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6 ways great customer service can increase retention (and in turn, profitability)

6 ways great customer service can increase retention (and in turn, profitability)

Everyone has a good and bad customer service story. Me personally? I’ll never forget the time a KFC employee sneezed into my bucket meal and I had to throw it away. But I’ll also remember the kindly fitness instructor who took the time to remember my name and check-up on my progress at every session.

We can’t all be KFC’s and get by on the merits of our products alone (shamefully, I’m still a regular). Instead, we have to radiate a positive brand message in whatever way we can to keep our customers coming back.

 
How does retention improve profitability?

Great customer service is about more than just the smile on your face - although that is pretty important. It’s about making sure your customers are happy – that they’re satisfied with your product or service - and that, rather than miring their day, you’ve actually improved it.

Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining an existing one. But there’s more to consider than that. A strong retention strategy will boost your reputation, increase acquisition (friends bring friends) and create a more enjoyable work environment for your employees. In an almost cyclical fashion, this comes back around to profitability. Happy customers and happy employees help line your businesses pockets better.

 

How can you use great customer service to increase retention

 

  1. Great customer service on a first visit make the difference between a short-term contract and one that spans years
    First impressions count. Making people feel welcome on their first trip to your office, centre or business environment will solidify the relationship going forward. Likewise, something you say in the sign-up process can impact them months down the line so be clever in your approach.

 

  1. Wise wording can make dictate positive customer choices
    This is always important, but it’s more so in the initial meeting and point at which a client ends their contract (if you’re offering a long-term product or service). Just consider for a moment, the difference that you can make if you say ‘you will be missed’ over asking ‘what did we do wrong?’. By using the former, you can ensure you part on good terms, without leaving the customer feeling shamed for their choice. There’s every chance they’ll return or suggest you to a friend.

 

  1. Maintaining a sociable atmosphere creates lasting friendships
    When a customer forges friendships with your staff, they’re more than likely hooked in for the long haul. But the only way that this can happen is if your customer-facing employees are approachable and friendly. If this is an issue, then additional training may be needed.

     
  2. Feedback carried out in the right way can steer your business in the right direction
    You should carry out feedback wherever possible and make it easy for people to do so. Offer feedback section on your website, and leave printed feedback forms around your workplace. The best way to collect useful data is to give people room to have their say. Rather than presenting tick boxes, provide comments sections where customer has to actively fill in information.  

     
  3. prepared to over-service some customers and go the extra mile. Their loyalty will pay off Be
    It’s often worth over-servicing customers in the early stages because this will help cement your relationship. But also be prepared to go above and beyond for them, even if it falls outside of their service requirements. As time goes on, they will thank you by recommending you to their friends and giving you a good name within the industry.

 

  1. Understand the patterns of why people are leaving and change it
    Look for seasonal patterns in attrition. Determine if there is a common length of time people stay with your business before leaving. Get people to fill out feedback forms when they do leave. Once you start to understand people’s reasons for not sticking with you then start making improvements, be it new offers and incentives, environmental changes or amendments to your pricing strategy.

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