Here are some interesting facts about customer acquisition:
- 40% of customers report “improved interaction with service employees” as their key driver for spending more with a company
- 86% of customers stop doing business with a company because of bad customer experience
- It is 6 – 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an old one
- Loyal customers aqre worth up to 10 times their first purchase
- 78% of online customers recommend a brand to friends and other contacts after a great customer experience
The above data and more can be found in this Helpscout infographic.
It is instantly clear that it isn’t just much more cheaper to keep old customers than to get new ones, not investing in customer support could actually be costing your business a lot.
While we can discuss ways to get more traffic, get more people to pay or even the effect of social proof on your business, ultimately it’s all about your customers; if you ignore your customers, even the best payment processing service won’t be able to help.
With that said, here are a few ways to invest in your customers:
1. Actively Solicit Feedback from Your Customers
Based on information from Michael LeBoeuf’s How to Win Customers & Keep Them for Life, a typical business only ever hears from around 4% of its dissatisfied customers.
In other words, 96% of customers who have a bad experience with your business will move away without ever saying a word about it.
For some business, the percentage of complaints is much more smaller; think about the time when you had a glitch and not a single person complained?
Just because no one is complaining doesn’t mean there are no issues; you need to know your customers’ real pains and complaints to be able to address their needs and invest more in them. The best way to do this is by actively soliciting feedback.
Here are a few ways to get customer feedback:
- Run regular surveys at every opportunity – before sales, after sales, unsubscribes and cancellations – to get feedback from your customers
- Whenever you reply to customer feedback, try to get feedback on how a customer feels about your business
- Take a look at subtle hints and messages your customers give about their experience with your business
- Make it possible to leave feedback anonymously
The more you know about your customers the more you can invest in them so, obviously, the first step to investing in them is to know their problems.
2. Surprise Them
One thing that makes us human is that we can’t resist reciprocating what is done to us; be it good or bad.
You can leverage the law of reciprocity to not only make your customers become loyal to you but to also make them rabid fans and advocate of your company.
One of the best ways to leverage the power of reciprocity to grow your business is by surprising your customers; do something unique and different that they’ll never expect and that hardly anyone else in your field is doing. This will make your customers more loyal to you while actively advocating your business to others.
For example, what most businesses do to get more customers is to over-hype what they have to offer and then under-deliver; your business can take the opposite approach of under-promising and over-delivering. This will result in a more loyal customers for your business.
An example of a company that does this effectively is Zappos; on its sales pages, Zappos states that it’ll take 3 – 4 days to ship products ordered on their website. In reality, products gets delivered much faster; in fact, most customers get their order the next day, when they were told that they’ll be getting it in 3 days. As a result, Zappos’ customers are surprised and they end up becoming active advocates of the brand.
3. Make it Personal
It’s important that your customers feel that you personally care about them as a person; make sure you send this signal in your interactions with them and when you make changes based on what customers suggest.
The last thing your customers want is to be hearing from a bot or a programmed machine; be as personal as you can with customers and you’ll end up creating a unique experience for them.
4. Don’t Rush It
It’s an illusion to think that your customers want “rushed” customer service. No, they don’t; while most customers will appreciate quick customer support, what they really value is having their problems attended to.
A recent Gallup study found out that customers prefer helpful and courteous customer support over quick and rude; spend more time learning about your customer’s problems to better solve it. Don’t spoil the whole experience by trying to rush things.
5. Solve their Problems
No amount of ego-stroking or courteousness will make your customers more loyal than actually solving their problems; when a customer complains, make sure you look into their complaint and actually solve their problems.
Ultimately, your goal is to ensure that other customers don’t have to complain about the same things; not only will this create a better experience for all your customers, it’ll also make the customers that complain feel good about themselves since you actually listened to them. This in turn makes them very loyal to your brand.