Wed 26 Nov 2008
Customer Retention Tips
One of the first principles learned in business school is that it is much less expensive to keep an existing customer than it is to win a new one.
Still, many businesses are sorely lacking when it comes to customer service, and this shows as customer loyalty seems to be at an all-time low.
Call many businesses and you'll be greeted by a recorded message. If you press the button for new sales, you're likely to be speaking to a live person almost instantly.
Handle With Care
If, however, you press the button for customer service you're likely to be on hold for several minutes. This is a mistake many businesses make, and it's a costly one.
Your existing customers should be treated with even more care than those who are not yet your clients.
Of course it's important to win new customers, but it's equally important to keep the existing ones happy.
Keep Mistakes in Check
While some customers are going to make unreasonable requests, most just want to be treated fairly. If a customer has a complaint, it's important to address it and work to correct it as soon as possible.
Even in situations where a mistake cannot be fixed, just acknowledging the error and showing how sorry you are can go a long way in keeping a customer.
It's important to instill the value of exceptional customer service to every employee. You must demand nothing less than the best treatment of every customer by every employee.
It's a good idea to make sure that your email address and/or phone number is available to customers. Let them know that they can contact you directly if their issues are not resolved to their satisfaction.
Sometimes there is a cost involved in keeping a customer happy - but that cost is worth it if it keeps your customers loyal.