Did you know it costs a whopping 5 times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain the customers you already have? Makes you wonder why we don’t spend a little more time on it. In addition, Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company tells us that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% grows profits from 25% to 95%!It doesn’t take a mathlete to conclude that customer satisfaction issues and their resolutions should be high on our priority list.
Here’s a simple way to calculate how much it costs you to gain new customers, or CAC:
Now, the CAC calculation is helpful, but take a look at this one, which gives you a customer’s lifetime value (CLV) to your company:
To keep a customer for a lifetime (i.e, customer retention), great customer service must be a company’s main focus.
Take Zappos, for example, their outstanding customer service pays off in CLV as illustrated in their Customer Service Value Proposition chart:
As a proud member of the white-gloved (and, cough, cough, highly esteemed) Customer Experience Team here at SurveyMe, I’ve witnessed the power of great customer service firsthand. Still, I was shocked to read that 73% of consumers say friendly customer service representatives can make them fall in love with a brand. Fall in love? WOW.
So, why aren’t we cueing the romantic violins at every corner?
Here are 3 common customer satisfaction issues that can make your customers lose that lovin’ feeling:
Getting Over a Bad Experience
Humans run our businesses. Mishaps are part of life; but, in the internet age, mistakes must be handled swiftly and courteously. 59% of 25 -35 year olds share poor customer experiences online, and after a bad experience, 59% of the general population will never use the company again.
So, whether it’s a slow smolder or an outright seething rage, how do you diffuse the situation and come away having won the customer?
What to do
- Act quickly - Avoid 67% of customer turnover by resolving your customer’s issue during the first interaction.
- Employ Active Listening - Gently probe into why the snafu happened in the first place. Don’t assume to know what the customer has gone through or what they are feeling. Give unsatisfied customers the kind of personal attention that screams: “I take your needs seriously!”
- Communicate your Solution - Make the customer aware of the steps you are taking now to make things right and keep them updated on any progression or changes. Even better, invite them to be part of the improvement process. Ask them precisely what they want and give your all to make it happen. Make them feel like they have a place of power in the process. This also instills great loyalty.
- Stay calm - Find your Zen. Customer issues are not personal. Do not get dragged into a showdown where no one wins.
Fixing Poor Product Quality
Your product showed up, but it did not deliver. Now you have a justifiably angry customer.
What to Do
- Honor your guarantee - Even if you lose money on this sale, retaining the customer will repay you with both their continued loyalty and their word-of-mouth advertising. A customer that can relax knowing that you will make things right is a powerful advertisement to their friends and family. A refund, a product replacement or free service can take your customer from a mediocre buyer to a loud and loyal promoter.
- Empower your employees - This is when you reap the rewards of hiring great people and treating them well. Customer relationships are saved by caring, true believers of your company who are empowered by you to make things right. Engaged employees create engaged customers.
Here is some advice from Mikkel Svane: “Setting yourself up for success in customer relationships is about your people...Empowering the staff, the employees, the customer-facing people on your teams to do what’s right for the customer.”
Overcoming Poor Communication
You can have a top shelf product backed up by delightful employees; but if you are not accessible to your customers, they will feel cut-off and unvalued. 53% of customers that feel unappreciated leave to go elsewhere.
What to do:
- Be available - Offer extended customer service hours.
- Make it Multi-channel - Offer help by email, phone, or social media.
- Do Not Close the File - Just because you think that an issue has been solved, does not mean that you have a happy customer. ASK the customer if there is anything else you can do for them. Thank them for giving you their time and the chance to make things right, and extend an invitation to call again should they need anything.
Customer issues take time and money to resolve; but this investment in customer retention pays for itself in consistent growth. Striving to keep current customers happy not only maintains their loyalty, it pays off in new “Word of Mouth” customers. This becomes even more important when you consider the prediction by Walker Info that soon customer experience will overtake both product and price as the key brand differentiator. By 2020, customer experience could determine each industry’s leaders.
Need help becoming the star of your industry? Call us at SurveyMe. We will get you the insight you need to stand out among your competition.
(Click on the image above to contact our CX team today!)