You may notice that lately we have been discussing the value of customer service and the importance of keeping existing customers happy. With the knowledge that those happy customers will remain loyal, will keep in touch and will spread the positive word of your business to their friends and family, the retention of those customers has proven in many studies to be the best way to improve business and profits combined.
In some instances, it has been reported that having a customer retention rate as low as 5% can lead to increased profits anywhere from 25% to 95%. So, you have to imagine what level of effort it would take to retain a simple 5% of your existing customers. How hard would your sales reps and account managers have to work to maintain the communication and business of those who have been happy with your products and services in the past? I can say not that much.
Following that, we can lead into the value of customer service throughout the entire buying process. There is nothing better to help retain a customer than knowing that they made the purchase because they were happy with your company in addition to being happy with the product or service you offer.
There have been some other stories published, reporting the difference between the happiest customers being the ones retained the longest, and even returning to those same companies for larger purchases in the future. Some stories are those of mechanics who downplay a customer versus those who work to offer the friendliest and best-priced service. That story tells how the customer will make a longer trip and spend more money for a tow truck to make use of the services of the mechanic they find to be of better and friendlier service.
One way this can be measured is with customer service surveys. Whether they be at the end of a phone call, on the website, at the end of a newsletter sent out via email or other, there is plenty of information that you can get from existing customers to find out the best and worst points about their experience with your business. With those customers who are already returning and happy there may be little things that are noted for improvement that can help increase the number of customers retained in the future, little by little.