The manager asked the employees why they were losing more business to other competitors yet they worked hard to create new business. Out of every 100 businesses booked last year, 26 came back to renew their insurance policies. A Larger percentage of the 74 customers said they had plans elsewhere and were not interested in our service anymore. Others gave lame reasons not to renew the businesses.
Customer retention is one critical aspect of every business on earth today. No one wants to keep recruiting new customers every year and lose them to a competitor the following year. It is easier to offer excellent service to current clients and spend less energy and resources in having them come back to you. Spend the present energy on finding new business, and present customers come back. What do employers need to do to retain customers? Customer retention is mandatory in modern day business. In this piece, I try to explore ways in which businesses can keep their customers.
Build more than just business relationship.
I once sold insurance to a customer, and he could not pay the entire premium. He wanted the cover immediately, but his challenge was cash. You know well that risks cannot be traded for credit. Insurance is trading off risks in return for a fee which we call premium. So I tried to explore ways to have him covered, but every single suggestion failed. I decided to give him one-month insurance for 40% of the premium then I would extend the cover if he gave me post dated cheques, two of them to be deposited in two months.
When the first cheque was due, he came saying that the account did not have any money and I should hold the cheque a little longer. I trusted him and kept the cheques for two more days. He was so elated in spirit and walked away a happy man. He called after two days and asked me to cancel the cheques because he had the entire premium.
Understanding your customer and going beyond company policy sometimes helps in maintaining our clients. We ‘re all human beings, and sometimes our plans fail. Building a professional relationship that is mounted on business helps in keeping old customers as we focus on creating new business.
Empower your staff to own the business
I honestly hate it when I can’t rectify my mistake. I know management control on processes is essential in maintaining a clear way of doing things. When I thought I should take up sales job, I didn’t know I would be restricted this much. I now feel like a puppet. For every mistake I make, I had to report at the head office for it to be corrected.
Leading larger teams may need a centralized person to handle mistakes and fix them. It helps in making other staff more responsible and keen. But again some errors are unknown. Let people worry about delivering and not worrying about clerical errors that can be corrected if the staff is given the rights to do so. Encourage staff to keep updated with the latest knowledge. Let them go back to school and learn something new. When this is done, most of the staff will be equipped enough to handle customers in a professional way. This will be replicated by the number of customers coming back and requiring your services again.
Limit over-emphasis on production and emphasized quality production.
The manager will always love the hear exceeded by far on every ones balanced scorecard. But the quality of service offered to customers is not checked to make sure that clients do not run away. After high school, I joined my local church to serve as a volunteer in high school ministry. I sang relentlessly and had a long discussion with fellow young people just before I entered college. The quality of singing we did make people come and ask what they could do to make us even better. That was then.
Satisfied customers will come back to seek advice or even suggest new products that can be useful for any employer. A satisfied customer will always go out of his way to make you as the employer to be satisfied. It is the quality that brings in customers. The quality of products, the quality of service, quality of the brand and so on. To retain customers let them feel the satisfaction. You won’t need to tell them to come back to you. They will come, definitely.