By: Jacob Robinson
- 71% of consumers have ended their relationship [with a business] due to poor customer service. Tweet This!
The landscape of today’s business environment is as cut-throat and competitive as ever. With so much competition and a multitude of channels by which businesses can reach consumers, it can be difficult and expensive to engage and retain your customer base.
Jim Rohn stated that “one customer well taken care of could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” This is a profound, yet simple statement, that fundamentally makes sense for any business owner. Essentially, it’s easier and less expensive to keep current customers happy, rather than spend money to acquire new customers to replace the ones you’ve lost.
Think about it this way…You own a restaurant and you spend an average of $10 to acquire a new customer through a radio advertising campaign. You make, on average, $10 per customer that eats at your restaurant. What does that mean? Anyone that eats at your restaurant because of the radio campaign needs to return at least one more time for you to see any profit from your investment.
But what happens if that customer has a bad experience? They won’t return. Your ROI is zero for that customer. If your cost of acquisition is $20 per customer and they don’t return, you lose $10.
- 61% take their business to a competitor when they end a business relationship Tweet This!
Wouldn’t you rather you money work for you?
Keeping with the above anecdote, what would happen if you spent more time and money improving customer experience? Spending money to improve customer experience will allow you to reduce customer turnover. Improving customer experience may include more training for your employees, improving operating systems or changing processes. All of which may require extra time, money and resources.
However, improving customer experience doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are three cost effective ways that you can improve your customer’s experience, increase advertising ROI, and decrease customer turnover.
Cost Effectively Retain Customers and Improve Their Experience
Focus on Customer Experience
Consider the Customers Point of View: If you are working with a customer who has a problem, always consider the situation from their point of view. Looking at a problem from a different perspective will allow you to find better solutions and satisfy customers.
Follow Through & Follow Up Often: We all know the feeling. We submit a request for support with a company and then we don’t hear from them. This causes frustration and discontent. Give your customers status updates consistently throughout the buying or support process. And do what you say you’re going to do. If you say you will call your customer by the end of the day with a status update on that product they wanted – call them by the end of the day. (Golden rule type stuff!)
How Would the Customer Describe Their Experience with Your Company to Someone Else? Keep this in mind with everything you do! In fact, if you get nothing else out of this article – this is the golden nugget to hold on to. Reviews carry weight in a potential customer’s buying decision. Negative word of mouth can turn customers away, just as a great review can sell.
Be Clear, Concise, & Consistent
What is Your Timeline? Whether it’s a timeline to resolve a service request or for product delivery, it’s imperative to give your customer’s as much information as possible. The more questions they have to ask, the more discontent they will feel. When communicating with your customers, make sure you set the proper expectations. No one likes to feel like they’ve been duped, hoodwinked, or double-crossed.
Be Firm, but Flexible & Understanding: One of the most important things we can do when working with customers is to let them know that we’re on their side. At the same time, if a request is something your business is not equipped to handle, it’s best to explain that to your customer. Trying to be all things to all people, more often than not, will lead to a negative customer experience. You may lose the business anyway, along with all the time and energy you put into accommodating an unusual request.
Handle Issues Professionally
Pick Up the Phone: Next time you want to send an email to a customer, pick up the phone instead. Emails don’t convey tone and context. Phone calls resolve problems more quickly while making your customer feel important.
Always Be Positive & Empathetic: Make your customer look forward to talking with you! The more enjoyable and personal the experience the more loyal they will become.
Smile: On the phone or in person, smile often!
Where are Your Customers Going? Here’s what KISSmetrics says:
- 68% leave because of the treatment they received
- 14% are dissatisfied with products they received
- 9% begin doing business with the competition
- 5% seek alternatives
- 3% move away
- 1% die