Less than a decade ago, “running a business” meant that you were actively selling daily, and interacting with customers. Although this still applies today, the interaction with customers takes place at a deeper level than before. Interacting with customers involves actively selling, interacting, sharing and listening.
Just as in any relationship – whether personal or professional – you must work to preserve it. If companies do not actively interact with the customers, it can lead to damage to the relationship with the customers, or it goes so far that the customers choose to leave. This can make it more difficult to attract new customers. After all, a flower that does not grow does not grow.
So how do you make sure you keep your customers happy while attracting new ones? Customer relationship and customer experience go hand in hand. Therefore, you should focus on improving both. This means that you should be adaptable and flexible to ensure that you provide the customer with the best possible experience, tailored specifically to the customer’s needs.
Although it is important to win new customers to grow your business, you must first build strong relationships with your existing customers. This is also more cost-effective than finding new customers. According to Marketing Metrics, companies have a 60-70% chance of selling to an already existing customer, compared to a 5-20% chance of a new customer.
All in all, it helps to have a strategy for customer loyalty in place.
Here are some ways to maintain customer satisfaction
1. Be Interested
It is extremely important to show customers that you are interested in meeting their needs. Remember that a sale does not stop when the customer goes outside the door. A customer interaction is ongoing; it is about establishing and building a long-lasting relationship.
Customers want a service provider or company that really listens and cares for their needs. They don’t want to feel reduced to a number. So it is no surprise that 70% of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels and how it is handled. Customers want to interact with a brand that has an understanding and interest in their needs, and that listens to those needs. This is a big step in the right direction to ensure you have strong customer relationships, and also the building of new ones.
2. Guarantee an Excellent Experience
Today it is all about giving customers a personalized experience. Customers are no longer interested in short-term sales. They want a strong interaction with every company, whether it’s going into a physical store, making a purchase online or interacting with a brand via social media. All of these transactions are part of the experience.
One way to do this is to occasionally contact each customer to see how everything is and to see if they are still satisfied with the product and/or service. You can also make a list of points or questions that you ask the customer during the conversation, such as:
- Are you satisfied with our product and/or service?
- Does it help you reach your goals?
- Is there anything we could do better?
Gathering customer feedback is extremely valuable. Sometimes a simple improvement of a product or service can increase profits by five to 95%! This is a way for companies to show customers that you value them and care as much about them today as you did during the first interaction. It is also an excellent proactive (where’s that word again!) Strategy to use to start attracting new customers.
It is important to remember that customers are unlikely to tell you if they have a problem with a service or product. They are more likely to leave you and never come back, which makes it so important to keep interacting with them.¨
According to Lee Resource, for each customer complaint, there are in fact 26 other dissatisfied customers who keep silent. 96% of dissatisfied customers do not complain, 91% of them simply leave you and never come back.
If you are proactive in connecting with customers and making a whole-hearted effort to improve their experience, then customers are more likely to be loyal and make future purchases. This can be achieved by implementing various surveys such as customer feedback forms or post-purchase evaluation (with/without Net Promoter Score)
Another way to interact with customers is through social media daily. Social media gives businesses and brands the opportunity to build an online community of customers, leads and influencers. It helps new customers to trust a brand.
Customer satisfaction begins with a corporate culture
In summary, the proactive attitude towards customer satisfaction is the best way to retain existing customers, and also to attract new customers. Social media is just one example of a medium that companies can use, however, customer satisfaction begins with the company’s culture and personality. After all, customers are more likely to remember your business if you give your customers time. This emphasizes the importance of being involved in customer relationships and customer experiences.