Are your marketing efforts focused solely on attracting new customers? While it may sound logical to push for better customer acquisition, survey shows it’s not a successful business idea. Acquiring new clients cost five times more than retaining existing clients.
It would be wiser to focus on customer retention first and that starts with providing fast, friendly and reliable customer service.
But what does customer service have to do with customer retention?
Recent survey shows that customers are willing to spend 66% more with a company that they believe has excellent customer service.
Now you might think that your business already provides excellent service, but in reality, only a few customers would agree to that. According to the same survey, conducted by a consultancy firm in New York, 80% of businesses think they provide good service, but only 8% of their customers confirmed they received good service.
Because of this huge disconnect between the consumer and the provider, businesses lose an average of $83 billion every year. That translates to an average spending of about $289, had the customer not left those businesses.
The Solution: Don’t be Part of the 80%
Listed below are four successful business ideas that can help you reach out to existing customers:
Suggest better and proactive ideas
As product suppliers or service providers, customers look upon your business as an expert in the industry. As a provider, your team must be trained to up-sell, trouble shoot and offer suggestions for upgrades or alternate products based on customer needs.
Don’t ask your clients for referrals
Don’t expect current customers to be your main source of referrals, until you’ve made significant improvements in your products and customer service.
Clients will not refer a product to other people if they do not think it’s worth it, but they will also not refer a business if they think they could receive better service elsewhere. Good product and good customer service comes hand-in-hand, you can’t convince people to refer others if you don’t have both.
Create rewards or discounts for in-house referrals
B2B businesses could give incentives to existing customers who refer other teams or departments within their organization. This successful business idea could be implemented with minimum effort on your part, because you’ve already worked with someone in the company, all you need is a referral or recommendation. There’s no need to submit a new proposal or compete with other companies bidding to get a project.
Take Away: Start with Providing Extra Customer Service and Product Knowledge
Entry-level staff meets customers every day, and their actions tend to leave lasting impressions on customers. Even if employees are given ample training at the start of their employment, this is not enough, as evidenced in the survey. People forget their training and their tenure in the company usually makes old-timers a tad complacent.
Providing your team with regular customer service and product knowledge training is a successful business idea, one that will help them interact with customers more efficiently. It will also give them a chance to air their customer-handling concerns to you.
© 2013 Incedo Group, LLC