Leading companies know that great products are necessary but not sufficient: In today’s world, you have to deliver great customer experiences in order to succeed. Becoming a successful business means you must understand your customers and put them first. Becoming customer-centric starts by getting to grips with your customers wants, needs, fears and expectations.
It's not easy to gain new customers so it is really important to hold on to the ones you have. You have already achieved half the objective of gaining valuable customers, now is the time to do the other equally important half of keeping them.
Did you know that when customers are unhappy, there's a 91 percent chance they won't do business with a company again. Dissatisfied customers typically tell 9 to 15 other people about their experience. A negative customer experience is the reason 86 percent of consumers stop doing business with a company. However, good customer experiences lead 42 percent of consumers to purchase again.
Put simply, loyal customers spend more, return more and refer more. However, creating customer loyalty is not always easy and when the experience is below expectations, trying to attract them back is an uphill struggle.
The best way of identifying the reasons customers leave you is by spotting their pain points. Here are the four main reasons why customers leave you.
Mistake 1: Assuming long-time customers are happy
Mitigate: Celebrate customer relationship anniversaries with check-in meetings. Schedule time yearly or every six months to thank customers – via video or in person – to say thanks, ask questions and listen to feedback. For instance, an energy company offers annual energy audits at no cost. A banker reaches out to customers to review financial goals and align accounts. A fireplace installer offers chimney inspections every summer.
Mistake 2: Forgetting customers’ best interest
Mitigate: Give your existing customers your best service, best advice, and best deals. Doing so may hurt your wallet in the short term, but in the long run, it’s the right thing to do and a strategy that will build trust and loyalty.
Mistake 3: Employees engaging incorrectly
Mitigate: Live by a customer-first philosophy. No matter how friendly customers are, avoid mistaking conviviality for someone’s desire to focus on you. To put it in math terms, try to do no more than 30% of the talking. Instead, spend your time asking good questions and listening to the answers.
Mistake 4: Inconsistent communication
Mitigate: Create a contact schedule that makes sense for the kind of business you’re in. Consider your customers’ industries, lives and work. Know when they’re busy – and don’t need much interaction – and when they’re more likely to be open to your unsolicited help.
To best understand what your customer pain points are there are various methods.
Firstly, you can simply just ask them, a simple question of asking how they find the product or service if they contact you for whatever reason.
Secondly enjoy and appreciate complaints or negative feedback, this is free advice on how to improve your business and where the flaws are, this should be seen as a positive thing to improve and retain, not a hindrance. If using a system like ZenDesk, reports can be automatically generated to spot trends.
Thirdly conduct surveys, ask the right questions that are relevant to your business and use the data and feedback constructively to make changes, put out those fires and solve the pain points. There are plenty or insight companies out there, but you can create your own free surveys with tools such as Google Forms or Survey Monkey.
Fourthly be proactive and call your customers, have a conversation, historically called courtesy calls but they work, this will give you incredible feedback around where you and your business need to improve. Customers appreciate being listened to. You never know, you may also be able to generate a sale.
And lastly review websites, such as TrustPilot and TripAdvisor. These again give a wealth of knowledge on what is good with your business and where those pain points are.
We’ve witnessed first-hand the positive impact these solutions have had on our clients' businesses, and it is as inspiring and rewarding to us, as it is transformative for them. They reap the rewards of a new customer focused business strategy with new energy, purpose and pride. Embrace feedback, less pain points and enjoy the changes you see.
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