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10 Tips For Great Customer Retention

All of us have customers/clients that we value and want to keep happy, so the best way to please them it make taking care of them your first and more important priority. The following are some tips to consider implementing in order to create and maintain consistently excellent customer service

  1. Be truly accessible. When dealing with any clients, you want to make sure that you offer flexibility and agility in the delivery of your products or services. Whether you are a small, medium or large business your processes, systems, and structures should allow you to make sure that your customers get their needs attended to in a timely fashion without having to wait for a “committee” to deal with their issues. They should know that you have their best interests at heart and are doing your best to handle their request as quickly as possible.
  1. Pay close attention your customer’s mood/demeanor. People aren’t usually impressed by what you know or what you can offer until they see that you truly care. It is pretty impossible to demonstrate that you care in any meaningful way unless you have some insight into what that person is feeling and why. Next what you might want to try is to make sure that whatever happened before they arrived you make sure that they leave happy! In other words, be so helpful and sensitive to their needs and desires that even if their mood was caused by something that has nothing to do with your business because you were sensitive to their feelings, you went the extra mile to make them feel better.
  2. Demonstrate your expertise. Aside from being flexible and accommodating, the most important thing any business can do is to differentiate itself as having a deep expertise in your industry, as well as in product or services. Customers/clients will be impressed if you can address their needs because you have both done your homework as well as listened carefully to what they truly are looking for and will make their life easier or more profitable.
  3. Make sure your employees are empowered. Your customer-service team is your frontline for ensuring that your customers are not just satisfied, but are genuinely happy to work with you. The most critical person in the customer service department is your manager, as he/she set the tone for how situations are handled and usually end up dealing with the biggest problems. In addition, consider this, most employee turnover is directly driven by manager turnover so you want someone who will last in this position to help keep the rest of the staff stable. The qualities you want to look for in an effective customer service manager are empathy, patience, consistency, problem-solving skills, and great communication skills.
  4. Know your competition. Before you pitch a “great idea” to a new prospect, know what the competition has to offer and be sure yours is unique and special and totally suitable for the customer/client’s needs. The only way to be successful is to stay ahead of the herd so you have to be innovative and special in how you package offers and how you follow up with your customers to make sure they continue to be happy with your organization’s attention to detail and customer service.
  5. Be creative. Once you know your competition, you simply have to come up with something better for your customer than they would. The more creative you are with your offerings, the better chance you have of attracting and keeping the sort of clientele you know is best for your business.
  1. Don’t be afraid to use online tools. Your website is usually the customer’s first exposure to your company, so your homepage should be personal, user-friendly and inviting. You can include staff bios, your Twitter feed, even short videos to introduce a product or service. All these elements can help to build a better relationship with your customer. People love to chat about their recent purchases and experiences, so it can be helpful to tune into what is being said in your industry or even specifically about your business. The more you offer on your site that will help your prospects and current customers to know about what you offer and how, the easier it can be for them to do business with you. Be sure that your site is mobile friendly, as so many people are just on their phones.
  2. Nurture your relationships. When companies build relationships with their clients/customers and suppliers, it can create a huge competitive edge. You can do this by keeping in touch with your customers/clients, offering informational opportunities with events, blogs or newsletters and special offers from time to time for long time customers. Showing appreciation is an excellent way to show customer service and build stronger, more loyal connections with your customer base.
  3. Add value to your relationship. Show your valued customers that you wish to retain their business by doing some special for them. It does not have to be anything regular, better actually if it is a surprise. Maybe extra product on their next order, or more services for the same price when they book more of your time. It can be the little touches that keep them coming back and keep you ahead of your competition.
  1. When in doubt, just ask your customers what they want. Especially when something has gone wrong, say with an order or product, how you handle that issue is what will matter in the long run and if you find out directly from the customer what will make them happy, it will certainly be easy to fulfill their wishes. You may not be able to give them everything however as long as they get at least part of what they ask for, you can be assured that they will walk away feeling they “won”. That is the main issue…..keep them consistently satisfied but be “gasp-worthy” when something goes wrong.

