As stated in our previous article, it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones, and now it is important to know that existing customers are also much more likely to try your new products and spend more money on your products overall. It boils down to loyalty. Your existing customers are still with you for a reason – they believe in your brand and what it can do for them.
Did you know that it costs five times more to attract a new customer than to retain existing ones? However, it has been shown that about 44% of businesses invest more in acquiring new customers than building loyal and lasting relationships with the existing ones. Considering this amount of cost, it is surprising that only 18% of companies focus on customer retention in a significant manner.
In previous articles, we have discussed in length the huge importance of valuing your customers. This article aims to go beyond that by explaining how to put your customers at the tippy top of your priority list in an effort to become a Customer-First company. Dealerships and organizations who have adopted this concept are among the most successful and it all starts with a keen understanding of the customer experience.
We know now that customer loyalty is the most important factor in building and maintaining a business. Let’s talk a little about those who are responsible for customer relations and communications; your customer service employees. Those in the customer service position find their work both rewarding and challenging at times and it is important to keep them motivated to do well through it all. Happy employees are much more willing to strive do well at their job than those who don’t feel adequate or feel underappreciated.
With the idea that customer loyalty is one of the most valuable ways to maintain and increase business, one of the best options is to introduce a loyalty program to incentivize existing customers. Such reward programs help build customer relationships and ensure their return for further sales and positive reviews spread to others.
Over the past ten years the growth and development of online sales and marketing has evolved to suit the demands of fast pace internet users. There is plenty of increased availability that helps to access many brands that would not have been previously seen in the mall or shopping center down the street. There is more to the available online store than the purchase. Customer support has become accessible through the internet as well, and has since grown into a necessity for business. Live chat is one form of online support that has become a favorite among users in recent years. Instant messeging businesses? Who would have thunk it?
While there has been much to consider with the caution and care of the customer, working closely for quality and never speeding ahead of the process to make sure that customer support is handled efficiently, there is in fact one place where customers expect a speedy response. Think about the overall communications that are sent on social media channels, primarily those like Facebook and Twitter. They are primarily considered to be more of a personal and social form of communication, and the response is an immediate and personal response, not necessarily one that is thoughtful and investigated for the quality of the information at hand. It is important to many social media visitors to at least see the initial response that states there is an answer coming, even if the final one is not received immediately.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the “do” factor of customer support, that the numbers and statistics become the most important factor. In the same way our customers then turn into people whose feelings and responses are no longer valid. This can be a slippery slope that leaves you and your team wondering why your efforts are generating adverse effects. Rather than having only a rigid protocol for your customer service techs to adhere to, allow some flexibility that is geared towards understanding and caring for the customer’s needs. Empathy is key. When communication is positive and truly supportive, there are better odds of receiving positive customer reviews. As we now know, positive reviews lead to consumer confidence in working with your dealership, increased traffic, and ultimately more revenue.
We have been discussing the positive effects of customer service, at all times in the process of sales. It is wise to treat your customers with quality service even before they have made their initial purchase, especially considering the likelihood that the mention of your quality service from another customer is what brought them to you in the first place. There is definitely the need to provide overall incredible customer support for those who return with questions and additional servicing needs as well. Customer reviews and feedback spread out the positive reputation of your business based most importantly upon your customer support that they appreciate so much.
Some studies have in fact come to show that customers are willing to pay more for better customer service. This means that quality customer service is no longer a follow-up and long-term relationship feature, but a front-end selling point that will help you stand out from the competitor. In fact, it has been stated by the customers themselves that this is in fact one of their key research points in the buying process, whether it is an initial purchase or returning occurrence.