Companies often complain about ‘difficult customers’ and ‘retention’ as if it is a complex thing. It is not. To keep customers:
1. Communication. Develop touch points. A customer in the dark is an angry customer. Don’t feed them boilerplate “we are looking into it”. Give them a little game plan + the next touch point so they don’t have to call you.
2. Honor your word. If you say you’ll call them back or visit their home on X date, do it. If a customer doubts your word, you will have an angry one.
3. Promotions. Running new deals for new customers while jacking up the price for old ones? Fast way to lose customers. Include both on campaigns.
4. Break-Ups. Some customers can’t be won back. Find a way to cut the cord that leaves you looking good.
5. Honesty and Ethics. If you’ve messed up, admit it and fix it. Movie tickets, discounts, whatever.
6. Employees. Treat them right and they treat customers right. Bitter employees will cause customer service issues.
7. Quality + Price. Don’t cut corners or get greedy, customers notice. Keep the quality the same or make it better. Sneaky price hikes=bad.
8. Listen. Dismissing complaints from customers because you’ve categorized them as ‘difficult’ or ‘whiners’? You are in trouble. Look for trends and patterns and fix them.
Customers are not stupid and they will walk. Treat them like business partners or friends and they will stay. Your business reputation is why new members join and old ones stay. A reputation is easily lost and incredibly hard to recover. Do the right things by your customers and you will succeed.