Often, as soon as we get a sale we do a little happy dance and then jump right back into getting that next sale. However, the “hardest” work may come once you have that customer on board. It is your duty now to keep that customer happy. It can be as much as seven times more expensive to attract a new customer than it is to keep the customers you have now. (ThinkJar) Because of this, it is a good idea to keep that existing customer happy. Here are a few thoughts and tips on how to do just that.
Are You Solving Your Customers Problems?
A few things to keep in mind when interacting with your customers.
Active listening: Are you actively listening to what your customers are saying? Sometimes we catch ourselves thinking about the next thought we are going to say or the next point we want to get across, while your customer is across the table spelling out exactly what it is they are wanting from you. Make sure you stay in tune with the conversation and actually find the meaning behind what they are saying.
Providing recommendations: When we are actively listening to our customers we can then understand what they are wanting. Make sure you are providing your customer with the right recommendations that will fulfill their needs.
Being helpful: The number one goal when working with your client is to be helpful. You don’t always need to up-sell them on every small job you take on, but trying to anticipate their needs is a good skill to cultivate. If you are actively listening, providing appropriate recommendations, and just being helpful with what they are looking for, 9 times out of 10 you will nail it on the head.
Keep Up With Your Competition
One of the things you always want to strive for is to be an extension of your customer's team. In order to do that, you need to act like a team member. This entails understanding your competition and knowing they are you doing and how you can adapt to their tactics. Don’t get comfortable. You are in charge of keeping your customer taken care of, so make sure you are staying up to date and innovative to stay ahead of your competition.
Appreciating your customers is one of the best things you can do. Make sure they know that they matter to you as a person, not just as dollar signs. Often, once someone has signed on a new customer, they tend to forget about that customer and move on to the next sale. That is a mistake; keep all of your customers top of mind. Follow up with them, take them out to lunch once in a while, check in and make sure they are doing well, and follow up on their satisfaction with the product or service you provide. When a customer feels appreciated they will keep you at the forefront of their mind as well for making them feel good.
Ask for Feedback
One of the best ways to improve is to ask for feedback on your product and/or service as well as your customer service. This can be done in several ways, but one of the most effective ways is to give your customer a survey. This way they can give their honest feedback with or without telling you who it is filling it out. This is one of the best ways to receive constructive feedback to help fix customer issues you may not have known you had. Another reason to ask for feedback is so you can, in turn, start to streamline your process and figure out what works and what doesn’t.
If you follow these simple tips you will be well on your way to keeping your customers happy and satisfied. It will, in turn, make your life easier and could easily get you some new business as well. Don't forget the 80/20 rule – 80% of your ongoing profit will result from 20% of your existing customers, not new incoming customers. (Gartner) Try a few of these tips on your customers to improve your retention and increase your profits over time.