“The Customer Is King”, Especially in a Pandemic.
By Amy Anderson
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
We all remember the adage that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than retain a current customer. The coronavirus pandemic has put an even greater emphasis on client retention given spending is at an all-time low. Customers are the lifeblood of your company. The following are three ways to support client retention and keep revenue flowing.
Do what only YOU can do to help your customer's business succeed in tough times. You play a unique & crucial role in their operations. Be the expert they know you are, make working with you more convenient, and instill confidence to make sure they know you are there for them. Bring forth your specialized skills & experience to help customers overcome any challenges and be a part of their solution.
Our client, Anchor Harvey (a precision aluminum forging company), added Sunday shifts to keep up with the demand of a few key clients. They also revved up their email marketing machine to share timely information about how production lines and parts were modified to meet current customer needs. By merely communicating how they are operating with relevant and customer-focused messages, they spurred confidence in their organization and provided options for customer business needs.
Play your part, but don't stop there. What else can you offer that would be helpful? Thought leadership about the industry? Resources to support their team or supply chain? Connections to other opportunities? Now is the time to give added attention and value to build not only customer retention but loyalty. Also, be human. We assume you already do that pretty well, but how can you be more flexible or understanding? Could being more transparent about your challenges & opportunities to help others?
Another client of ours, Webb Evans, who supports the Association of Rotational Molders, has been putting out a special section in the e-newsletter to share thought leadership and provide resources specific to these pandemic times. Examples include links to the CDC and Department of Health resources, state-by-state guidelines, or where to find hard-to-find PPE. They also hosted virtual meetings where members could connect, air concerns, and ask questions in a safe environment with fellow industry leaders. By sharing these resources with their members, they are proving themselves to be proactive thought leaders.
In a crisis, community matters, and we see companies supporting each other now more than ever. Sharing stories, resources, even bankers, anything to help ensure more businesses take advantage of everything out there to help them succeed. Your current customers are the best sources of what you're doing well and where you need to improve. Now, in the spirit of growing & learning, it might be a great time to ask for that feedback. This can be done with an official satisfaction survey or poll, or during times like these, we also recommend picking up the phone and having a meaningful conversation.
Over the years, Red Caffeine has helped clients with many different kinds of client satisfaction surveys. Everything from a questionnaire sent as a follow-up on all shipped orders - to NPS (net promoter score) to evaluate if your customer would refer you - to an annual survey sent out after a notable event. For the last three years, we have done our own yearly client satisfaction survey. This information has been instrumental in helping us improve our customer experience and evolve our service offerings.
If you're looking for more ideas on improving customer retention, check out this article from Deloitte on Customer Loyalty, or connect with Amy on how Red Caffeine can help you build and measure exceptional customer experiences.