Customer satisfaction: the best business strategy of all
Too often, companies worry about generating new customers but they forget about the importance of keeping them happy. The Pareto rule puts it into perspective: studies show that 20 percent of your customers represent 80 Percent of your sales. In a nutshell, it's easier and cheaper to sell more to current customers than to acquire new ones. Customer retention tactics are a must if you want to increase sales. Here are some tips for keeping your customers happy:
- Deliver great customer service: as obvious as this advice may sound, it”s not so easy. According to a survey from American Express, “78 percent of consumers bail on a transaction or stopped short of completing an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.” Offer customers solutions associated with their purchase. People like attention; if a customer feels special and looked after, he or she is much more likely to return to your business the next time something is needed.
- Surprise your customers with special benefits and give them something to talk about: Satisfied customers are your brand’s best allies. If a customer is pleased with your product or service, there' a good chance that he or she will provide “free publicity” for the company by telling friends and sharing the experience on social media, and the best part is, it's free! When you surprise a customer with an unexpected benefit, he or she will be even more willing to tell friends about it and spread the word about your product or service, which helps enhance the positive image of your company. For example, give customers a special discount on their 10th purchase, or after they've been a customer for a year.
- Spin a negative experience into a positive one: “It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience,” according to Ruby Newell-Legner, the fan experience expert. This is why it's so important to monitor and respond to a customer's negative experience. When possible, take responsibility and take action to mitigate each negative experience. There is always an opportunity to turn a negative customer experience around and earn them back as a brand lover. The ball is in your court.
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