Customer Retention – How do I keep customers coming back?

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#11 Customer Retention Diya SelvaCustomer retention, because keeping a customer is cheaper than finding a new one.

“I have been going to XYZ hairdressers for a long time and I’m done! This new hairdresser did not even listen to how I wanted my hair styled. She not only messed up my hair, she left too little of it to get it restyled elsewhere. The salon owner knows me as a customer for a long time, yet today when I complained all she could say was “sorry about that” before she charged me in full for the awful haircut” says Frank.

“I’ve been to ABC bakery several times in the last few years. I have stopped going there now. While the whole world is moving forward, ABC bakery still operates the old school way and runs only on cash. Who carries cash anymore? I now buy my bread from EFG bakery” said Evelyn.

This hairdresser and this bakery are two small businesses in town that are quickly losing customers as they seem to not care about customer retention. Most customers do not tell you that they will not be returning to your business again or that they have had a problem with your business.

customer diya selva70% of your customers will tell you that they were satisfied with your services and yet walk away to patronize your competitors. And as we all know customer retention is much cheaper and easier  than to create new ones. Holding on to a customer is easier when you are authentically a heart centered business.

Returning customers generate more income over their lifetime by not only buying from you but also referring you to their network. Loyal customers are as good as your brand ambassadors. What could you be possibly doing to be not able to retain existing customers? Here are some sure reasons. Check if you have been doing any of these.

Competition is better and cheaper.

While it is not easy and feasible to keep accommodating every customer who tells you that there’s somebody else cheaper in town, suddenly increase in prices might push customers away. If you offer services, it would be nicer if you let your old customers enjoy their lower prices.

Letting a customer down.

If you could not deliver what you promised, and on time, customers are bound to get upset and walk away to never see you again.  always put customers first and try to deliver best results on time or before time and never fail to wow the customer by adding extras.

Staff turnover is fast.

Especially when you run a business like a spa or retail. Customers grow attached to certain staff members and enjoy services directly by them. When your staff quits or gets fired, especially if it’s several of them at a fast pace, customers grow tired of frequent changes or of losing their favourite staff member and just leave.

Customer stopped trusting you.

For whatever reason if someone gets a reason to believe that you’re not being honest with them, just stop being comfortable bringing their business to you. Always be honest and direct to a customer consistently from the beginning of the relationship. Gaining trust is hard, keeping it is harder.

Perceived value of the quality of service you provide is lesser.

Out of 20 businesses, exiting clients but I asked the main reason for not patronizing the business is that they used to. And a very consistent answer from a lot of them Wass, the service used to be top notch in the beginning but now it’s just declining over the time. The prices seem to be increasing where is the quality and value of the service provided is going down.

There seems to be very less customer support in place.

In today’s age of their customer support is based on multi channels like phone and email support, live chat support, SMS and social media, when you don’t have these platforms for customers to talk to you on, you become less approachable and less transparent. Not everybody is comfortable with the one Channel of communication that you offer. Perhaps falling in tune with technology and times might help retain more customers.

Several bad reviews online.

Bad reviews online but angry customers show themselves up to prospective customers and existing customers alike. Any bad reviews have to be addressed right away. I wrote this article for restaurant owners, click to read. When you reviewed badly and receive one star ratings on several platforms and you do nothing about it, other customers who have been otherwise happy start raising eyebrows and decide to take their trust and business elsewhere

Sometimes losing a customer here and there is OK and is inevitable. Some customers might just not have the need for your service anymore or some of them might have moved away to another city. But you can still do a lot to retain majority of your customers he has a few actions you could take.

Read this post for a few insights on how you can retain old customers.

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