As I am reviewing one of my latest webinars, “Transforming the service Department: 3 Insights into Achieving Happy, Profitable Customers Through Service,” I am reminded that while there are many ways to improve customer service and increase customer retention, one of the best ways is to seek out complaints.
You see, there are several surveys out there that talk about why customers leave and in each survey the results are in the vast majority that customer leave for “service problems”. In multiple articles you will see similar results, usually between 68% and 70% of the time customer service is listed as a reason for customer defection. Here are a few articles that chart this out:
So you get my point. Customers leave based on a feeling. They don’t feel you appreciate them. They don’t feel like they matter. They don’t feel like you pay enough attention to them. The list could go on and on!
Since about 70% of customer retention is based on a feeling, the best way to find out how to make a customer feel good is to ask them what you can do to improve. Ask in relation to processes like:
• Order placement
• Order processing and notification
• Order fulfillment
• Order delivery
• Post delivery communication
• Overall communication throughout the process
When they share an idea for improvement, seriously consider it, as they are giving you a way to retain them longer as a customer.
The good thing is that 90% of customer retention is about communication. Be proactive in your communication (especially about negative communication – price increases, late delivery, back-order) etc. and you will have a customer that “feels” your company.
One more tidbit. You most likely have lost customers because of them not “feeling the love.” Well, according to “Customer Winback – How To Recapture Lost Customers – and Keep Them Loyal” by Griffin and Lowenstein, you have a 20-40% chance of closing a sale to a lost customer. This twice as good as your odds of closing a sale to a prospect. Therefore, if you want to boost your sales quickly, review the customers you lost over the last couple of years, determine which ones you want to invite back, and call them and ask them what you can do to win their business back. Then it’s simple, make the change and invite them back.
The better news is a CRM system, implemented in line with your business strategy, can help. Here are a few ways CRM software may help your business:
• Gives you a single source for all customer related data
• Allows you to track and manage and respond complaints and service requests
• Alert you related to your customer
o Next service due
o Follow-up calls
o Change in average order size
o Change in total sales – rolling 12 months
• Alert your customer on your behalf
o Order entered
o Order status updates
o Delivery notification
o Service issue follow-up