April 5, 2021
One of the most common misconceptions around the customer journey is that it ends in the acquisition phase. The customer buys your product or contracts your service, and the process is complete. Wrong. This is where the customer retention journey begins.
After your sales and marketing efforts are successful, you obtain a new client, and deliver the expected product or service, you must continue nurturing your client-business relationship as vehemently as you did in the attraction phase. Creating a solid relationship with your client based on trust and reliability will allow them to feel confident to continue working with you.
Provide the services as contracted, exceed expectations, nurture the relationship with follow-up emails or calls, and you’ll have a happy customer that continues doing business with you. It sounds easy, but it requires a lot of patience, perseverance, and understanding.
It is! Customer retention is more profitable than finding new clients. As your customers get to know your business and see results, they will want to continue working with you. Trust has already been obtained, so, it is more likely that they continue working with you and spending more on your products, as well as being open to branching out to new services or products from your brand.
Creating strategies to retain customers will save time and resources on marketing and sales efforts since they already know and love your company. Customers will also help you improve with great feedback, allowing you to implement best practices and continue perfecting your product and services.
In order to comprehend how to retain customers and avoid bad business experiences, you must think about why customer choose to stop working with you.
From the beginning of the process, knowing your customers, listening to them, and understanding their specific needs is essential. Treating your customers as a revenue stream will most likely generate a bad overall experience. Customers want to feel unique, as well as listened to and valued.
It’s only natural that customers have questions and doubts about your product or service offering, especially when issues arise. These doubts need to be clarified as soon as the customers reach out. If their questions are not answered, customers will start to feel uneasy as reliability starts to decrease. Many business relationships are damaged due to poor customer service and lack of communication.
Pricing is one of the most, if not the most, important aspects of the entire process. Having prices that are not consistent with market value or increasing them constantly will decrease client satisfaction. Being competitive and having an advantage over competitors also requires having pricing in line with the value being provided.
Businesses and clients need to communicate constantly and clearly from the beginning of their business relationship. Lack of communication leads to misunderstandings, which ultimately leads to unsatisfied clients.
If communication between business and client becomes transactional, plain, and cold, customers will most likely avoid emails or calls. Even though overcommunicating may become an issue, the lack of communication and empathy with your customers may also create friction. Most importantly, people want to do business with their friends, with people who know them and truly care about them and communicating on a regular basis is critical to building solid relationships with customers.
Understanding these five main reasons why customers stop working with you will allow you to create a strategy to educate your team on these points in order to help on your customer retention journey.
Honesty is the most significant pillar of any relationship. In business, being honest about your process will allow your customers to understand your way of working and organize themselves around it.
Creating false expectations to make the client happy will ultimately harm your work relationship. Even though meeting deadlines is essential, if something goes wrong, being honest about it and creating alternatives is much more helpful.
Being the ultimate solution for any of your clients is part of creating the best work experience possible. But sometimes, some things just can't be done. Here's when communicating with your clients is pivotal since you can discuss what can be done and what they can expect from you in a certain amount of time.
Creating realistic timelines will allow you to perform correctly and meet deadlines while at the same time letting your client know when they can count on their product or service and organize themselves around that time.
Formality is essential in a work environment, but it can sometimes take away the human aspect of relationships. Being able to speak openly with your clients through different channels, not just a cold email, will make them feel important and allow you to know who you're working with and how you can keep them happy.
Sometimes urgent matters come up after hours, and if your business has employees with rigorous working hours, you won't be able to give your clients the response they need from you. It's important to respect work hours, but it's also important to let clients know that they are the driving force of your business and are to be treated accordingly.
As your customers get to know you, they will see the good and the bad. Creating spaces with them specifically to hear out their feedback will improve your processes and establish best practices. There are great platforms that can help you automate and collect customer feedback. A few examples are: AskNicely, Get Feedback, and Trust Pilot. Some of these platforms can even connect directly to your website for display.
Following through with your improvement tactics is crucial since it shows you’ve listened to your clients and are striving to refine your products and processes continuously.
Finding suitable spaces and opportunities to spend time with your clients is something you should work towards. Getting to know your clients personally at special events, visits to their workplace, and other more casual settings will help build a strong relationship and improve their overall experience with your company.
Sending thoughtful notes or gifts during special occasions will make your clients feel important. It will allow them to view you as a human-centered company and one that has space for more than just business.
Creating an overall fantastic experience for your customers, where communication is constant, honesty comes first, and there’s room for improvement, will allow your business to maintain its client-base, as well as save time and resources from prospecting new clients.
Kathy Monroy is an experienced Communications Specialist and Journalist. Driven to go above and beyond, Kathy produces high-quality content specializing in transportation and logistics, marketing, sales, and technology. Her goals include becoming an expert and an authority in her line of work, always providing her audience with the most relevant and useful information.
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