Keeping your customer happy is more about ensuring that every interaction with your brand leaves them feeling positive and eager to return.
The aim of any business should be to have loyal, trustworthy customers who continually use thier product or service.
While the path to strong customer relations is paved with excellent support and retention strategies, it can be challenging to maintain these standards across a broad base of customers.
Here are the 5 steps to take; innorder to streamline your customer acquisition, retention and support. Enjoy!
1. Establish a clear understanding of your customer’s acquisition process
2. Identify the bottlenecks in your retention process
3. Create a guide to help facilitate your customers’ retention process
4. Streamline your support processes with your customer retention
5. Regroup and rinse, then repeat
Establish a clear understanding of your customer’s acquisition process
Even if you understand your customers’ retention process, you won’t be able to streamline it if you don’t know how they’re acquiring your products in the first place.
You need to know how potential customers find your brand and what they do once they get there.
A common misconception is that customers are actively looking for businesses to buy from when in reality, they’re only actively looking for the solution to their problem.
You have to understand your customers’ problems, not just what they’re looking for.
Once you’ve identified your customers’ problems and pain points, you can tailor your offering to meet those needs.
According to the jobs to be done (JTBD) framework, championed by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen, customers don’t purchase a product; instead, they hire it to complete a certain job or task.
From this concept, when a “job to be done “aligns with a customer’s need; and with a keen understanding of customer jobs to be done, businesses can identify new opportunities as they arise.
Some of the most common challenges in acquiring customers are as follows;
Customers don’t know that you exist
This is an obvious one, but it’s important to note that this can happen in various ways.
Customers may not know that your business exists in their area, they may not be aware of your brand name, or they may not know the type of services you offer.
If you are a Brick and Morter business; consider leveraging Google My Business profiles and other networking tools. Get your business location listed in some of the online listing sites.
You ca also various marketing strategies, including social media, content marketing, and paid advertising to create awareness of your brand.
Customers are not aware of what your brand offers
If your customers aren’t aware of your products or services, they obviously can’t shop with you. You can combat this issue by targeting the right customers.
This can be achieved through appropriate customer, research, segregation and targeting.
Customers don’t know what problem your products solve
If your potential customers don’t understand what your products do, they won’t be interested in buying them.
This can be especially problematic if you’re in a service-based industry, as your customers may not be able to physically see the problem being solved.
You can combat this issue by improving your product descriptions and copywritings. Enhance your offerings with quality contents, and keywords.
Customers don’t know why they should choose your brand
Even if your customers know what problem your products solve and they’re aware of the other brands out there, they may still pick another option.
You can combat this issue by creating unique, engaging content that helps your customers to understand why your brand is superior.
You can also showcase your business reviews, customer opinions so as to create brand authority.
Customers don’t understand the value of your products
If your customers aren’t aware of how your products benefit them, they won’t be inclined to make a purchase.
If you’re having issues with this, try making your value proposition clear, this can be achieved through efficient brand identity development.
Identify the bottlenecks in your retention process
Customers would need their functional, social and emotional needs be solved for them to cling to your products for a longer period of time.
Unhappy customers costs a business lots of money. Ask any salesperson who takes on a bad client how draining it can be.
They take more time and effort to please, but sometimes those customers can present your business an opportunity of a lifetime; so don’t take it for granted.
Before you can streamline your retention process, you need to pinpoint the current bottlenecks in your business.
Determine if certain aspects of your customer relationships are causing delays or issues affecting the entire system.
Once you’ve identified the underlying issues, you can start to brainstorm ways to improve.
Some of the most common issues in customer retention include;
Customers find it hard to use or interact with your products
Customer onboarding is one of the biggest areas where happy customers quickly become unhappy. Too often, companies skip critical steps in the onboarding of a new customer. Or the onboarding process is so complex and difficult that customers abandon the process.
Either way, customers become frustrated and unhappy. This can be from complicated user journey and experience, or poor interactivity with your product.
Making it easy for your customers to start using your product in the first place can improve your retention process dramatically.
Let customers know what they can expect during the onboarding process including any bumps they may experience during their onboarding.
This can be through links to your knowledgebase, or other resources that they get to view to learn more about your product.
Efficient onboarding can minimize the likelihood that users will contact customer support to help them solve the issue.
Customers don’t get the chance to describe their feelings
By focusing on improving critical parts of the customer journey where customers are most likely to become unhappy and making changes based on what your customers tell you, you’ll quickly see the impact with increased revenues, increased loyalty, and increased positive word of mouth mentions in social media and increased referrals.
This can be through running strategic surveys to know how customers feel about their onboarding processes. Are they comfortable with it? do they need improvement in some areas?
