The main goal of a customer retention program, is to help a business retain as many customers as possible through customer and brand loyalty initiatives.  The average business loses 20% of its customers by failing to be present in customer relationships.  Here’s are 4 tips to help you build your customer retention program.

  • Proactive customer service

Being proactive simply means trying to anticipate problems before they happen and offering solutions to fix them before they get out of hand.  This means you need to research your customers and anticipate their needs, wants, as well as any problems they may come across while using your services.  A simple note, like a text message, email or phone call stating that the crew is delayed due to traffic goes a long way with easing customers’ concerns.

It has been shown that companies with high retention rates have several systems in place to prevent problems from happening.  Just in case they do happen, they have procedures that solve the problems, quickly.  The response is immediate, there is no buck passing, and they go above and beyond the call of duty.  Every employee is dedicated to customer service, no matter their role.

Another way to be proactive with customer service is frequent communication with your customer.  From follow up phone calls and thank you notes to special offers and cards with a personal touch, these communications help to reinforce the reason they chose to do business with you.  They help to dissuade buyer’s remorse and help make them feel like a part of your business, so they want to keep coming back.

  •  Measure and use the Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The Net Promoter Score, or NPS, is a tool that can be used to measure the loyalty of a firm’s customer relationships.  NPS is calculated by sending customers a quick, one question survey;

“How likely is it that you would recommend Company X (or Product X) to a friend or colleague?”

Scores range from -100, nobody is a promoter, to 100, everybody is a promoter.  An NPS that is positive, meaning it’s higher than zero, is said to be a good score and a score 50+ is an excellent one.

This type of survey lets you follow up with anyone who thinks you are falling short and quickly resolve any issues and retain their business.  It is a wonderful tool that allows you to be proactive and handle concerns before it’s too late.

  • Measure and track trends with your customer’s satisfaction

Measuring customer satisfaction will give you important insight into how happy your customers are.  Setting up a customer satisfaction tool that will let you gather customer feedback proactively will tell you so much more than just waiting for a customer to complain or praise your services.  96% of people won’t tell you when they’re unhappy, they just won’t repurchase.

Tracking changes is just as important.  It lets you see if any of the initiatives you have put in place are having an impact, positive or negative.  You not only want to see if your customers are satisfied overall, but if the individual satisfaction for unhappy customers has improved as well.  By knowing which customers are unhappy you can quickly reach out, address their concerns and retain their business.

  • Be a trusted advisor

When you become an expert source, your customers begin to trust you and rely on you to give them the best advice.  Your value is now not just in your products and services, but also in the advice and teachings you offer by being their advisor.  The benefits are twofold.  You will retain their business, as you have become a vital part of their business success as well as new referrals and introductions to your customers’ colleagues.

There will be competitors out there that do the same thing that you do, maybe even offer a better price–it is a competitive market out there after all.  But, the one thing that you will have that they don’t is your relationships with your clients.  As long as you maintain those, nurture them and build them up, you will stand out from the crowd.