Retaining customers and creating fans - Teleperformance - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
Customer or client retention is one of those important subjects that business schools cover in great depth. Every book or journal I read has a different multiplier showing the difference in the cost of keeping an existing customer compared to attracting new ones – in this article they say it is seven times more expensive to attract new customers.
The reality is that it changes from one business to the next and one industry to another, but the underlying principle is correct. it costs a lot more for your business to prospect for new customers than o look after the ones you already have.
I have scoured the web looking for examples that summarize the process of customer retention without getting into too much academic detail and believes that there are five key areas where you need to focus:
- Get to know your customers
- Have a feedback system and take action based on that feedback
- Ensure that expectations are set correctly and early on
- Be nice unexpectedly
- Anticipate what the customer needs rather than just offering a helpline for them to complain
This is a great list. It summarizes in five easy to remember steps the most important ways you can hang on to those customers, but this list was only published 6 months ago and I believe that one of the most important customer retention strategies has been missed.
I would add to the list that building a relationship through availability and genuine engagement is now essential for any brand. Firstly because younger consumers just expect this. Ask them about the brands they like and it will almost always reflect the brands that they feel they can engage with directly on social networks. Younger consumers want to engage, ask questions, criticize and feel that they know your brands personally.
But beyond the millennial consumers, these expectations are spreading more generally. Customers of all ages will get in touch with a brand before a purchase to ask a question directly – rather than going into a store and asking the sales representative. Customers no longer consider that the only reason they need to get in touch with a brand is post-purchase, perhaps for complaints only.
This process of real relationship building is going to be really important. Some brands have known it for years; look at companies like Harley Davidson or Nike. Customers love these brands so much they will tattoo the company logo on their body – they are fans not customers.
But people now expect these closer relationships from Internet Service Providers, supermarkets, airlines, and hotels. If you are not talking to people about your business and considering that engagement is a key part of customer retention – and acquisition – then your customers are going to talk to someone else.
What’s your view on retention? Is a lot of the traditional advice out of date now that social communication is changing so fast? Leave a comment here or tweet @teleperformance.
Publish Date: April 14, 2016 5:00 AM
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