By Sarah Nicastro, publisher/editor in chief, Field Technologies
It’s well known that retaining your customer base is easier and less expensive than attaining new customers. So determining how to maximize customer retention should be a top priority for your organization. As your customers become more savvy and expect more, you need to be thinking of how you can keep them happy.
Here are three things to consider that will help you get closer to your customers and work toward keeping them satisfied:
- Give them the service they want. Don’t know exactly what that is? Ask them. Feel like you’re doing a pretty good job? Don’t assume so unless they’ve repeatedly told you so and your net promoter scores prove it. Your customers may be merely accepting the service you provide because it’s standard for your industry — but acceptable isn’t something to strive for. You want to work toward exceeding your customers’ expectations. Think about how you can leverage technology for this step. As consumers, we’re getting used to easy service made possible by today’s technologies. Think about how you can mirror that ease of use in the context of the service you provide. Can your customers set appointments online? Can they check the status of their service online? Are your techs equipped to provide proof-of-service and accept payment via their mobile devices while on-site?
- Educate your customer base on how you’re working for them. You should be communicating with your customers regularly — not just when they have an issue that demands immediate attention. This likely doesn’t mean daily contact — that would probably become annoying — but some sort of consistent presence. Take this opportunity to tell your customers about some of the ways you’re working to meet their needs. What new services are you offering or new aspects of how you serve? What new technologies are you deploying that will make your service more efficient or customer-centric? Proactively let them know you’re working hard for them versus waiting for them to experience these things during a service call.
- Follow up with them after service. You should always, always, always be gathering feedback from your customers after each encounter with your organization. Without this feedback, you’re only guessing at how you’re doing — and that isn’t an effective means of improving service. Maybe your feedback process consists of techs asking them to complete a brief survey on a mobile device before they leave the site, or maybe it’s an email sent after the appointment for them to reply to. Depending on your customer base, you may want to think of an incentive to offer that’ll make them more likely to respond. Whatever your method, take their feedback to heart and put it right back toward the first step here — giving them the service they want.