You won’t need reminding how competitive the marketplace is now that more customers than ever before are price savvy and demand the best service and products at the lowest possible price.
This presents a challenge for your business and if there is any aspect of the customer experience that is not up to standard it could be costing you, customers.
Investing in enough phones for your business so that every customer can get through is one initiative that could help you retain and grow your customer base and it would also help to constantly evaluate and review your business processes so that you keep your customers happy.
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Understand that you will lose some customers, but you can still keep plenty happy
Customer and brand loyalty is a rare thing these days and less than 15% of shoppers tend to remain loyal to a particular business, so you need to appreciate that it is inevitable that you will lose some people to rivals no matter how well you treat them.
However, that should not stop you looking closely at what drove them away, and the first place to look is customer service.
If the customer service experience has been poor in any way that is often the primary reason above anything else why a customer decides not to buy from you again, in the short term at least.
The problem is that many customers won’t tell you what they didn’t like and will simply choose to go somewhere else instead.
This is why you need to encourage and search out feedback, using social media platforms to interact with customers and respond to any complaints as quickly as possible.
Providing a quick response and a swift resolution to a problem should help improve your chances of keeping a customer happy, even when you get something wrong.
Not what they were expecting
Another major source of customer dissatisfaction is when your product or service does not meet their level of expectation.
A big issue to contend with is that when someone thinks your product or service does not come up to scratch they will often share their views on social media rather than tell you directly, or do both.
Even when you think that you have a winning portfolio of products that your customers will love it is wise to constantly work on improving on what you already have and seek out feedback to see if your changes meet with approval.
The ultimate aim is to deliver a service or product that exceeds customer’s expectations and is deemed to be value for money.
If you keep striving to achieve that aim it should keep the number of disappointed customers to a minimum.
Understand that there is a fundamental difference between price and value
You can’t have failed to notice that some premium brands enjoy an iconic status with a hardcore of their customers and it seems that some customers are prepared to pay over the odds if they think they are still getting great value.
Offering the lowest possible price with no frills is one strategy that will win over a percentage of shoppers but if you want to build a sustainable long-term business model they key is often to accentuate the value of your product over the price.
This will involve emphasizing the benefits of your product and highlight any USP’s.
If the customer doesn’t know what to expect, that’s a problem
Many of us like a degree of predictability and order in our lives and this is often the mindset that drives the customer experience.
If you are not consistent with how you interact with customers and the service they receive is a bit hit or miss that could very easily drive them away in frustration.
For example, take a look at an iconic multi-national burger chain (the one with the golden arches) and how they approach this task and you will see that they try to deliver a consistent experience across all of their sites. You know what to expect every time you walk inside.
This is something you want to try and emulate as inconsistency is a real turn-off for many customers.
Make sure all employees understand what standards you expect to maintain at all times and empower them to be accountable for delivering great customer service every single time.
Don’t feel a feeling of resentment
You may have experienced this problem as a consumer. This is a scenario where new customers get preferential treatment with discounts and incentives that are designed to win their custom for the first time.
It is a great tactic for winning new customers but the problem with this strategy is that it breeds feelings of resentment when existing customers see that they are being treated differently and feel that they are not being rewarded for displaying loyalty.
Short-term gains achieved with an aggressive promotion that gives new customers a better deal can quickly backfire and impact on long-term profits, especially when disgruntled existing customers decide to go somewhere because they feel they are not valued.
Be wary of treating new and existing customers too differently as this sales strategy can come back and haunt you if it drives people away who think that you no longer value them as a customer.
These are some of the main reasons why you might be losing more customers than you are comfortable with and even allowing for the fact that shoppers are far more inclined to be promiscuous with their custom there are still plenty of customers who will be happy to do business with you as long as they feel you are looking after them.
Finally, it is worth reiterating that things can and do go wrong now and again when you are serving customers but the main point to remember here is that there is often a window of opportunity to redeem the situation, as long as you act quickly.
Work hard to win their trust and respect back and you could end up with a strong customer relationship that keeps them coming back for more.