Customer Experience

The Easiest Way to Grow Your Customers is to Not Lose Them

August 18, 2015

45 percent of customers say they’re more likely to visit businesses that respond to their reviews

Online Reviews Survey

 grow-your-customers-by-not-losing-them

 

Multiple polls show that businesses spend exorbitant amounts of money and time replacing one-time customers, who were more than willing to give a business a chance to prove itself, but walked out with indifference or full disappointment.

If this is the boat you’re in, we want to empower you and your frontline employees to take the steering wheel of your customer experience strategy, and make sure that it’s crafted to create long-term customers with a deeply rooted sense of loyalty toward your brand.

These simple tips will give your business a 180-degree change, and help you navigate to the land of incremental growth and away from a painfully expensive, high customer churn rate.

Don’t Let Your Reviews and Reputation Run Adrift

Neglecting the voice of your customer amounts to wearing marketing blinders. Online customer reviews are the most dynamic and fluid way to understanding the customer sentiment, setting up processes that improve responsiveness, and tailoring the offering to be an ad-hoc match of your customer’s ideal of excellence.

Businesses with review monitoring and review management efforts in place, paired with a strong customer experience strategy, are always ahead of their peers when it comes to customer retention. A good online reputation is not based on inertia; it is the result of diligent and intentional strategies aimed at delivering what you promised, and promising what the customer really wants.

When It Comes to Customer Experience, Be All Hands in Deck

Customer retention is not exclusive to frontline employees. Everyone that touches customer processes should illuminate their actions, with the final goal in mind of ensuring that every customer is motivated not only to patronage the business again, but also to give a positive endorsement about the business to their social and professional networks.

When crafting your customer retention strategy, make sure everyone is on the same page and has the same level of understanding and commitment.

Don’t Let Negative Feedback Become a Ballast

Discouragement is a contagious disease. Don’t allow for negative customer feedback to impact the morale of your team. Instead, embrace negative feedback, and use it as the barometer for the health of your business organization.

Each time your business receives a negative review, commit to engage with the reviewer in a way that opens the door for a second chance, and speaks to other potential customers of your dedication to constant product and process improvement.

Do Not Bamboozle Your Customers by Astroturfing

As tempting as it might be, deception is not a good or sustainable way to manage a business. Stay away from creating fake reviews online that generate a false expectation of what your business is able to deliver. Astroturfing (the practice of creating false positive reviews on review sites) is illegal, but most importantly, it is destructive and will only result in more dissatisfied customers.

Read more: “Giving Yourself 5 Stars? The Cons of Faking Your Online Reviews

Customer Compensation Is Not Blood Money, Don’t Make It a Habit

Customer recovery and appropriate compensation have a place in your overall marketing strategy, but you need to be careful and clear about how you use it. Giving a customer a refund is not the final end to a well-managed customer experience.

Make sure you are tackling the root problem and you are compensating the customer in a way that is conducive to a second chance. You and your team need to be ready to deliver a customer experience worthy of bragging about.

Also, if you’re requesting customers to review your business, don’t “incentivize”.

By Guess and by God is not a Sustainable Strategy

Managing your business by instinct is not a valid or sustainable business strategy. Refrain from playing it by ear all of the time, and make sure your organization is metrics-driven and customer-focused.

If you have a different solution to the same problem every single time, then your customers will never be able to have a clear picture of who you are as a brand, and they will be ill-equipped to endorse you on the basis of consistency and commitment to your brand promise.

Don’t Let First Impressions Go by the Board

You only get one opportunity to create a memorable and positive first impression. Don’t let your chance go to waste.

Multiple studies point to the fact that the likelihood for repeat business is directly connected to the level of satisfaction that customers experience during their first interaction with a business organization. Work on putting processes in place to deliver your best from the very first interaction you have with a customer. If you don’t, then you may not get a second chance.

When crafting your customer retention strategy, make sure everyone is on the same page and has the same level of understanding and commitment.

Carry On! Dwelling on Past Failures Is Not Constructive

Don’t let the past decide your future. We have heard small business owners express a deep sense of defeat when they first realize that they have a less-than-perfect customer feedback on review websites like Yelp, Google+, and Facebook.

We can assure you that even if you are at the bottom of the list, with a proper customer experience strategy your business can rise and dominate. Carry on, and make each customer engagement one that is focused on ensuring the customer comes back again and again and, if possible, invite him or her to bring friends along!

Audit Your Processes Against Feedback to Ensure a Clean Bill of Health

Customer retention happens best when you become a diagnostician of the issues affecting the customer experience. Use your online reviews and simple surveys like the Net Promoter Score to measure the health of your business and evaluate the types of experiences your customers are having.

With determination and commitment, you will eventually refine your processes and be able to validate your corporate bill of health by having five-star review profiles on the most relevant review websites.

Place the Customer First

Be a business committed to both word and deed. Customer service is not simply about making a marketing promise. Deliver on your promise, and let your true colors show.

Defeatism Kills: Don’t Cut and Run Too Quickly

Customer retention requires a long-term commitment and much iteration to refine the way you do business. If at first you fail, go back to the drawing board and try again.

Be Proactive to Avoid Finding Yourself Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Business success happens to those who work at it. Neglecting your business processes may corner you into a position where recovery might be improbable or very difficult. Tackle issues today, make micro-corrections to the way you do business, and before you know it, you will be on track to success.

A Long-Term Retention Strategy Demands an Even-Keeled Approach

Be the tortoise, not the hare. Consistency in the way you serve your customers is always better than peaks and valleys. Measure the customer experience day by day to ensure you are giving yourself every opportunity to retain and convert every new customer into a loyal, long-term advocate. When it comes to customer retention and customer loyalty, you are the captain of your own ship. With hard work and determination, you can move in the right direction and begin growing your business incrementally instead of constantly chasing your tail, trying to replace one-time, dissatisfied customers.

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