Focusing on customer retention, rather than new customer acquisition, is becoming more and more important in today’s economy. People buy a product or subscribe to a service, so they can have another one of their bases covered or so they can cross off one more thing from the To Do List App on their phones. In the age of convenience, consumers are placing a higher value on great customer support than the product itself or even the price!
When a product that is supposed to save someone time, doesn’t or ends up taking a whole afternoon to figure out, they buyer of that product will, naturally, be frustrated. After doing some deep breathing or some aggressive gardening, a dissatisfied customer will seek support from the manufacturer of the thing that’s driving them crazy. This customer will expect the maker of this product to live up to their end of the bargain. The product that was supposed to save them time, isn’t, and they want their answers quickly and with as little hassle as possible.
When customers don’t get what they’re looking for, a speedy resolution to whatever is delaying or preventing their enjoyment of your product or service, they will stop buying your product or subscribing to your service.
Well, most of them will. According to the Accenture Global Customer Pulse Survey, in 2013, 62% of global consumers switched service providers due to poor customer service experiences.
On the other hand, when you are able to provide quick, effective support to your customers, they are much more likely to do business with you in the future. According to an article from the Fonolo Blog, 70% of customers will do business with you again if you resolve their complaints. While there’s no accounting for the 30% that will leave, retaining customers will save your company a great deal of money. According to the same article from the Fonolo blog, a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.
The Internet has made the customer experience become more visible and has increased consumer standards for their buying experience. In order to reap the benefits of increased customer retention, a greater emphasis needs to be placed on the customer’s buying experience and supporting customers when they experience problems with your company’s product or service.
What Makes a Happy Customer?
Is it a bag of candy with every purchase? Is it a compliment with every subscription renewal?
Above all, a happy customer is one who is getting what they’re paying for. If the product that they purchased is not to their satisfaction or they need additional support to use or enjoy it fully, then your company’s support function is the make or break factor in doing repeat business with that customer.
More than anything else, happy customers have their questions answered and receive the support they’re looking for. 82% of consumers say the number one factor that leads to a great customer service experience is having their issues resolved quickly.
When your company is providing your customers with the support that they expect with their purchase, then they will be happy customers. The reason that you want happy customers, is that these customers will associate your company with solutions, not problems. You’re making their lives easier and, by providing them with what they need, they have no reason to go to your competitors.
Happy customers will:
- Do business with your company again.
- Buy your company’s product again.
- Renew their subscription to the service your company provides.
In fact, consumers care so much about their buying experience that 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. However, only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.
This is great news for small businesses. A small company might have a hard time beating a multi-national competitor on pricing, but, by providing excellent, personable customer support, small businesses can tap into the convenience economy like never before.
Engage with your Customers on Social Media
Your social media profile is also the place where happy customers will show their love for your company. By emphasizing the customer experience and integrating social media with your support function, your happiest customers will become “Brand Evangelists.”
Brand Evangelists are the people who write positive reviews on Yelp and Amazon. They are also the people who will decorate your company’s social media profile with positive comments and they are the people who are recommending your company and your company’s product, wherever they go.
Instead of focusing solely on customer acquisition, focusing on customer retention will help to stabilize your company’s revenue and set you up for more business in the future. By giving your customers what they want, quick answers and solutions, your company can reap the benefits of increased customer retention.