How to Retain Customers in Business
Competition seems to be hitting us like a ton of bricks as they are offering:
-services at a fraction of the cost
-and throwing in free services that you normally mark up…
So the question is…
How do you Keep your Customers Loyal?
aka How to Retain Customers in Business
While we all work extremely hard to grow our customer base, it is also extremely important to maintain and keep your current customer base happy.
As you probably have encountered it is easier said than done, but here are few things that I heard that help customers remain loyal.
1. Customer Service
This is by far the most analyzed aspect of a business besides the cost of your services, but it is the most used tag line or business proposition.
You guys have heard it 100 times, “You should do business with us because we have amazing customer service”
Typically the companies that have excellent customer service are demonstrating it, not talking about it.
As the Corporate tyrants begin to take over the market, We have all become more familiar with the horrible customer service
(i.e. the big fish such as: Cell Phone Companies, Best Buys, Office Depot, etc.)
They abuse the hold button along with the idea of submitting a service ticket, not to mention they lack knowledge of the product and services they provide.
In fact, in speaking with many consumers in the IT market as well as several other markets, I have found folks are willing to pay a premium in order to ensure good customer service.
With that being said, The big fish are making attractive sales pitches to draw in your customers, but this is where…
Go over and above with your clients and make to sure to fully elaborate on how you are assisting them. The key to your customer knowing that your are going over and above is to briefly educate them on what you are doing. (Based on the company, you can compare it to what others would do and how they typically do not go to this extent, but be careful as this can turn customers off.)
At the end of the day, Many companies have a customer Service that is nothing to run home and tell everyone about but they should.
Make sure that when your customer thinks of “Customer Service” they automatically think of you.
My first thought when I think of Customer Service is Orlando Infiniti. They take care of me like I have am their number one customer and as if I had purchased 10 cars. When I go in for service, I am treated as royalty and as I am an their sole most important customer. This alone has made me want to purchase another Infiniti from them as well as send every friend and family member to their dealership.
This ripple effect is solely on their customer service. Lets make this happen for your company!
Customers love to feel like they know what is next and what they can expect if they reach out to you on a Monday or Friday. You can really attribute much of this personal level business to social media. Since the birth of social media, Customers are wanting to be updated on the next phase of your business or what your company did that particular week.
In my most recent post regarding Incorporating Pinterest for Business Marketing, I touched on the significance of customers or possible prospects getting an inside look at your business as well as your services.
Companies like ConnectWise have capitalized on communicating to their prospects and clients through every possible channel. In return they have grown exponentially and have become the go-to for every MSP/VAR. You can find them actively updating their Facebook with their ventures to conferences along with day to day activities such as company events, moving offices and upcoming webinars.
Your asking yourself what is the benefit of this?
If you had solely heard the name ConnectWise through the grapevine and decided to search for them or follow them on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest, you could know what their business model is, how the company operates, who their clients are and how they could impact my business.
To sum it up, its a Virtual Sales Pitch and an extension to your website/brand.
3. Feeling involved/ Kickbacks
Some like to refer to it as a Loyalty Program, but at the end of the day companies/customers like to feel like they are benefiting from being apart of your business. Companies like Target and Starbucks have maximized this angle with their rewards cards which essentially keeps customers coming back to reep the rewards of loyalty. The underlying goal is for you to continue to do business with these companies in thoughts that you will get a kickback as well as feeling like you are apart of an exclusive group that gets this benefit.
In the world of IT, ConnectWise has also maximized on this angle with their User Groups. These User Groups allow fellow users to share their success as well as partner with other users of the software on leveraging the product to maximize ROI. These users feel as though they are apart of an exclusive group that have invested into a software that can potentially take their business to the next level.
4. Not always a sale pitch
We are all in the business of making money, but as a customer we never like the feeling as that we have just invested into a company that will be knocking on our door 2 days later for more money on a product I do not need. A great example of this is GoDaddy, they are persistent to get you signed up for hosting among 20 other of their services after you have purchased a domain. At some point it becomes noise and the message is never delivered.
The key here is to reach out to your clients/ prospects and see how the services are working out as well as how business is going. This opens the door for subtle up-selling (i.e. suggesting a product that can fix any trouble they may be having). So many companies are going directly to the hard sell and consumers are turned off by that quickly.
They want to know you personally want what is best for their company. In fact, the simple statement, ” I want what is best for your company” really helps reassure your client/prospect.
It is easy for a sales individual to solely focus on upselling (going for the aggressive sale) , but with the market being upside down they are receiving the hard sell everywhere they go. Change it up and mask your up-sell and you will see your revenue grow along with your client retention.
Feel free to share this with all your friends and business partners.