You’ve probably heard it more times than you can count—it’s cheaper to keep a current customer than it is to gain a new one. This means that customer retention should be a top priority for your business, usurping even the all-important customer acquisition portion of your business. But how can you put your focus on retaining customers if you don’t know exactly what is driving them away?
Fortunately, there are a few common factors that cause customer loss across most businesses, regardless of industry. Here are 3 of those factors that will drive away customers quickly and how you can avoid these pitfalls.
Provide Poor Customer Service
Regardless of how great your products or services are, if your customer service is lousy, your consumers will likely stop coming back. They may even turn to one of your competitors for the product or service instead. Poor customer service can include long hold times before being able to speak to a person on the phone, failure to follow up and ensure customer satisfaction, not addressing customer concerns or issues in a timely manner, and even requiring customers to go through the same steps over and over again whenever they call in (e.g., providing the same information, making the same requests, and so on).
The best way to address this issue is to ask your customers to complete a survey, whether on the phone, online, or via email. Most customers will be more than willing to tell you where your customer service can be improved. Once you know your customers’ pain points, you can begin addressing them, whether it be through employee training, implementing new management tools, or a change in your normal processes.
Fail to Answer Their Questions
“What’s the status of my order?” “When is my next appointment?” “Has my contract been received?” These are just a few of the questions that your customers or clients may ask, and the last thing they want to hear from you is “I don’t know.” That is simply an unacceptable answer in a customer-focused field. Customers want to know that you have the information they need exactly when they need it.
Typically, the best way to avoid this issue is to have proper tools and processes in place to make information readily available to your employees. This may mean utilizing some form of customer relationship management software or document management software to organize customers’ personal information, history with your company, and any files related to their account. When your employees have easy access to information, they can easily provide answers to your customers and make it easier to retain your current customer base.
Lose Their Information
The relationship between a business and a consumer is one that’s built on trust. Your customers trust that you will deliver what you’ve promised, and they may even be entrusting you with some of their personal information, like payment information, home address, and other sensitive data. They are counting on your business to protect this information. Losing this data, or losing an order or contract, is a breach of the trust they’ve placed in you, and you will instantly lose credibility with your customers if this occurs. Loss of this trust can quite often lead to loss of the customers themselves.
To avoid losing information, ensure that you have a system in place that makes it easy to organize and maintain client files. You will want to ensure that the system is secure so that no unauthorized personnel can access it, and you should be able to monitor who is accessing what information and view any changes they’ve made. This will maintain the integrity of the information and prevent accidental (or intentional) deletion of files. By properly defending your customers’ data, you’ll be defending your own business’s livelihood as well.
Successful businesses are the ones that keep their customers happy. Those happy customers bring repeat business and referrals into your company, increasing revenue and helping it to grow and thrive. Failing to focus on customer retention is like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in the bottom. No matter what you do, the water is always going to be slowly draining away. But with the proper tools and processes, you can patch that hole, keeping customers with your business and improving your company in the process.
To learn more about how document management can give your customers a better experience with your business, fill out the form on this page or contact one of our business efficiency experts.