Are you on the verge of losing your good customers? If YES, here are 12 strategies to help your business retain customers who are leaving and regain lost customers.
Irrespective of the type of business you are into, winning and retaining clients is of utmost importance. The best type of clients any business can have is a repeat client because they are the clients that will keep your business running and finding new ones can be sometimes difficult.
Client turnover is thus a challenge; what this means is that you can get clients but you can’t keep them. Usually when a business has such a problem it can be as a result of the following problems;
6 Reasons Why Customers or Clients are Leaving your Business
a. Change of too many players: sometimes customers really love a brand and will stick with it no matter what, but sometimes, it is usually that they love your employees and the customer service that your business has to offer.
Since the relationship that a business has with its clients is very important for its survival, it is advisable to avoid rotating salespersons, customer service representatives or key contacts unless in the cases of under-performance or any other pertinent reasons.
b. Bias in special offers for new and existing customers: when running a business, it can be quite necessary to offer special incentive so that new customers will want to try out your brand. However, your existing customers can feel that you overlook their loyalty and as such, they can grow resentful.
It is a good practice to always reward existing customers just as much as you reward new customers or even more. Always bear in mind that even though new customers create an immediate top-line impact, the patronage of your existing customers results in a bigger impact on your bottom line.
c. Focusing on low price as opposed to value: a very good competitive advantage any business can have is to be the lowest cost provider, however, this is not usually easy and also it may not be enough to hold your customers because, there will always be someone out there who is planning to get your customers by providing even lower prices.
Your main focus should be to provide the best value. You can achieve this by an effective combination of price, schedule, service and relationship. Instead on being on the lookout on how to reduce your price, focus on how you can create the best value for your customers.
d. Problematic problem resolution process: having cumbersome problem resolution policies can irk your customers. Quickly resolving a customer’s problems or complaint can help to even make the customer more dedicated to your brand. So try to sort out any issue they may have as soon as possible.
e. Another reason why a business could be losing customers is because the management of the business has failed to heed the advice of the customer to incorporate things that they would want into the business.
f. The client does not need your services any more.
According to data that was gathered by 1000ventures, the average company loses 10 percent of its customers each year. Also, 2 percent increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by 10 percent. In addition, a 5 percent reduction in customer defection rate can increase profits by 25 to 125 percent, depending on the industry. With the above statistics it just goes to show that the need to retain customers cannot be overemphasized.
Having outlined the various reasons that could be responsible for your customers leaving your business, here are some tips that can help you to retain customers who are leaving and regain lost customers.
8 Ways to Retain Customers Who are Leaving
1. Focus on solving the client’s problem first then your service and products second: by identifying what your clients need and what the problems are, you can then develop products and services that can address these exigencies.
Give value to your customers and be honest about what you can offer. Talk to your existing customers about the difficulties or challenges they may be experiencing with your brand. Get feedbacks from them and then make the necessary modifications that will remedy the challenges that they have raised.
2. Hear your customers out: when a customer is disgruntled or unsatisfied with what you have to offer and then he/she tells you, you should try your best to hear him out. Resist the temptation to cut off the customer half way even if what they are saying may come off to you as unreasonable.
If you cut them off, there is always a tendency that the situation will escalate and they will in turn feel like you are not prepared to hear them out.
Focus entirely on their complaint and try to listen raptly to what they have to say. If they are making the complaint over the phone, you should repeat the salient points of what the customer has said to them and then proceed to resolving the issue that they have raised.
3. Control your costs: take control and make sure that your customer gets the best bang for their buck. By controlling your cost you will be able to keep the project within your customer’s budget and still make profit. This will boost your client’s perception on how you manage your business and is more likely to result in repeat business.
4. Understate and over perform: going above and beyond is something that when well implemented is very sure to get the attention of your clients. Always understate your services and manage their expectations well and then over perform.
By doing this, you will be able to exceed your client’s expectations and get great reviews and possibly even referrals. However, you should not understate your abilities to the extent that you will lose your customers. There is a difference between managing expectations and numbing down your abilities.
