An age-old question anyone in business grapples with is ‘how to retain customers after they have stepped through the front door’.
While the answer to this question may vary based on the industry, location, product and/or service on offer, what remains constant is the need to provide an outstanding customer experience.
With the level of competition in the marketplace, it is no longer feasible not to consider your customers experience. Failure to measure and effectively act on customer experience can be one of the largest implicit costs of a small to medium sized business, without the owner even realising.
It is proven that cost of customer attraction is 6 to 7 times more than the cost of customer retention.
Why then, do so many business owners keep their focus on ‘attracting new customers’ rather than building rapport with current customers that are already walking through the door? While focus is rightly placed on attraction of new customers, in order to build sustainable, compounding growth in any market, greater focus must be placed on retention of existing customers.
At HR Matters, we have devised four simple proactive steps to bring customer experience into focus for your business:
1. Set brand standards
When measuring a customers experience, it is important to know what you are measuring it against. What are your business values? What do your customers expect from your brand? Does your business have a vision and/or mission? And are these reflected and understood throughout your business? Setting clear brand standards around what is expected is critical to managing your customers experience.
2. Devise methods to measure standards
Once standards are set, devising a range of methods to measure whether standards are being met is key. This allows you to know whether your business lives up to your brand standards when a customer walks through your door, or if more effort and focus is required.
Relying only on direct customer feedback is simply allowing dissatisfied customers to walk out your front door to never return. Studies have shown that on average, only 24% of complaints are formalised with management. Methods to measure brand standards need to include all touch-points where a customer may interact with your brand, not just direct customer feedback.
3. Take action when required
Through the measures you have put in place to monitor customer experience, you will uncover areas that require action. Resolving these areas promptly before they have the possibility of dissatisfying customers is vital to improving the overall customer experience, and therefore improving revenue and your business.
Measuring and acting on customer experience data is the key to unlocking higher retention of customers and increased revenue. It is proven however, that one bad experience from a customer can result in a decrease of brand loyalty of up to 35%.
Repeating the cycle above ensures that constant focus is placed on the customers experience within your brand at all touch-points. It allows for swift remedies to be implemented, mitigating possible customer dissatisfaction and creates a culture within your business of customer focus.
Over the last three years, the team at HR Matters have completed over 8,000 Human Resource and Customer Experience auditsfor small to medium sized businesses. A key trend that has surfaced across them all is the true benefit that small to medium sized businesses receives through objective, independent evaluations of their customer experience.
Increasing the customers experience from ‘somewhat satisfied’ to ‘very satisfied’ has the return of 50% + increased customer loyalty! Managing the customer experience in your business is all about being proactive.
Give the team at HR Matters a call today to talk further about how we can help you and your business.