There are few more important concerns for today’s business than customer service. It is so fiercely competitive out there that how you, and your staff, treat a client or customer may very well tip the balance in your quest to survive and thrive.
Customer retention is so vital to your survival that there is an ancient guidepost that reads you generate 80% of your business from just 20% of your customers. Often, a business will lose customers and never know why. Ensure that you are not losing customers due to slovenly customer service. And remember, you staff needs to be trained properly. It all falls on you and, yes, it is lonely at the top.
It is much harder to capture new business than it is to retain the business you have. Survey after survey will reveal that more than 80% of U.S. consumers will abandon their loyalty to you due to less than stellar customer service. In a recent survey done by the Loyalty Marketer’s Association, they found that over 25% of their membership thought social media is the number one strategy to retain customers. They placed social media engagement higher than rewards and coupon programs or customer analytics for keeping their customer base loyal.
- The most effective weapon that your social media connection can offer is that of immediate feedback and customer engagement. Only a phone conversation comes close to that immediacy. Feedback at your social media sites has become crucial in retaining your customer base. Too many companies are not engaging immediately and are paying the price as consumers will move to your competitors.
- No need to read between the lines. Your customers will tell you exactly what is on their minds. Address that and focus on what is important to them. Don’t see it as an opportunity to upsell or to do an elevator pitch.
- Today’s social media savvy consumers will not wait around all day for you, or one of your staff, to address their need or complaint. You need to be out there monitoring your sites constantly or you need to delegate that position to as highly a trained staff member as you can find. Ignore them for too long and their gone.
It’s all a matter of trust. Your customer needs to know that you will be there for them. They need to know that you will address their needs quickly. They need to know you care about them. They need to know that they can trust you.