering is that if you over-deliver by a lot every single time, the one time that you can’t meet those expectations due to time constrictions or simple human error, your client will feel cheated although you delivered what you promised. However, if you can find the balance here you will have a lot of success with your customers.
2 Show Them They’re Valued
This is especially important for clients you’ve worked with for over six months, but really any client you’ve had will appreciate a thank you from time to time. Go out of your way to say thank you or, if the price tag of your product or services is high enough, send them a gift basket or similar around holidays, anniversaries of your business, or anniversaries of working together. Don’t go over the top or send them thank-yous and gifts every other week, even if they are spending six figures with your company, a thank you at the end of a big project or for Christmas is the perfect time to make them feel valued.
3 Support Them
No one feels valued if they feel like a burden. If you are a small company it can be difficult to keep up on support compared to competitors much larger than you, but you should make every effort to answer their questions, even if the question seems stupid or is answered on a document they already have. We’re fortunate to live in a world where chat-bots are affordable and easy to install onto your site, so if you’re struggling to keep up on queries, a chat-bot or even a virtual-assistant may pay for itself/themselves.
4 Retain the Right Customers
This is an important aspect of customer retention not many people are talking about. You see, it’s all well and good wanting to retain every customer you work with, but if all your clients want a thousand different things to one another and you’re running around without your head or trying to sprout extra arms, you aren’t going to be doing anyone any favours, including your own business.
The best way to retain customers is to know who your ideal customer is, what they want, and that you can deliver it exactly the way you want. Then, if a new customer you work with comes along and you discover they aren’t a good fit for you and don’t actually fit your profile, you can conclude the work and gracefully recommend a competitor who may suit them better if they return. Narrow your focus so you can give the clients you love working with exactly what they want and need, and try and get more of those customers, not just more customers in general.
5 Finally, Ask Them What They Want
Many people will say that surveying them about how they felt about working with you is the final step in retention, but it’s not. Why? Because 99% of customers won’t be honest with you unless they can be sure it’s anonymous. If you want feedback from your customers so that you can make their individual experiences with your business better, then ask them better questions.
Better questions? What does that mean? Better questions means survey them on not what you could do better, but ask them if you can ask them a few questions about your industry in general. Instead of asking, “was there anything we could have done to improve your experience with us?” to which you might get a half-hearted answer like, “Answer my emails faster, maybe?” or, worse, “nothing. I was happy with your service”, ask them “what frustrates you about working with businesses in this industry?” That way, they aren’t speaking directly about your business, but the industry as a whole. You are much more likely to receive honest answers that will actually help you improve the service. The plus is that if they say something that you’d not thought of a solution to but can offer easily, you can get back to them later and say you have now solved that problem – and you’ll likely have a customer for life.
If you can implement all of these practices perfectly you’ll never have to worry about customer attention again, or likely, finding new customers!