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Four Ways to Retain More Customers with a Better Customer Experience

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It’s a mistake that many companies make: working extraordinarily hard to turn a prospect a client, then pulling the red carpet right out from underneath them once the business is attained.

In fact, this was one of the biggest complaints that I recognized while working in the agency world. The experience that clients were sold on, and the one that was actually delivered, tends to be {at best} subtly different.

Think about it. I’m sure that you can come up with at least a few pieces of your own customer experience that’s been neglected. And that’s ok – everyone does it. But customer experience is a big piece of brand loyalty. And with the rise of the millennial mentality, it’s going to get even bigger.

So if you want to stand out, you need to put a stronger focus on your customer experience – starting today. To help you get started, I’ve pulled five awesome ideas that you can leverage immediately to not just keep your customers happy, but actually start IMPRESSING them. And you know what THAT leads to, right? REFERRALS! The best kind of new business there is.

Ready? Let’s get started.

Get out the Snacks

Everybody’s doing it. From retail stores, to financial planners, to clinics. Brands are starting to recognize that HUNGRY customers are not HAPPY customers. Offering a nice snack or beverage not only leads to a more pleasant in-house experience, it leads your clients to be happier on their way OUT the door.

It’s a small gesture that goes a long way towards brand loyalty. Concerned about cost? We often help our clients find food and beverage partners to supplement, or even eliminate, the cost of these initiatives. Email us today to learn more.

Upgrade your Space

Customer perception will make or break you. And if your competitor has a significantly nicer SPACE than you do, chances are your customers know it – and they’re going to start heading in the direction of your competition. Make an investment in your space. Not only will your customers appreciate the upgrade, they’ll really ENJOY coming to see you (hint: this builds brand loyalty). And your employees will enjoy coming to work again (which drives down the cost of human capital acquisition and training).

You can even use this upgrade as part of your marketing. Have professional photos taken, use them in your social media, website and other marketing materials. You’ll be surprised by the significant impact this makes!

Create Ongoing Service Trainings

Anyone that’s client-facing should have ongoing training, coaching and encouragement opportunities. The larger your company is, the more frequently these trainings should take place.

Know that one bad experience can turn a customer off from your brand for life. Also know that it’s 6 to 7 times more expensive to aquire a new customer, than it is to retain one. You have a 70% chance of selling to a previous customer, and a 20% chance of closing a new one.

What does that tell you? Creating positive experiences for your clients, from the moment they walk through your doors to the moment they walk out, is imperative. Ongoing service trainings that help your team interact positively with customers, show great customer service and overcome hurdles/role play out common situations might sound tedious, but it’s an incredibly effective way to keep that culture of top customer service front of mind, all the time.

Secret Shop Yourself

To really uncover holes in your brand where customer retention is concerned, you’re going to have to get someone to secret shop you. We often kick off client service projects this way, as it offers a truly holistic view of a brand’s culture, it’s people, and where they’re missing the boat.

To secret shop well, you need to keep a few things in mind:

  • Get someone unknown to your staff. This allows them to come in without a previous relationship and get a true experience, the same one that another new prospect or customer would receive.
  • Pre-determine the criteria. Give your secret shopper a list of questions in advance. This allows them to really take note of their experience and give you robust responses to the critical areas of your brand that are customer-facing.
  • Create a remedy before you present. While it’s really tempting to take feedback to your team right away, don’t bring the results to your staff until you have a plan in place to remedy any problem areas. No plan leaves your staff in a negative space, and can have a souring impact on your culture. Instead, note the areas that need improvement, then lift your team up with all of the great ways they can start improving right away.
  • Don’t forget the positives. BEFORE you launch into anything negative that was uncovered in your secret shopping exploit, praise your team for what they’re doing well. And make sure to offer continuous praise as they work to improve their shortcomings – this will help them stay motivated and keep morale high.

Improving the Customer Experience

When you’re ready to really jump start your customer service campaign, give us a call! We can help you put the right tools in place, and develop a strategy that doesn’t just keep your current customers happy, but leads to new clients coming through the doors!

Reach us: 651-571-2980 or [email protected]