It’s natural for the focus of your business to be on generating new business. Every business owner has the desire to succeed and grow and the obvious answer is to pour all efforts into generating new business.
With a lot of businesses we work with, we find that new customer acquisition is high but, often, customer retention is poor. Protecting current revenue is an extremely important part of your overall business growth.
If your business is specialized, you might only support a client during a specific time that the service is needed. However, the level of service you provide will be remembered. Should the client need you again, or know someone who may need you, you want to ensure that you are the first choice.
Customer service starts with the first interaction a person has with your business. With the internet at your customers’ fingertips and the opportunity for instant feedback, every touch point truly does matter.
Keeping this in mind, as a business owner, you have two types of customers:
- Internal customers: employees and stakeholders, anyone within the organization
- External customers: anyone who pays your business for your services
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” ― Richard Branson
“Take care of associates and they’ll take care of your customers.” – J. W. Marriott
The quote differs between varying big business owners and leaders but the theme stands that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.
We cannot stress enough about the importance of having standards and ensuring all team members are meeting, if not exceeding your service standards, with both employees and customers.
Make Yourself More Available
What we have found is that many companies will respond to new enquiries much quicker than they would to a question from a current customer.
This mindset needs to change. Both are equally important – even if a current customer sends an email which doesn’t require an immediate response, it will prove invaluable to respond as efficiently as possible.
Once a business can prioritise their current customer base then customer retention will improve, the foundations of the business will be stronger and you will see an increase in upsales and referrals!
Regular Touch Points
Once a customer signs up for your services, it is important to continue to let them know that they are important to you.
Set a standard for follow-ups to customer enquiries and ensure they have an expectation of when they will receive a response. A simple e-mail autoresponse can communicate this message for your office as well as give you the time to look into their question or concern.
Also, provide a follow-up call or email to ensure they feel their query has been resolved. This extra step has proven to leave a lasting impression as well as gives your team the opportunity to correct any concerns.
Ensuring your business has a high customer retention level is a great way to ensure you maintain a steady stream of revenue. However, if you are ambitious and are seeking to grow your business aggressively, read our Aggressive Growth Blueprint below.