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Sandy Chernoff
Sandy Chernoffhttp://softskillsforsuccess.com/
SANDY'S 30 years of didactic and clinical teaching in study clubs and continuing dental education, coupled with her almost 40 years of Dental Hygiene practice bring a wealth of experience to her interactive soft skills workshops. With her education background she easily customizes interactive sessions to suit the specific needs of her clients. Her energetic and humorous presentation style has entertained and informed audiences from Victoria to New York City. Sandy’s client list includes law firms, teaching institutions, volunteer and professional organizations and conferences, businesses, and individuals. Her newest project is turning her live workshops into e-learning programs using an LMS platform. Her teaching and education background have helped her to produce meaningful and somewhat interactive courses for the learners wanting the convenience of e-learning options. As the author of 5 Secrets to Effective Communication, Sandy has demonstrated her ability to demystify the complexities of communication so that the reader can learn better strategies and approaches which will greatly improve their communication skills and ultimately reduce conflict, resentment, disappointment, complaining, and confusion. As a result, the reader will be able to increase productivity, efficiency and creativity, improve all the relationships in their lives and ultimately enjoy a happier, healthier existence! Sandy blogs regularly on her two websites on the various soft skills topics that are featured in her workshops and e-learning programs.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Great advice as always.
    The ways in which companies and brands today are proposed and interact, more or less effectively, with consumers has changed, and certainly still will change in the coming years. This digital evolution and these new opportunities, to which enterprises must pay attention, have been defined Digital Transformation, an expression that, in a nutshell, is the process that redesigns and makes more competitive the entire offer of its business, through analysis and listening of market needs by means of digital technologies. Among consumers of tomorrow there will be more and more “digital natives” and a relevant and integrated customer experience will be the foundation of every business. In this scenario, a key concept, which often fades into the background, is that at the center of the digital activities, before technology and approaches, there are people and processes. In rethinking the entire customer experience, the ability to handle the technologies will be essential but, as always, if these will not be lowered in people’s lives, there will never be real value to offer. The key to read and deal with the changes remains indeed the Digital Transformation but it is a transformation based on empathy and only secondarily on technological aspects.
    The ability to create value and differentiate over competitors depends on the quality of service perceived by customers. The rapid spread of online tools dedicated to the sharing of experiences should make the Company’s management think on the importance of the moment when the visitor searches for information online, in order to intercept and transform it to customer.

    • hi Aldo, you are absolutely correct, but it is rather sad in a way, too. I suppose more and brick & mortar establishments will be disappearing and their wares will be sold online. I think it is harder to be effective in customer service when it is not “live”. So you are right, businesses do need to be aware of what can happen on social media if they are not on top of things and in addition, as you mentioned, find ways to be “nice” and “helpful” online. Thanks for your input! Always a pleasure to hear from you!

      • Thank you for your feedback to my post! I am happy having attracted your attention and your thoughts about.
        In fact, Sandy, I agree with you that it’s sad to think that everything is going to happen more and more online, that more and more our interlocutors could be “subjects” without a spontaneous visual expression and things like that. We will be really happy, as someone says, to have more time for us? I can not say but I do not think so if we are so taken by anxiety to answer a text message !!!
        I’ve always been very realistic and oriented to prepare myself for realities that did not exactly represent my way of seeing the world. Predicting the worst helps, perhaps, to prevent trouble!
        Among other things today things happen with such speed that you do not even have time to try to procrastinate certain situations or find alternatives.
        Yes, it’s sad, you’re right.

        P.S. I had to search for your post on Bizcatalyst because, as you may know, LinkedIn often prevents the opening of discussions received by email and groups. In particular this happens with the group BUSINESSMASTERS 360 ° (but also other groups) and Dennis Pitocco tells me that he is fighting to overcome this problem of which many like me complain.

        • Again, I totally agree with you, Aldo. Things do change very quickly and keeping up is a challenge. But I think that the reliance on technical devices is isolating us from each other and that is sad and scary. I hope some sort of compromise will ultimately be arrived at that is not so inhuman.

          • I totally agree.
            Mobile and social technologies and social networking applications have multiplied contacts between people but have not yet managed to replace the power of a glance, the value of a gesture, the face to face contact and the many emotions unleashed by the senses and affections. We all recognize the potential of new technologies but also the risk of increased isolation, loneliness and new anxieties.

            • Here is something else, new research on dementia & Alzheimer’s has shown that the progress can be slowed by the following: healthy eating, regular exercise, sufficient rest, and human contact! We as humans need to be in contact, physically, with other humans and social media, texting, etc. does not give that to us! Yes, it is convenient and sometimes more efficient, but as you said, it is definitely not the same as a glance, face to face conversations or especially a hug!

              • Countries, first the Greece, had invented the Agorà, which was the heart of the polis where facilitated the integration between classes, races and generations, where lived together public and private, secular and religious, gossip and denunciation, joy and mourning. In a nutshell, at the Agorà outdoors man is part of civilization. In social networks the square becomes global, computer networks and social networks play, on a planetary scale, relational networks that the Agorà allowed only locally. The agora undergoes a metamorphosis that was unimaginable just 20 years ago, has become a pseudo-square that day by day becomes more intimate and universal, more flexible and comfortable, but also more subtle, pathological, aggressive, elusive. However, it remains the need for physical places of meeting. Our body continues to require physical contact, smells, tastes, looks, gestures. Continues to need to meet and clash body, of large groups, movie theaters, classrooms student. That does not contradict but complement the virtuality.

                • Very true indeed, Aldo. Too bad the younger generation have no knowledge of how we “used to live” and feel the best way to keep in touch is through technology. It is affecting their relationships, their success, and their ability to communicate effectively orally.

  2. When we look at companies with the strongest and most loyal customers, we find these relationships are strong because companies treat their customers like partners. Treat like partners they invest in. Naturally, customer reciprocate.

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