What business doesn't want to attract new customers and retain existing customers? Most businesses focus on the former (attracting new customers), but it actually takes less effort to retain clients than it does to look for new clients. Many current studies put a number on this: it costs 5 to 10 times more to attract a new customer than to retain a current one.
How can you come out ahead when it comes to retaining customer retention and reducing churn (the rate at which customers stop subscribing to your business)? Here are some tips for keeping your customers coming back and saving time and money in the process.
This may seem like a given, but building relationships with your clients is one of the most important, and easiest, things you can do to retain them. If you take the time to understand your customers and their needs, they will notice. Contact them periodically with a note or article that made you think of them. If you pleasantly surprise a client, they’re more likely to remember you positively. And talk to multiple people within the company; you never know where you will find your strongest advocates.
Set Expectations and Surpass Them
If someone’s ever told you they would do something by a certain date and you watched the deadline come and go, you know how frustrating it is when someone does not meet your expectations. Especially if they chose the date in the first place. When you set expectations for clients, they have an idea of what’s coming. If you can, pick a deadline a bit farther than you expect you’ll need; it is much better to surprise clients with an early product than to disappoint them by being behind schedule.
Have an Effective Feedback System
It’s important to hear what clients and customers are thinking. If they’re happy or unhappy with one of your products or services, they may or may not share these feelings without being asked. Rating a long list of qualities on a scale of 1 to 5 usually doesn’t cut it to get customers’ true feelings. You want to hear what you are doing that’s amazing and what could use some improvement, so you can make your business the best it can be. Does a customer have a concern? React to it, but also share it within the company so you can prevent complaints in the future.
Show Why You Matter
These days, the bottom line often wins out, so make sure you show why your product or service is important to the customer. Your goal should be to provide value anyway, but your clients need to see that as well. Ask questions to keep up to date on your customers’ needs so you can continue providing the best and most effective service.
Much of what these tips boil down to is being proactive in your relationship with clients and customers. Jump on any problems before they arise instead of trying to put out fires. Call to ask whether they’re happy and whether you can do anything to make their experience better. If you won’t meet a deadline, announce that as soon as possible. Create and share content that answers common questions. Anticipating your clients’ needs shows you take your business and your relationship with them seriously, and that’s something clients really appreciate.
You cannot completely avoid losing clients, because some are just not the right fit for what you do; however, many relationship can be saved using these tips.
Sources: Inc., Entrepreneur
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