“Anyone can sell products by dropping their prices, but it doesn’t breed loyalty” is a message British-American author and motivational speaker Simon Sinek has been driving home for the past decade.
Studies show companies which foster customer engagement do much better than those without such traits. Similarly, companies that raise customer retention by just 5% have seen a profit rise of up to 95% according to a Bain & Company analysis.
Anyone who has experienced, and paid for, a divorce will understand. Research from Harvard Business Review shows the cost of securing a new client can be up to 25 times more than retaining a current one, and usually when a client leaves, it is also not an amicable divorce.
THE KEYS TO SUCCESS?
As in any healthy and happy marriage, clear and good communication is important. Marketers must keep this in mind while regularly delivering messages that connect the value their company brings to its customers. For when an environment of trust exists, companies can also feel confident in asking for candid advice from customers.
Companies that offer services would also do well to identify and state the economic gains clients can expect. This can be particularly vital with rumors and fear of another recession around the corner.
Some companies feel automated reporting helps keep them in touch with customers on a regular basis. Marketers need to determine if this works best for their client base and, if so, they need to identify and speak to important customer interests.
Equally, and probably even more important, is a company’s personal engagement with customers because nothing beats face-to-face connections in building customer loyalty, which can increase spending by as much as 95%, according to Kaseya Software.
MAXIMIZING THE POTENTIAL
Companies get the best results by ensuring that its staff are informed, trained and aligned with the company’s goals in retaining customers. This is particularly necessary with customer service staff where goals should also be agreed upon regarding such things as response and resolution time deadlines.
To encourage and acknowledge exemplary service, employee communications must shine a light on staff who receive glowing feedback from customers. Highlighting outstanding staff work on customer loyalty helps to increase loyalty internally as well.
To know that they’re hitting the mark, marketers need to regularly ask customers for their feedback as the initial results establish a baseline on which to build. Employees should be empowered to be ambassadors as well. The subsequent results should then be analyzed so that changes, deletions and/or additions can be made to further improve customer loyalty and the important end game, retention.
Another important starting point is determining the current customer retention rate as part of the baseline. After that, efforts to increase retention can be measured and adjusted as necessary, and companies should also share the results and any changes with their employees.
Zig Ziglar, American author and motivational speaker summed it all up with: “The foundation stones for a balanced success are honesty, character, integrity, faith, love and loyalty.”