If you’re running a business in 2020, it can seem like a never-ending cycle of uncertainty is sprawled out in front of you. Whether you’re a live performance venue, restaurant, bar, or corporation, the COVID-19 pandemic has likely upended all sorts of aspects of how you do business. Beyond navigating social distancing measures and weighing the pros and cons of yet another Zoom meeting, business owners also are struggling to find ways to prioritize their customers.
Rightfully, customers matter more than ever when many Americans across the country have lost their jobs and economic recovery seems gridlocked in a divided congress. How many customers or clients are your serving, and how valuable are they? These questions are a priority for businesses to think about, but sometimes it can be difficult to figure out how to retain the loyal customers you already have. Here are five tips to keep in mind as you work to rebuild your business by leveraging the customers who’ve connected the most to your brand or service.
1. Use voice of the customer systems to collect feedback.
Engaging with your clients and customers is key if you want to keep them happy. By collecting feedback about your business and services at the right time in the right place, you can get actionable insights about what each customer needs. Voice of the customer (VOC) systems help facilitate this kind of engagement, helping businesses collect feedback via popup surveys, social media, and more. Once you’ve collected customer feedback, you can use powerful data visualization tools to better analyze and understand the customer experience. You can even find a tool that helps your business by integrating VOC programs with systems like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics so you can easily leverage it across departments, leading the way to customer loyalty and customer retention. Listening to the voice of the customer is the best practice to ensure growth and increased customer satisfaction over time.
2. Listen to your clients’ needs.
Once you’ve collected feedback from your clients, it’s important to actually do something about it. If you notice trends in the survey data you’ve gathered, really reflect on why your clients or customers might feel this way about your business. Showing that you’re listening to what the customer experiences or needs can really help you with customer retention. Keep in mind that it’s more cost-effective to maintain existing relationships than it is to attract new customers, so truly taking actionable steps to show your clients you care can go a long way in sustaining your business.
3. Empower your team to go above and beyond.
Part of being able to serve your clients is ensuring that your staff knows they’re allowed to truly help them. Make sure that you clearly explain which rules and policies are hard-and-fast within your company and what they can be flexible with as they’re working to solve a client’s problem. For example, if a certain fee is able to be waived based on your team member’s best judgment, that can be a great way to help with customer loyalty.
4. Don’t rest on your laurels.
It’s important that you’re investing in your business and product development as much as you are your clients. This means that if you offer software to your clients, you should be releasing regular updates. If you run a restaurant, experiment with new menu items. Whatever it is that you can do to make things unique and keep pushing forward will make a difference when it comes to showing that your business is dedicated to improving.
5. Stay in touch with customers even when things are going well.
Many companies make the mistake of only reaching out to their clients and customers when things are going wrong. However, it’s just as important to chat with your clients when things are going well, too. Just a simple phone call or postcard in the mail can help create a better customer experience by showing that you’re truly invested in them and their input.