Your Customers Are #1 with You…But Are You #1 with Them?
Three weeks ago my husband and I took our four-legged babies to the veterinarian for an annual check up. They were examined, got their nails clipped and their shots – the usual. The next day (which was a Saturday), the vet’s office called to make sure that the kitties were fine and not listless or lethargic because of the shots. I assured them that Peaches and Bang Bang were happily chasing imaginary bugs.
But I loved that customer service! It was really great to know that even on a Saturday they would check in to make sure everything was okay. That simple 30-second call reinforced that I made a right decision in choosing the vet that I did. You can also expect if anyone asks me to recommend a vet, I would mention that after service call.
When was the last time you called a client to check on a recent service or sale? What else do you do to let your clients know you appreciate them?
Your marketing and sales plans must include customer retention strategies, or you won’t grow. You should focus 70 – 75% of your time, effort and money on customer retention because, as noted in a Harvard Business Review article, “Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
“That makes sense. You don’t have to pitch your business to current clients; if you did a good job developing your brand and your products/services then they’re already sold. But don’t take for granted that if they bought from you once or more you’ve got them hooked. Remember the adage, “It takes years to win a customer and only seconds to lose them.” Competition is always around the corner offering better prices, different products and better customer service. It’s important to stay focused on your customers and that also means training your staff to do the simple things like smiling (even when answering the phone — customers can actually “hear” the smile), listening, being polite and professional (even when a client is being unreasonable), and making every situation a win-win.
The suggestions below of what you should do, how you can accomplish it and some examples will help you start defining general customer service and retention outreach. You should, of course, develop your own targeted plans based on your clientele: