Which is more important, customer loyalty or customer acquisition? Both are important to the success of your business. But when you hear that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one, what’s the smartest use of your resources?
Why do customers leave? Many businesses think that price is the main factor which leads customers to look for another option. But in reality, far more customers leave because of unsatisfactory customer service. Statistics gathered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and SBA indicate that 68% of customers leave because they are upset with the way they have been treated by a business. Over two-thirds of customer loss has some connection with customer service.
What Do Customers Want?
Clearly, getting customer service right is critical at all points, from the first moment a customer enters a store to the minute they exit. Every touchpoint, every moment of contact with one of your staff is an opportunity to make a customer happy, or to give them a reason to consider doing business elsewhere.
So what do customers want? Obviously, there are some basics which are the same for every business: customers want respect, clear communications, and fair dealing. But how can you be more specific than that? What do customers want when they walk into your business? How do you know?
Ask them. That’s the most reliable way.
Rely on Customer Intelligence
Customer experience optimization relies on knowing what customers want and expect. Without understanding what a customer is looking for when they walk into your store, you can never be sure you are meeting their expectations.
An array of customer intelligence tools are available to help business owners ask customers what they want, and then to check with customers to find out if their expectations have been met. Customer surveys, customer intercept and exit interviews, special brand agent investigations, social media monitoring, and customer service call monitoring all help businesses identify what customers want and expect. Using this data to optimize the customer experience will help you keep customers happy, which will keep them coming back.
Meeting and exceeding expectations is the best way to retain customers, and using the best available tools to uncover customer expectations will help you make happy, and loyal, customers.
For more information about our array of Customer Intelligence resources, contact us.