5 methods so as to add worth to retain your clients

Hold: Holding on to existing customers is just as important as finding new customers

As a business owner, your customers are your most important asset. These customers can be your greatest champions or your toughest critics, with both sides of the coin being equally important to business development and long-term success. Knowing how to retain customers is critical. Ultimately, your customer base will grow financial revenue and make customer service a critical investment for any business: a massive 96 percent of customers say they would avoid doing business because of poor customer service.

Acquiring new customers is often seen as key to a company's success. While keeping the customer pipeline healthy is of course important, there is a downside: understanding the value of the customers you already have. Customer loyalty is far cheaper than acquisition. A recent study shows that converting and bringing in new customers can cost up to seven times more than managing the customers already in your books.

While the excitement of new customers can get your business going, a high churn rate doesn't recognize the long-term value of loyalty. Refining your customer service offering to improve customer loyalty results in a very engaged customer base who is more likely to recommend your services to friends and family. More than half of consumers trust this firsthand knowledge more than any other type of advertisement.

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Five ways to add value to retain your customers

Companies need to develop a satisfaction policy that builds, maintains and strengthens relationships with existing customers in order to promote continued and sustainable business success. It is important to ensure that your customer service offers value in order to retain your customers.

# 1 – Realize that every customer has a "lifetime value".

A customer's Lifetime Value (CLV) is the total amount a customer spends on your services while remaining part of your customer base. By calculating the CLV, you can segment customers based on profitability and identify the ones you want to engage heavily and keep over time.

You can add lifetime value by taking the time to build customer trust and nurture the relationship. Customer lifetime value is an investment. This was recently proven by Virgin Media, which recognized the importance of its services during the coronavirus pandemic. The company offered existing customers free additional benefits such as broadband upgrades and premium content: a clear investment in CLV. Virgin Media's strategy not only increased customer loyalty, it also generated 25,000 new product registrations through increased word of mouth and renewed loyalty.

# 2 – Keep the C-suite busy

C-suite executives must take an active role in customer service and ensure that a customer-centric focus is built into all levels of their organization. Studies have shown that 64 percent of companies with a customer-centric CEO offer quality customer service and increased financial success.

It is important to ensure that high-level executive teams work with your customer service reps. If you take the time to gain personal insight into the company's customer service operations, you will get better feedback. In this way you can refine the CX strategies (customer experience) and increase the possibilities for customer loyalty. Employees who feel they are being heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work.

# 3 – Empower and equip your employees

The relationship between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction is often overlooked. Your customer service reps are the face of your brand and can shape a customer's first impression of the business. If you want to retain customers, it is critical that employees feel empowered and engaged in the workplace.

Customer service can be a very stressful job: In America, customer service turnover is between 30 and 45 percent, more than twice as high as in other sectors. Investing in employee wellbeing through training opportunities is a worthwhile expense and will improve employee performance over time. Over 80 percent of high performing customer service reps say they receive training to be successful, compared to just 52 percent of high achievers. Skilled employees will be more engaged, motivated, and knowledgeable, and will pay off for longer-term retention.

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# 4 – First contact resolution

Answering inquiries quickly and accurately is the key to customer satisfaction. Customer support information needs to be consistent and accessible across all inquiry lines to maximize the likelihood of a first contact solution. Ten years of research from Accenture found that 80 percent of customers who postponed their loyalty would have stayed if the problem had been resolved the first time they met – making delays extremely detrimental to customer loyalty.

Minimize the need for customers to use phone lines by improving your online information offering. By fixing common issues with readily available FAQ pages or blogs, customers can resolve issues faster and easier, while giving agents the ability to speak to those who need them most.

# 5 – Encourage feedback, be ready to adjust

Customers and employees are a valuable source of feedback for any business. Customers can provide the best insight into a company's CX offerings. Getting customer feedback through regular survey opportunities can help you understand where you can make improvements that will drive customer loyalty. Companies that share customer experience feedback directly with the CEO achieve an average of 6 points more net promoter score – a strong indicator of overall customer service success.

By encouraging employee feedback, managers can understand the challenges and frustrations of their frontline employees and how they can improve the employee experience. A Gallup survey of 50,000 employees found that satisfied employees are more successful in improving their company's reputation, retaining their existing customers, and attracting new ones. Try to integrate regular feedback options into the CX workflow. This drives engagement and provides more useful and timely data on employee experiences.

Aileen Allkins is the founder of Aileen Allkins Consultancy

further reading

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