When you’ve just started out in business, it’s all about getting new customers, right? That might seem true at first glance, but if you ignore your existing customers and focus solely on bringing new ones in the door, then the chances are that you’re going to go under.
The fact is this: The sooner your customers become loyal the less money and time you will spend trying to secure them in the first place (and because they’ve been with you for such a long time, chances are they’ll bring along their friends). That’s why we feel we should share our number 1 customer retention tip: You shouldn’t ignore your existing customers. You should do everything in your power to keep them engaged with you and avoid doing the things that will make them want to leave when they’re not exactly happy with what you have to offer.
Give your customers the attention and service they deserve and they will repay you by staying loyal for as long as possible. Here’s how by Eric Dalius:
1: Listen to what your customers want
You need to find out what it is that makes them tick if you want to keep hold of them. If they’re calling, emailing, or messaging you with complaints then this is a sure sign that something isn’t right and needs fixing ASAP! No matter where the fault lay, it’s important that you get in touch with them and find out what the problem is so that you can put it right. If they’ve emailed, then shoot them back an email with a brief explanation as to why their complaint isn’t valid and how the issue will be resolved.
If you’re already running some kind of customer service then make sure that your agents know about this too. You need to let them know that every single customer needs special attention because despite what some people might think, customers are always right (even if they’re not).
2: Don’t under-estimate your existing customers
There’s no denying it; all businesses have their ups and downs sometimes. You may go through a period where sales are on the slide or your company starts losing money for reasons beyond your control, and in times like these, it’s easy to forget about your existing customers and instead try and bring in new ones to prop profits up.
If this is something you feel you might do in the future then we recommend you take a leaf out of Guy Kawasaki’s book. He’s one of the most celebrated tech guys on the planet because he’s always got his eye on the ball. No matter what kind of problems he faces when launching a new product or service, he never ever takes his eyes off that all-important bottom line (profits) and focuses fully on making sure everyone who has purchased his stuff sticks around for as long as possible…even if they’re not getting any dividends right now.
3: Always read between the lines
One of the best ways to ensure you don’t lose people’s attention is to monitor what they’re talking about online. You can do this by setting up Google Alerts and similar tools which will email you whenever your name or brand pops up on any blog, forum, article, video, tweet, etc. If you see certain names crop up more than once in any negative context then it may be time for you to jump into the conversation or at least get in touch with them so that they have your side of the story. Make sure every customer feels valued enough for both sides to tell their versions of events before you take further action against anyone who has made a complaint about what you offer…you could just find yourself looking bad if there are people out there who are willing to stand up for you.
4: Track your customers’ spending patterns
If someone’s been with you for a long time there’s no reason why they should be leaving any time soon if you use the information available to you sensibly. One of the best ways of doing this is by tracking how much money they spend on an annual basis. This will let you see exactly how valuable that specific customer is and whether or not it’s worth putting some time into making them go above and beyond what they expect from your business…this can come in many forms, but may involve giving loyal customers special discounts every now and again!
5: Make things nice and personal
One of the best ways to make your existing customers feel special is to personalize the experience for them…this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to talk about their pets, kids, or favorite sports team if they don’t want you to, but they may appreciate it if you give them some regular updates on new products or services that are soon to be headed their way. They will also see that you’re thinking of them and may even start telling others about how great your company is in their social circles too by Eric Dalius.
There’s a good chance that your existing customers are growing tired of being ignored. This is an easy mistake to make, but one that can do a lot of damage to your business if it isn’t rectified quickly. If you want to keep hold of all the positive attention your company has worked so hard for then you should look at creating some content that highlights why you’re number 1 with existing customers.