Repeat customers bring so much to the business table. According to RJMetrics, these people spend 300 percent more than the new acquisitions. Moreover, they provide more revenues as they are likely to refer 50 more individuals, revealed Bain.
Retaining them is also cost-effective. Some research already showed that acquiring new customers could cost five times more than keeping the current one.
But what does it take to improve customer retention? Simple: these best habits to improve customer satisfaction.
1. Address People’s Problems
People don’t patronize products or services because of their features. They usually buy because these solve their problems.
That’s why when what the business offers fails to achieve its purpose, consumers are more likely to complain or, worse, bring their concerns to another brand.
The first essential habit to customer satisfaction is to address their issues, whether technical or otherwise, ASAP and whatever the cost. Probably one of the perfect examples for this is when Seah Moon Ming, the SMRT chairman, stepped down from his previous role as the CEO of another company.
However, during this period, SMRT was plagued with so many problems, particularly maintenance issues. Considering that the service is one of the critical sources of transport for thousands of Singapore’s residents, the consequence of not fixing the problems right away can be disastrous in the long run.
Today, SMRT continues to be an exemplary work in progress, with Seah Moon Ming at the helm. In 2018, it partnered with McLaren Technologies, the same group behind Formula 1, for track monitoring. The company also built a huge building that could test train performance and spot problems without disrupting its services.
2. Respect Customers’ Privacy
In 2016, KPMG revealed that over 50 percent of global consumers decided against buying a product or service because of online privacy concerns. Singaporeans are one of them.
In fact, although Singaporeans are becoming more tech-savvy and aware of cybersecurity risks, they are also one of the most cynical consumers in Asia.
The majority do not believe that businesses are doing everything they can to protect their data. Hence, about 70 percent are hesitant to buy online. Further, around 32 percent were extremely concerned over the handling of their online information.
One of the secrets of customer satisfaction and retention is valuing consumer privacy. These include:
- Ensuring that no data is sold, distributed, or provided to a third party unless necessary and with consent from the consumers
- Investing in better IT security to significantly prevent data breaches and other malicious cyber activities
- Collecting only the necessary information
- Using excellent encryption methods
- Regularly conducting data and security audits
- Being honest to consumers, especially in the event of a data breach
3. Engage Employees
A 2020 survey called Achieving Customer Amazement revealed that at least 25 percent are extremely willing to switch to another brand because for a better customer service experience.
Overall, a whopping 96 percent claimed they would change loyalty due to bad customer service. Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons for poor customer experience is the employee.
Counter that with employee engagement. Many studies already show that when workers are actively engaged, they feel and know their value and contribution to the organization. They are likely to be more productive and happier.
In turn, these attributes help them provide excellent customer service. In one of these studies, over 75 percent of businesses with engaged employees provided a better customer experience than those who did not. The workers were more than willing to go the extra mile for their customers.
Further, engaged employees may build a closer relationship with their customers. This will enhance trust, allowing consumers to share their positive experiences with the business and others. In other words, high employee engagement can also translate to lead referrals.
4. Show Gratitude
Businesses want loyal customers, but loyalty has to be earned. It also demands reciprocal action from the company. This is where gratitude comes in.
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) once said that saying thank you often trumps loyalty because the former involves reciprocal emotion and behavior. Gratitude deepens customer relationship, nurturing it until the consumer feels comfortable to return over and over.
And while giving rewards and discounts and creating loyalty programs are excellent options for saying thank you, sharing one’s purpose with the customers, according to HBR.
GE, for example, runs a program called Healhyimagination. It encourages its customers to help the business create better health for everyone.
Meeting customer satisfaction—and even surpassing consumer expectations—isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Not only is it cost-effective, but it also boosts retention and loyalty. These can help sustain a business for a long time.
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