A company that can’t retain customers is a company that won’t be in business for very long. Too many companies finalize a sale and then think the process is over. Successful companies know that a sale is just the beginning of a customer relationship, and these companies work hard to avoid the four common ways that other businesses let repeat customers get away.
Not Providing Timely Service
Customers are reasonable when it comes to getting service, but making a customer wait too long will cause that customer to take his or her business elsewhere. Whether you assign a sales team to existing customers or develop a robust customer service department, you need to constantly service your existing clients to keep them. You should set deadlines of no more than one working day to return client messages, and there should be a way of escalating client issues that don’t get solved immediately.
Not Updating Customers on New Products and Services
Selling products to existing customers is much more cost-effective than having to replace customers when they leave. As you get new product releases and updates that you feel your customers would find useful, you should be offering some kind of information your customers will appreciate. Be careful not to overwhelm your existing clients with information, but be sure to keep everyone updated on your latest developments.
Not Getting Feedback From Clients
Your existing customers will develop more of an emotional tie to your company if you ask for feedback. By making your most loyal customers part of a new product testing group, you get the practical feedback you need and your customers feel like they are a part of your product development process.
Not Appreciating Clients
A client who spends money with your company wants to feel like her business is appreciated. Reach out to clients and ask them what types of products and services they would like to see, and let your clients know that their needs help to drive your business. Keep detailed client contact notes for every client, and encourage your customer service and sales staff to stay in touch with clients and make your clients feel appreciated.
It’s difficult to find new clients, but it’s even more difficult to replace repeat business. Repeat business is the financial foundation on which your company is built, and you cannot have growth until you have that foundation in place. You need to make client retention a critical part of your sales and service process if you want to develop a successful business.