Give thank you cards, make a ‘check in’ phone calls, send a Christmas cards, or offer a referral system e.g. £20 to refer a friend.
An example was given about a wedding venue offering the married couple a night stay on their first anniversary – really nice touch. A room booking company couldn’t refund on a last minute cancellation but offered 50% off the next booking.
Our members discussed larger companies and how their businesses seem to adopt the model of the numbers game – that is, more new customers coming in than leaving. Example include Sky, PlusNet & other Energy Companies, Car Insurance etc. They all involve better and much cheaper deals available to new customers only and not a lot is done to keep existing customers. Industry standard suggests a new supplier will be chosen by customers each year. An example was given about car insurance only rewarded new customers with discounts and existing clients renewals are much higher.
It was discussed that you can actually get more referrals from a problem resolved satisfactory than just a job well done. An example was giving of being super flexible and maybe offering something more than the client expects as a gesture of goodwill. It won’t cost you that much but the value to the customer is huge.
An example was giving on how the cost of international calls was taken off a bill when it was disputed. The phone company wasn’t at fault but rectified it as a gesture of goodwill.
Have regular catch ups/ 1-2-1’s to see how things are going and touch base. You can understand your customer better and present new services and offers to them.
One member gave Apple as an example of a larger business who does client retention very, very well. Customers queue for hours to get their hands on the new iPhone each year when it’s released, even though it’s not much different from the last. This is because of the culture Apple have created and the outstanding customer service options they have available. This is in contrast to other large business who are only interested in new customers; Apple are most interested in keeping their existing customers for much, much longer and building loyalty.
We discussed how businesses can use surveys to check that customers are happy with the service they’re receiving. Not only does this allow us to identify areas of the business that need attention but it also allows us to fix any issues with the customer. It even creates an opportunity to create a considerable amount of goodwill by way of an apology, gift or discount on future spend.
Another twist on the surveys idea we discussed was to survey potential customers rather than just existing customers. An incentive will need to be offered (such as a prize draw) but this can be a great way to gather valuable information that can be used to improve your company’s positioning, marketing and sales processes.
One of our members mentioned a trip to Heritage Gardens and that the ticket cost £27 for the day, which he thought was expensive (he went because his wife told him to!), When he arrived, he was greeted and told the ticket can be upgraded to annual pass. This, to him, represented excellent value for money, which changed his experience completely to one he wasn’t looking forward to, to one in which he thoroughly enjoyed. He’s since been back a few times (and spent money in the café/giftshop), which he wouldn’t ordinarily have done. This is an example of customer service done well.
I’m sure we’ve all received emails from companies around our birthdays. These not only wish us happy birthday but also offer some sort of gift or discount. Not only is this a great way to make your customers feel special but also a great way to encourage customers to come back and spend more with your business.
Most of us will have either a Tesco Clubcard or a Nectar Card in our wallets (probably both). These are tried and tested ways to create loyalty and keep customers coming back to your business. Not only is this a great way to create repeat business, but the big supermarkets are also using this data on what customers are buying to influence their future buying decisions and give them insights about future trends.
Another member gave the example that their business and customers are a family and are referred to as such. This builds incredible loyalty within the business and its customers.