Retaining customers is essential to the success of any business!
Head of Client Relationships at Localsearch, Kim Riley, is here to help you understand all the customer experience basics you need to know, from dealing with difficult cases to his top 3 tips for retaining customers
Top 3 Tips for Retaining Customers
1. Listen to your clients.
Retaining customers is all about building strong relationships with them, and the first step towards achieving this is by listening to them. Listening is critical to understand your clients’ needs and wants.
Kim notes, “you need to be the ears and voice of your client.” However, many companies often rely on automation to grow quickly, leading to a loss of human interaction. This means smaller clients are often forgotten, which can negatively impact customer retention.
To prevent this from happening, it’s crucial to have touchpoints with your clients periodically. These touchpoints can be automated emails, but it’s important to mix in human interaction. The frequency and type of interaction will depend on the customer. For example, well-established clients may only want contact once a year, while new customers may require more attention to gain their trust.
In order to keep your customers happy, it’s super important to be proactive rather than just reacting when something goes wrong. It’s essential to dedicate some time each week to check in with existing customers. This may be a challenge for small business owners, but it’s a worthwhile investment. By being proactive and listening to your clients, you can build strong relationships with them and improve customer retention.
“You’re only as good as your last interaction with a client.”
Head of Client Relationships, Kim Riley
2. Take ownership and Solve Problems.
When problems arise, it is important to take ownership and follow through with an action plan to resolve the issue. However, it’s equally important to be proactive and address potential problems before they arise. Taking ownership of an issue shows your clients that you care about their problem and are willing to take steps to resolve it. This proactive approach can help prevent issues from escalating and ultimately lead to a better customer experience.
For instance, let’s say a customer reaches out to a clothing retailer with a complaint about a defective item they purchased. Instead of simply offering a refund, a proactive approach would involve the retailer not only replacing the defective item but also conducting a thorough quality check on their inventory to prevent similar issues in the future.
Taking ownership can be as simple as acknowledging the problem and outlining the steps you’ll take to resolve it. Clients want to feel heard and understood, and taking ownership of an issue is an essential part of showing them that you care. By being proactive and taking ownership of problems, you can build trust with your clients and improve your customer retention rates.
“It costs up to 10 times more to attract new customers than it does to keep existing ones.”
Head of Client Relationships, Kim Riley
3. Value your existing customer base.
In today’s competitive business world, your customers will receive marketing materials from your competitors. That’s why it’s crucial to focus on providing an exceptional customer experience that fosters loyalty and satisfaction. Research shows that a customer’s experience with a business strongly influences their decision to choose and stay with that business.
When it comes to handling unsatisfied customers, empathy plays a major role. Australians have faced many challenges recently, including floods, bushfires and Covid. Understanding customers unique circumstances is essential when addressing customer concerns. Kim explains that, at Localsearch, we train our staff to listen actively to customers and provide solutions tailored to their needs.
How to Deal with Escalated Cases
Dealing with escalated cases can be challenging, but it’s essential to have a plan in place to handle them effectively. While you may not be able to resolve the issue on the first phone call, you can get back to the customer quickly with a solution. The key is to match the right employee’s skill set to the specific type of interaction, although most staff should possess the necessary empathy to handle any situation.
When a customer expresses frustration or anger, it’s crucial to remain calm and empathetic. Instead of taking it personally, try to find a solution together with the customer and take pleasure in the satisfaction of successfully turning a negative situation into a positive outcome. By actively listening to the customer’s concerns and collaborating on a solution, businesses can not only resolve immediate issues but also foster long-term customer loyalty and satisfaction.