In a perfect world, a new small business would open it’s doors and have customers lined up, wallets at the ready. Reality check, this is not a perfect world. Instead, you work hard and PAY for every customer with which you do business. On average it cost 5x more to get new customers vs. keeping old ones. Even better, 92% of consumers trust referrals from people that they know. Here are five steps that will keep your customers happy and have them telling all their friends about their great experience. By applying these measures, you will be saving yourself time and resources, leaving more money in your pocket.
1. Invest in a CRM
Working with clients over email can be a headache. Looking through chains of forwarded emails and trying to remember whether answered your client's question is a waste of time. Organize and manage clients information and interactions with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. A CRM tool can record every time a customer has sent or received an email. It can store helpful information in a client’s profile, like their dog's name. Some CRM tools even allow you to set up email and phone call reminders. CRM tools will save you time and show your customers that you are on your game. Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho are a few of the most popular CRM tools. Hubspot even offers a free tool!
2. Stop Sending Spammy Emails
Seriously, who enjoys opening their inbox only to find it full of spam? That’s right, nobody. Don’t send automated emails asking for more. Instead, try sending the OCCASIONAL email containing something a client might enjoy. Ask them for their opinion or send them an article they would like. Personalization goes a long way.
3. Streamline your Process
Time is everyone’s most valuable resource, we never have enough, and we can’t get more. Keep that in mind when setting up a process. Make sure you do what is necessary to get everything need the first time you reach out to a client. Don’t be lazy. Nothing aggravates a customer more than feeling like you are wasting their time. By doing business they same way every time you are less likely to make mistakes. Having that repeatable process creates an easier interaction between you and the client. Smooth communication equals great customer experience.
4. Be Relatable
No client wants to see you driving an expensive car or wearing a suit that cost $500 (unless you sell yachts). Customers feel most comfortable when they find you relatable. Don’t be a schmooze. When talking to a client find areas of commonality. Talk about your family and hobbies. Create an environment and a feeling that your customer will want to remember..
5. Practice a Positive Company Culture
A 2% increase in customer retention is the same as cutting business cost by 10%. Making sure that your customers stay loyal is your top priority. The main two reasons for customer loss are 1) The customer feels like they have been treated poorly 2) Failure to solve a problem promptly. There is a ‘right’ way for every interaction you have with a client and employees. From answering the phones to the way employees communicate through email, make sure that every employee displays the company culture. Your company culture should be friendly and helpful. No client should ever have to feel like there is no time for their needs.
Apply these 5 steps to your business and expect to see a huge increase in customer loyalty and referral business!