Do you know how much it costs to lose a customer? As a general rule, it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one.
Finding new customers is time-consuming and costly. You have to market to them, convince them to convert, and then woo them into becoming repeat shoppers. This time and money could be spent retaining your existing customers and making them fall in love with your brand.
Good customer service isn’t expensive, but it has an exceptionally high return on investment. Here’s how you can improve your customer care regardless of your company size and budget:
1. Individually reach out to customers
Over the past decade, the marketing industry has emphasized automation and artificial intelligence. Email lists can give the appearance of personalization while AI tools can launch chatbots to handle basic inquiries. While this technology has helped hundreds of companies (and likely millions of customers), there’s a new push to bring back human interaction.
According to a survey of 3,000 consumers by Calabrio, 79% of customers, “believe interacting with a human versus a chatbot or other digital self-service channel is a sign of good customer service.” Additionally, 74% of consumers are more loyal to a company if they can speak to a person.
Build truly personalized customer outreach into your service plan. This could mean connecting with customers who haven’t used your services recently or calling people about orders and products. These small steps could have a significant impact on your loyalty, and therefore, profit and revenue.
2. Make it easy for customers to contact you
Customer service is a two-way street. Not only should you proactively reach out to your customers to offer help, but you should make it easy for them to reach you. For example, some law firms are so large that clients never actually speak to the main lawyer on their case. Instead, it’s up to support staff to handle client relations.
"I have too often heard from new clients that they were working with another law firm and they got passed along to junior attorneys or even non-legal staff and never had a chance to interact with the lawyer they hired," said Scott J. Corwin, Attorney and Principal of Scott J. Corwin Law. "They often say to me no one cared."
However, if clients are bumped around and treated like case numbers instead of real people—whether you’re a lawyer or a small local retailer—they aren’t going to have a good experience, which means, they won’t be coming back.
Be clear about how customers can reach people in different departments and evaluate your customer service models to make sure that customers are getting through to the person they need.
3. Listen to what your customers want
Listening is one of the more powerful tools for customer care. It allows you to find unique solutions to customer problems and identify ways to adjust your business to meet your customer needs.
"Listening to customers is about connecting with them," writes Sophia Bernazzani, a product marketer at Owl Labs. "It involves paying close attention to their needs and understanding how you can help them achieve their goals."
Consider setting up a feedback meeting each month to review customer comments and complaints. You can also create a sheet for your employees to fill out with customer comments. This allows you to listen to what people have to say and make changes to improve your operations.
4. Train your staff regularly
Informed employees are valuable employees. Set aside time with your staff each week (or each month for smaller businesses) for training. You can help your team learn the best practices surrounding customer care and train them on the details of the products and the industry.
For example, a health food store can dive into the ingredients of key products to help employees understand why customers would want them. They can also learn about common health problems caused by various foods to better serve customers. Customer-facing staff needs to be ready to present the best possible client care, and that starts with the training and education you provide.
5. Let customers contact you via various mediums
Along with offering good service, your business can stand above the rest by letting customers reach you in different ways. For example, 33% of social media users would rather have a problem resolved online rather than by phone or email. However, other people prefer to call someone. Customer service means serving customers where they want to go—not forcing them to use specific channels that meet your needs.
Client and customer care is something that your business needs to consistently prioritize. Even if you implement new policies and train your staff, you need to keep checking in to make sure your customers are happy and best practices are followed. Your clients will thank you for it by staying loyal, which makes the effort a win-win.
Look at this 5-star review from Barney! We love hearing stories from our small business customers who are able to revolutionize their business using Keap. pic.twitter.com/fzuXD3eYir— Keap (@KeapGrowing) July 12, 2020