When it comes to customer relationships, it’s important to know that it’s 5 times more expensive to acquire a customer than it is to keep a current one.
Whether you’re a startup or an established business, that’s an important statistic to remember.
Satisfying and retaining your customers has a positive impact on your bottom line. One Bain & Company study showed that a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by over 90%.
Despite this profitable benefit, too many businesses focus heavily on generating new customers, rather than improving existing customer relationships.
Dissatisfied and unhappy customers will leave you for one of your competitors; 33% say they’ll probably switch companies after one instance of poor service!
Creating a customer experience that nurtures your customer relationship can even be a competitive advantage for your business. This is because happy customers stick around longer and do more business with you. Repeat customers also spend up to 67% more than new customers.
Returning customers display more brand loyalty and provide recurring revenue, all without an additional marketing expense. Can you see how important it is to maintain a focus on customer retention?
Here are our top tips for excelling at nurturing the customer relationship:
Solve Problems for Them
You’ll always have customers at different stages of the customer journey. Each will have questions or issues peculiar to where they are in the journey.
To nurture better customer relationships, think about solving a common problem that your audience faces, one that they likely struggle with daily.
You can ask them using an online customer survey, ask them questions on social media, or send out a questionnaire in your newsletter.
With a list of common customers problems in hand, you can create content that offers solutions to those problems. Problem solving content can be FAQs, guides showing them little-known features, free webinars, free e-books etc.
Once your customers see you as a brand that can solve their problems, they’ll start coming to you for advice, positioning you as an authority in your industry.
Connect & Engage Them
Technology now gives you many, many ways to spark conversations, connect and engage them with your customers.
With multiple social media platforms available, your customers can reach out to you to ask a question, mention your brand, make a complaint about your company etc.
Regardless of their reason, always aim to respond swiftly. This shows customers that you’re listening and care about what they have to say. You can engage with your customers by sharing valuable, entertaining, or informative content.
You can do all this with the help of social listening and monitoring tools, that alert you when someone mentions your brand on social media.
Ask for Feedback
It’s important to seek and get customer feedback. If you don’t, you’ll never know how your customers perceive you.
Your customers want to be heard, and inviting their feedback shows you’re listening. You can ‘listen’ by analyzing their comments across your channels or even ask them informally during a conversation.
Seeking customer feedback can help you understand your customers’ specific needs and provide the best solutions to their problems. One way world-class businesses use customer feedback is to improve existing products or develop new ones.
Regular and consistent communication with your clients is critical for maintaining a great customer relationship. Whether it’s via face-to-face meetings, scheduling regular check-in calls, being uber-responsive to their emails, consistent communication will go a long way.
Make your communication about them, their needs, and how you can help them; don’t be tempted to throw in an upsell. Always aim to make all communication as clear as possible, avoiding the use of technical jargon. Miscommunication, deliberate or accidental, can leave your customers feeling unhappy and dissatisfied, which will lower your customer retention rates.
Measure your Customer Service Levels
Do you know how many existing customers made a purchase, within the last year?
Do you know how many customers on your email list open and interact with your newsletters?
You may feel that you’re offering your customers the best service, but they may not agree. It’s one thing to ask them for feedback, but you can take this further by analyzing your own data.
By keeping a record of your customer interactions, you can identify customer trends, track and improve on poor customer interactions.
Social media interactions, phone calls, emails, comments; these might sound like a minefield to monitor but it doesn’t have to be. A word document or a spreadsheet can suffice, when you’re managing small amounts of data.
At Admiral Consulting Group, we know that the collection and analysis of data can quickly become convoluted. Many of our clients find that using automation helps them respond to inquiries faster and more accurately.
Using an automated CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system allows you to:
- respond to customer inquiries in a timely manner.
- aggregate customer data, providing crucial insight into each customer.
- store data from all your departments in one database, allowing everyone have access to key customer insights.
- automate time-consuming, manual processes.
Customers are one of the most important factors to sustaining a successful business. Businesses should resist the temptation to focus solely on acquiring new customers; remember that improving existing customer relationships can yield more revenue.
To improve customer relationships, we advise our clients to use these tips and also train their employees in client relationship building.
Did we miss any best practices? Which tactics have you used to successfully nurture customer relationships?
Want to leverage a CRM system to reduce customer churn, have better customer relationships, and solidify the future success of your business? Click here to contact an Admiral representative today!