One of the primary goals of any business owner or manager is to attain a high level of customer retention. Regardless of which market you specialize in, you want customers to come back to your business when they require the services that you offer again. Customer retention is a business’ ability to turn one-time customers into repeat buyers, meaning that they choose to stay with your business over time rather than switching to a different company.
Keeping your existing customers is much easier and more affordable than attracting new clients, which requires a significant investment in marketing strategies.
But customer retention is also an organic way to expand your customer base: happy clients are far more likely to recommend your services or products to other people, thus improving your word-of-mouth reputation and helping you grow your bottom line.
So when your business’ client retention is low, it should definitely be a cause for concern. Over time, poor customer retention could lead to revenue losses, slower growth, bad reviews, and low customer satisfaction. However, it can be difficult to determine exactly what’s causing customers to choose to take their business somewhere else rather than return to your company.
Recognizing the weak areas that are causing your poor customer retention are vital in order to be able to target these weaknesses. Let’s talk about some common reasons why your client retention may be suffering.
#1. Your customer service is lacking
Even if you offer the highest quality services or products, a poor customer service leads to unhappy customers and lost sales. If a client has already done business with you, but they had a negative experience with your customer service department, then it’s very likely that they’ll choose to go to one of your competitors next time.
Everyone likes to receive warm, attentive service when they’re spending their money on a business. If your staff is overworked or lacking experience in customer service, they could be making simple mistakes when they interact with customers without even realizing it.
One of the easiest ways to solve the problem of overworked, undertrained customer service staff is by hiring a virtual answering service. Through this service, you’ll get to work with highly-skilled operators who have already received training before working with you. Your new remote operators will be able to handle a significant number of tasks to ensure that your on-site staff gets to focus entirely on their day-to-day responsibilities.
At the same time, you’ll guarantee that each customer is greeted by friendly, knowledgeable operators who will solve their inquiries and answer their doubts without hesitation, improving their customer experience and making it more likely for them to become returning clients.
#2. Your staff is taking too long to respond to inquiries
This reason goes hand in hand with the previous one: if your staff is overworked and extremely busy, they probably won’t be able to provide information to callers as quickly as possible. In a world of instant gratification, customers expect their questions to be answered fast.
If your staff never picks up the phone call on the customer’s first attempt, or if they forget to return calls to clients who request it, your customers will undoubtedly become unhappy.
This is another issue that a virtual answering service can solve quickly. Operators will make sure to take each and every phone call, send out reminders, return calls when necessary, and even transfer calls directly to a different member of staff or management without delay.
#3. Your business is only reachable during office hours
Even if your business is only open during certain times of the day — or hey, maybe you’ve simply been working from home since the COVID-19 pandemic started, it’s still important to create a line of communication with your customers that stays open around the clock.
The internet and social media has made it easier than ever for customers to shop at any time of the day, and customers could even be trying to reach you from an entirely different continent. By keeping strict working hours, you’re reducing your business’ chances of growing. It can be very frustrating for customers who need something to be told that they need to wait until your business is open so that they can talk to someone.
Avoid this problem by creating a virtual reception. Remote operators work from different locations to keep your phones handled 24/7, 365 days a year. Even if you and your entire staff are sleeping comfortably, someone will be there to talk to your customers and provide the information that they need.
#4. Your scheduling is ineffective
Many businesses rely on in-person appointments to make money, and it’s important to keep an organized schedule that makes the most out of your working hours. Idle periods of time during your day can represent lower profits and longer waiting times for impatient customers, who may get tired and choose to switch to a different company.
This is another area where an answering service can be of great help. Virtual operators can schedule appointments and take cancellations according to your instructions, thus guaranteeing that your schedule will be as effective as possible and keeping waiting times short to increase customer satisfaction.