Keeping customers happy and satisfied in a manner that encourages them to not only keep coming back for you to serve them more but also for them to refer your services to others is one of the main concerns of any business, irrespective of whether it is a start-up or a well-established company.
According to Gartner, “80% of your company’s future revenue will come from only 20% of your existing customers.” This is why it is important to keep your customers happy. Another statistic by Forrest Research suggests that it costs 5 times more to attract new customers as compared to retaining your current ones. As for referrals, the same source suggests that 73% of your customers trust recommendations from family and friends, whereas you can win as less as 19% by approaching them directly. Thus, retaining existing customers as well as generating referrals from them is one of the key factors that can help your business grow exponentially.
Here are some points to increase customer satisfaction and, in turn, retention:
Call your customers regularly
Pick up the phone and make regulars to your customers. You can have someone from your office do that for you regularly. Have a schedule for pending calls to customers and have daily reminders of the same. Have customers rate your services from 1 to 10. If they do not give you 10 points, ask them for suggestions about how you can improve your services. However, if they give you 10 points, ask what they liked the most.
Reply to Emails from Customers Promptly
Ideally, you should reply to emails from customers within 1 hour. If not, 24 hours, but not more. A quick response indicates that you are always available in case something important comes up. If you are unable to reply within the stipulated time, send an email stating that you have received the message and that you will respond as soon as you have worked things out.
Value your Customers’ Point of View
Just like you are an expert in your field, your customers are experts in theirs. Inputs from your customers can help you serve them better as they have provided services to their customers for a longer time compared to you. In case of an end-customer, listen carefully and go an extra mile to understand their requirements and personalize your services for them.
Clarity and Transparency
Be realistic about your promises of service delivery. Do not promise anything you cannot deliver. Be aware of your limitations and be clear and transparent about how and what you can deliver. Studies have proven that customer loyalty increases when mistakes are handled quickly and effectively. Finally, all of us are human and prone to make mistakes. The key lies in admitting them and implementing damage control as soon as possible.
Always remember that the top two reasons for losing a customer are: a) They feel poorly treated, and b) You, as a business, fail to solve their problem in a timely manner.
Make suggestions to your customers about how they can get the most out of their budgets and what more you can offer them. This will show them that you are interested in making sure they get more value for money and in helping them grow their business over time.
Offer Incentives for Referrals
Your most satisfied customers can also become your best sales-people. Request them to provide reviews & testimonials and refer you to their family, friends, as well as business contacts. A large number of referrals from customers indicates that the level of satisfaction of your customers is high. However, a low number of referrals does not necessarily mean that customers are not happy with your services. It indicates that there is probably room for improvement. Offering incentives/discounts for referrals can prove to be effective tools and are being increasingly used by marketers worldwide.
Use Customizable CRM Software Solutions
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, such as Freedom CRM, go a long way in managing all the aspects of a business, right from lead generation to invoicing, and everything else that comes in between. It consolidates documents as well as information about your customers in a single database, thus enabling easy access and management of this data from various devices and helps manage right from lead generation to invoicing completely from your smartphone. Customized Software Solution offers a helpdesk module for your sales team to manage customers and handle queries in an effective and timely manner. It enables sales, marketing, and customer service to work together to remove any obstacles arising from communication gap. Some of the many benefits of implementing CRM software for effective management of customer service are stated below:
Automates repetitive marketing tasks at different stages of the lifecycle. For instance, when presented with sales prospects, it automatically sends marketing materials to these prospects either via social media or via email.
Tools that track interactions with customers and automate some of the functions of the sales cycle which are necessary for following leads and boosting your customer base.
Lead management: It helps track sales leads and helps sales staff input, analyze, as well as keep track of new leads at one go.
Contact center automation:
It helps simplify customer service delivery and reduces the time spent on phone calls for the same. This includes prerecorded audio to provide information and assist in problem-solving, reduces the burden on contact service agents.
GPS technology that generates marketing campaigns depending upon the geographic location of customers. These services can be used as contact management or networking tools to generate leads based on location.
Helps analyze user data, customer preferences, and rates of customer satisfaction to help improve customer service delivery as well as design marketing campaigns.
Workflow automation: CRM systems can be customized to streamline mundane day-to-day tasks for your employees, thus enabling them to focus on more high-level and creative tasks. Not only will this do away with their boredom, but also help leverage their time.
Human resource management:
CRM software helps track contact information, performance reviews, remuneration. It is also for benefits of employees and automates tasks for the human resource team to effectively manage the workforce.
Thus, streamlining all repetitive business processes is a key to leverage time and money for efficient business practices, which will go a long way in improving customer satisfaction levels.