5. Don’t stop selling: keep creating products and services for your customers that will offer a lot of ways in which you can help them. Many clients don’t even really know what they are after and as such, you should always look for opportunities to generate additional revenue.
If you think that you can offer better products and services than what is available to your clients now, then you can show it to them. But remember, don’t be too pushy. There is a difference between pitching a product or service to a client and pushing too hard.
6. Keep in touch with your clients: it is good to keep in touch with your clients from time to time so that you will be the first person that pops into their mind when they need the service or product you have to offer. In order to keep in touch with your customers and be fresh on their mind, you can make use of newsletters, emails etc.
7. Educate yourself about the activities in your niche: in order to stay abreast with what is going on in your niche, you will need to know what your competitors are doing, what is going on in the market and the new trends in the market.
8. Continuously offer support: the number one reason why clients leave any business is usually because they are dissatisfied. Part of that could be because they have not been provided with excellent customer services even after the product has been given or the service rendered.
Respond quickly when they have any issues and offer special offers and discounts to loyal customers so as to show your appreciation for the products and services that they have already purchased. By doing this, it will ensure that your customers will stay engaged with you.
5 Steps to Regain Lost Customers
Researches have proven that most customers will not verbally communicate their dissatisfactions or bad experiences with any product or service to a supplier or the business owner but they would rather just stop using the product or service.
However, they are also very likely to regale their friends, family, colleagues etc. with the bad experiences that they have had with your business. Therefore, it is very important that when a customer ceases to use your product or service, you should try your best to find out the reason why they took that decision.
The main reason why a business should conduct a lost customer research is to try to understand why the customers left the product or service in the first place and steps that can be undertaken to bring them back. It is very important to track the reason why your customers left your business so as to ensure that the business owner understands the reason why the customers left, so he can proffer solutions that can prevent such a trend.
Customer win back has become a popular trend among businesses. The main purpose of this win back is to get back customers who are angry and dissatisfied with the product or service you have to offer and to also make sure that they stay loyal to your brand. Businesses can do this by offering special incentives that are intended to bring disgruntled customers back and to also pay close attention to them so as to ensure that they do not leave.
Winning back disgruntled customers can however be a difficult process because getting in touch and convincing a customer who has had an unpleasant experience with a business to return is not easy. The customer has most probably lost the trust that he once had with the brand and reestablishing this trust may is not usually a walk in the park.
These other tips can also come in handy when you are trying to win back customers to your product or service;
i. Admit your mistake: you should access the situation that lead to the exit of the customer from the product or service and find out if the customer has a valid point of view. If he or she does, it is up to you to apologize without trying to make excuses or put the blame on anyone or factors beyond your control. Just admit to the customer that you were wrong. Your candid approach is very likely to make the customer to have a rethink.
ii. Solve the problem: as soon as you have found out the reason why the customer left, you should try to access who, or what is the cause and then tackle the problem effectively. Sometimes a business owner may feel that he or she knows what went wrong but sometimes, your customers may view the event that occurred from a different prism and in the process they may offer you a better solution.
iii. Show empathy not desperation: always show empathy towards the threat that your customers make. By doing this, it will reinforce the confidence they have in the product which in turn will lead the customer to begin to question their decision to leave.
iv. Act fast: when you find out that a customer has left, try your best to communicate with him or her as soon as possible to find out exactly what was not working well in your product. If you discover that the issue that the customer raised can be resolved in a later update, you can offer the customer a discount till the time when the feature will be released. Alternately, you can fast track the development of that feature so as to please that customer.
v. Use the right tone: in order to convince a customer to come back to your brand, you should use a tonality and language that will convince your customer that you are trustworthy. A lot of people can discern when someone is being insincere and as such, you should endeavor to be sincere in your tonality and body language.
In conclusion, making sure that your customers come back will enable you to do more with your business and also help you to have a steady supply of revenue. Repeat customers are cheaper than finding new ones, easier to handle and they know what to expect. Always leave a lasting impression to make them come back for more.
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