Customers don’t feel valued
79% of customers say they’ll be loyal to a brand if they can trust that they’ll use their data in a helpful way.
This can be by sending them a birthday reminder, or high quality, unique and valuable contents in their emails, or simply reaching out to them through word of mouth or phonecalls.
Call Centers are meant to be the most go to area to get insights on customer behaviors.
You can also determine how valued your customers feel by looking at your Net Promoter Score (NPS). This scale tells you how likely customers are to recommend you to others. Use free NPS apps and softwares to calculate your score.
If you are charging significantly more than your rivals, think seriously about whether your offering is better than theirs.
It’s okay to charge more but compensate with better customer service, support, promotions or bonus features to justify the higher price point.
Be transparent as much as you can; a consumer needs to feel that they can trust a brand.
Making quick bug fixes to reduce customer pain, can also have great impact on your retention.
Apart from creating a unique user experience for your customers, they need bugs fixed as quickly as possible, even before they can contact you. This can make them to enjoy your product.
Create a guide to help facilitate your customers’ retention process
Keeping track of your customer’s journey to retention can be challenging, especially if you’re working with a large base of customers.
Even if you’ve created the perfect guide for retaining your customers, if you can’t find it when you need it, it’s useless to reason, it’s important to keep most of your retention strategies in one central place.
The best way to do this is to create a retention and support guide that details your brand standards. This way, you can keep track of your customer’s journey and make sure they’re being supported according to your standards.
Your retention and support guide should include the following elements: – Brand standards – This covers everything from your logo to your tone of voice.
Customer Acquisition – How do customers find your brand? What do they do once they’re there?
Retention – What challenges are your customers facing and how can you help solve them?
Support – What are your hours of operation? What types of questions do you answer? What channels do you use to communicate?
Customer Metrics – This includes analysis of your customers behaviour in terms of revenue for your business over a specific period of time. Some key metrics to monitor includes;
Customer retention rate, Repeat purchase rate,Customer lifetime value, Churn rate, Customer Satisfaction Score, Customer Effort Score.
Learn more about these matics and determine how successful your retention is.
Streamline your support processes with your customer retention
Businesses that experiences heavy costs from unhappy customers are those who doesn’t effectively respond to customer demands. The faster you can reduce the number of unhappy customers you have, the better it is for your business.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your customer retention process, you may need to streamline your support strategy. If your customers can’t get in touch with you when they need to, you won’t be able to retain them.
Make your business information easy to find and use a variety of channels to ensure that no one is left in the dark.
Keep track of your responses, and look for ways to reduce the amount of time it takes to respond to each inquiry.
If specific issues are coming up over and over again, try to identify ways to address them through your standard response.
Some of the most common challenges when it comes to supporting customers;
Customers find it hard to get quality support
Make it easy for your customers to get the support they need; a paying customer must be worth investing in, no matter how much they pay. You don’t need to make a customer pay a higher fee to get premium support.
They might end up getting features of your product that are not useful to them. This can simply drive customers away from your product.
Support should be made readily available to customers whether they are paying or not. This is the most important sign of commitment.
This is why Namecheap is chosen by us as the most reliable partner in terms of hosting and domains. Their support is 24/7 and 1 minutes response time, whether you are a paying customer or not.
This strategy may differ between different business models, but make sure you give your customers the right and equitable support they need.
You’re responding too slowly
Responding to your customers as soon as you see their messages are important, but if you’re being overly aggressive, they’ll be turned off by your brand. Try to find a sensible middle ground.
You’re responding in the wrong language
Make sure that you’re responding to your customers in their preferred language.
You’re using the wrong medium
Make sure that you’re responding to your customers through the channel they prefer. Some people prefer email while others like social media or text messages.
Also, make sure you follow up with your customers on how they feel regarding the support they received. You are most likely to get new ideas from them on how to improve and streamline your support processes.
Regroup and rinse, then repeat
Now that you’ve streamlined your acquisition, retention, and support processes, you can start to clean your house i.e your customer list.
You can do a few things to ensure that you’re staying ahead of the game and setting yourself up for success.
Review your quarterly retention guide to ensure it still aligns with your brand standards. If it doesn’t, start brainstorming ways to improve it.
Keep a close eye on your sales numbers. If you’re seeing a drastic drop in sales, it may be due to an issue in your retention process.
Keep track of your support numbers. If you’re receiving too many or too few inquiries, that may indicate an issue in your support strategy.
Regular maintenance is important to keep your business running smoothly. Once you’ve streamlined your systems, make sure that you stay on top of them.
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Your customers need more than just a good product to remain loyal to you. Your software or product needs to be efficient, scalable and tailored to their needs.
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