Business leaders often believe that there is a necessity in setting out a company’s values to ensure they cover every base. Portraying your company as a customer-centric organisation is no exception. But the fact is, many successful companies treat this as a given, and their values reflect everything else they pride themselves on being.
We could all name a handful of companies which always make us feel like a valued customer. These companies are usually also great at customer service. We can easily recall these experiences because they have likely led to us becoming a repeat customer for that very reason.
At Coriolis, by the nature in which we land our business, we must rely on our valued customer to become our advocate, with word of mouth and recommendations being key. The HBR reported that as little as a five percent increase in customer retention boosts profits by 25 to 85 percent, so this really isn’t an area anyone can afford not to invest in.
In many businesses, a disproportionate amount of time and resource is spent on acquiring new customers and not enough time on retaining existing ones. We can all think of an example of when we’ve been left feeling put out by our bank/supermarket/online content streaming service by an offer or promotion that’s only available to new customers.
There are infinite articles about how to develop a customer-centric culture, but on a day-to-day basis, try the following approaches for effective customer retention:
Listen – and don’t dilute your aim
Many organisations utilise surveys to get valuable insights from their customers. If you’re making use of surveys for customer feedback, do just that. Ask the right questions and don’t dilute the impact of your desire to improve by being opportunistic and including a bunch of questions for market research purposes.
Don’t be afraid to say sorry
Customer service industries were once categorically advised never to offer an apology as this meant admitting fault. From my own experience, sorry is the one word I most want to hear when it is warranted. Saying sorry shouldn’t be about admitting fault, it should be viewed as a declaration of empathy.
Keep in touch
Customer relationship management software, LinkedIn, and email marketing were all invented for this very purpose and prove invaluable to any business in maintaining a point of contact with your existing network of customers. Remember that 5% investment in customer retention could go a very long way…
In summary, ask the right questions. Respond to feedback. Develop a culture of customer care.
Written by Kayleigh Humphrey, Coriolis Ltd