It is 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep a current one.
Some of the biggest factors leading to dissatisfaction and loss of return customers are:
- Customer Service – The way you handle your customers is key. Even if a customer becomes dissatisfied, if you resolve their problem quickly in a friendly way, they will most likely use your services again.
- Quality and Value – the value of the product and service that you provide is only as much as your customer is willing to pay. Make sure that the quality of your products and services meets your customers’ expectations and do plenty of market research to price your products and services competitively.
- Wait Time – your customers want services that they can access now! The faster you can provide the expected quality and value, the more satisfied your customers will be. If you provide services that require more time, set your customers expectations beforehand so that they don’t get impatient and start looking for other sources.
- Technology – More and more customers are using mobile phones and handheld devices to access services. Making your business accessible to these will not only improve business, it will also improve customer satisfaction.
- Transparency – Creative advertising can be fun, but your customers want to know exactly what they are getting. Be upfront and honest with your customers about the products and services you offer.
Unhappy customers will tell their friends all about their negative experiences with your company.
At the same time, loyal customers will refer your business to everyone they know, and good word of mouth doesn’t cost you a penny.
Ignorance is often your biggest enemy in customer service.
You can’t very easily solve a customer’s problem unless you know what it is.
The first step to start improving your customer satisfaction is to start listening.
There are some customers that do a very good job of making sure that they are heard – they write emails, make phone calls, ask to speak to the manager, or leave reviews on online review sites like Yelp or Tripadvisor.
Listening to these “squeaky wheel” customers is definitely important, but the reality is that most unhappy people don’t speak up.
They are anti-confrontational, they are shy, they don’t want to create a scene, or they just don’t want to spend any more time on a situation that’s already been negative.
This “silent majority” of of unhappy customers can be having the same type of effect on a business that an unseen black mold or termites in the walls can have – unseen, but producing catastrophic results.
The simplest way to overcome customer service ignorance is to make it easy for customers to complain.