The ability to keep clients engaged and stay loyal to your company is essential for growing and scaling your business. Why? It’s much more expensive to attract and “onboard” new customers than it is to nurture and cater to current customers. Rather than spending thousands of dollars on new marketing and sales campaigns trying to gain new customers, fostering a personal relationship with each and every customer helps increase satisfaction levels, their loyalty, and thus their retention rates.
Here are some tips on how to start and keep a successful relationship with your customers.
Getting customers on the phone to just try to cross-sell or upsell products is a waste of valuable resources (unless they are honest and targeted) and can potentially be detrimental to your customer relationship if they’re not interested. Contacting people just to try to sell more product comes off as pushy, and impersonal. Instead, become a trusted advisor for your customers and educate them on how to succeed in the field you’re in through your blog, guides, webinars, etc. This way, you’ll be delivering additional value to your customers on top of your product. When you approach the conversation with the intent to educate and inform customers, rather than try to close another deal, you come off as more trustworthy, helpful, and thoughtful - which in turn makes your customers want to stick around.
Almost every high-level founder, executive, or manager on the planet will offer you this piece of advice if you ask them the best way to keep customers happy. Just be honest! It’s that simple. You don’t need to weave a detailed story, over-promise goals you know you won’t be able to hit, or oversell yourself or your product. Your customers will see the real value they’re getting for their investment sooner than later, and then you’ll have the reputation of saying anything to close a deal, rather than being someone who makes deals because they believe it’s in the client’s best interest. Instead, treat them as you would a close friend. Be realistic with your expectations, what your product can and can’t do, and how your solution is going to continue meeting their needs to retain the trust you’ve already built with your customers.
One of the quickest ways to make a client high-tail it out of doing business with you is being unresponsive. Think about it: A client comes to you with a problem or a question, it takes you three days to respond, and when you do, your answers are short and unclear (like automated answers). This can leave them with a bad taste in their mouth about your customer service and put you in a bad light. Instead, make it a priority to provide the right responses within 24 hours. Make sure to add new channels like email, live chat, and instant messaging to address customer issues more quickly. Recruit people that are sensitive to customer concerns and willing to provide them with effective solutions. Request feedback from the customer through phone surveys or email questionnaires to improve your service levels and the responsiveness to your customer’s needs.
Sometimes, it’s not enough to wait until a customer comes to you with an issue. When was the last time you reached out to one of your customers just because, to see how they were faring with your product or service? Have you ever placed an outbound call to one of your customers, period? Proactive communication, or not waiting until there’s an issue to get in touch, is key to making customers feeling respected and wanted. Periodically reach out to customers to get a pulse on how they’re feeling, what they’re doing with your product or service, and if there’s any way you could help.
Keeping your customers satisfied comes down to one simple rule - treat them like a friend. Being genuine, respectful, honest, and personable when dealing with your customers will go a long way. If a customer feels like they’re taken care of and as if they’re doing business with someone they know well and trust, you can bet they’ll stick around.
Discover how to alter your customer satisfaction strategies and practices to turn your customers into brand advocates. Download the free guide below.