Let’s face it, pretty well everything about how your company is perceived by a customer reflects on the success of your business. If you have good customer service, people generally assume you have a good product or service. On the other hand, bad customer service can mean people assume you have a bad product or service.
In today’s competitive marketplace, businesses compete daily for clients, so customer satisfaction is seen as a key differentiator. SMBs that succeed in this often cutthroat environment are the ones that make customer satisfaction the main component of their marketing strategy.
Wowed customers = good ROI
It’s not enough to just keep your customers happy, you have to focus your whole team on exceeding customer expectations and “wowing” them at every available opportunity. In turn your “wowed” customers will become your brand ambassadors. They will be your best referral service, bringing you more business and boosting your bottom line.
Good business sense
It’s been proven that it’s cheaper to keep customers than lose them to the competition, and it costs less to up-sell existing customers than to gain new ones.
Many SMBs fall into the trap of ignoring their customers once they’ve got them, focusing their efforts solely on gaining new customers.
Acquiring new customers vs. retaining the ones you have
However, it costs a lot more money for a company to acquire a customer than to retain the ones you already have. Average SMB’s marketing teams can spend thousands of dollars in advertising costs and sales expenses gaining the attention of prospects, nurturing them into leads and closing them into sales.
It has been estimated that it costs six to seven times more to acquire new customers than it does to retain existing customers.
Value your customers and they will value you
The effort and minimal costs that go into maintaining quality customer service can pay your company big dividends over time. As marketing manager, this means leading your team in valuing your customers and showing them how much their loyalty means to your company.
Your customer service marketing strategy could include:
- understanding why clients do business with you
- understanding your customers’ needs and wants
- ensuring effective after-sales follow up
- providing a unique selling proposition
- promoting business innovation
Customer satisfaction also provides marketers and business owners with a metric they can use to manage and improve their businesses and reduce customer attrition.
By measuring and tracking customer satisfaction you can easily see where you are doing well and also which areas could use improvement. You can then put new processes in place to increase the overall quality of your customer service.
Key reasons customer satisfaction is important:
- differentiates your company from competitors
- is a leading indicator of repeat business of your customers
- reduces customer defection
- increases overall customer lifetime value
- generates positive word-of-mouth and reputation
- increases customer loyalty
Promote customer retention across all positions at all levels throughout your organization. Embrace it as a core strategy and as part of your company philosophy, and make it an integral part of every employee’s job description.
Simple ideas to incorporate into your customer retention strategy include:
- create informative and entertaining blogs to educate customers
- utilize email marketing for special promotions and discounts
- implement customer satisfaction surveys to listen to your customers
- engage and delight customers by offering personalized experiences
Since satisfaction plays a significant role in how much revenue a customer generates for your business, it makes good business sense to devote a portion of your marketing budget to customer retention. Exceeding customer expectations helps you keep your clients, turn them into brand ambassadors who will provide referrals, and nurture them into helping you grow your business and increase profits.