Everyone in business wonders about this concept. Customers are at the heart of every business, no matter how big or small…and they can also be what will “make or break” a business!
A happy customer can review and recommend, bringing in more customers and money. On the other hand, an unhappy customer will harmfully tweet, review, and shop at your biggest competitor — not only taking money away from you but giving it to rivals.
Each business strives for not only returning customers and good online reviews but also customer loyalty which can only be achieved if the customer is consistently happy.
Why Should You Keep Your Customers Comfortable?
There are five main reasons why keeping your customers comfortable and happy is an excellent idea
- It is definitely worth keeping your customers happy! It costs 5x as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing one. So if you keep them happy, you won’t have to work as hard and spend as much finding more customers. This statistic is also shown by the fact that on average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as one their first purchase. When talking about finances, a 5% increase in customer retention can lead to a 25% to 100% increase in profits for your company (whether it be through upsells, repurchases, or even referrals.)
- Unhappy customers will spread the negativity and redirect money away from your business! 48% of customers who had a negative experience told 10 or more others via word of mouth or through reviews. In addition, consumers are 2x more likely to share their bad customer service experiences than they are their positive shopping experiences. Most of this negativity is spread on Twitter. Did you know that 80% of customer service related tweets are negative or critical of the brand in question? A large majority of customers expect a reply right away, and unfortunately, most companies are failing to deliver.
- Get it right the first time and save the stress because it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.
- It is so easy for customers to jump ship! You should do everything in your power to keep customers happy and retain them…and their purses. 3 in 5 Americans, or roughly 59%, admit they will try a new brand or company in order to get a better service experience.
- It’s easy(ish) when you make use of social media platforms to communicate with customers, as well as being more beneficial for your pockets! Potential customers who engage with business over their social media channels spend 20-40% more money. Makes you rethink the need for a social media manager, right?
How Do You Know if Your Customers Are Happy?
Want to know if your customers are happy? It’s time to do a little bit of math.
Retention Rate – the percentage of customers return to the business to buy products
Retention Rate = ((CE-CN)/CS)) X 100
Retention Rate =((number of customers at end of period – number of new customers acquired during the period) / number of customers at the start of period) x 100
Customer Lifetime Value -This can mean the average sale per customer, the average number of times a customer buys per year, or the average retention time in months or years for a typical customer.
As well as having equations you can work out, there are also KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that help to show how good of a job you are doing to keep customers happy.
Here are the four we recommend focusing on:
- Average Response Time
How long does it take for you to reply to a customer’s question or query?
Nothing will turn a customer away faster than a company not answering questions, or helping to find solutions when something goes wrong – and not doing this quickly.
On the phone, try and keep the time for a service agent to pick up, to 3 minutes – accepted by 53% of customers to be an acceptable response time
Replying via email is simple, and most customers want a response within 1 business day so the faster you can reply the better. Saying this, the 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report by Oracle showed that 50% of consumers give a company up to one week to respond to a question before forming a negative impression.
Live chat support is a very efficient and very popular way to provide customer service because it means that you can help more than 1 customer at once whilst also asking questions and solve issues in real-time.
- Customer Referrals
As well as giving you money, your customers also bring in more customers via testimonials, reviews, and referring their friends, family, and coworkers to your business. High customer referral levels indicate high customer satisfaction levels.
You can use affiliate or refer-a-friend incentive programs to help turn your existing customers into your sales team. Valuable insights into why referrals occur can be gained from these programs.
- Repeat Purchases
Whilst most verbal feedback you get from customers will be negative, a valuable form of positive feedback is the continuation of a customer buying your product time after time.
- Post-Conversion Activity
Is important to track your customer’s behaviour and activity. Things you can look at include
the website pages viewed, average time on the website, email open rate, email click-through rate and items added to the shopping cart.
You should try and measure each of these KPIs constantly, which means you are always learning from your customers and improving your business and can lead to long term success.
How Do You Make Your Customers Happy?
Now that you know why you should make your customers happy and how to measure their happiness, you may need to know what you can do to MAKE your customers happy.
Here are 4 key ways you can increase customer satisfaction.
- Create Customer-Focused Content
Sending customers old and unchanging content is unlikely to make your consumers happy. You should be creating content that is on a more personal level to show the customer you know them which creates an emotional connection.
You should also ensure that your colleagues take this responsibility to put the customer at the centre of all the work completed. By doing this the strong emotional connection with the consumer will be developed to better their experiences and your revenue.
Examples of content include
- Educate them on product updates (especially older customers) – can be done by free webinars as virtual events, free eBooks, drafting product-related posts, and conducting customer online training sessions.
- Address troubleshooting issues and FAQs
- Show them hidden or little known features
- Share breaking news and current events in your industry
- Feature customer success stories
- Create exclusive customer-only content with insider tips and tricks
- Offer customer-only perks (i.e. early access to new features, contests, parties, webinars, etc.)
- Build a Relationship Through Social Media
These relationships have developed largely with the rise of social media because of the ease of interaction. This engagement on social media should be sharing valuable, entertaining, or informative content suited to the audience. An active presence on social media will spread brand awareness and attention.
Interaction on social media include:
- Responding to is mentioned posts
- “Liking” tagged posts
- Sharing or reposting fan posts and relevant content
- Engaging in a conversation
- Running contests or giveaways
- Ask for Feedback
Simply asking questions or sending surveys by email, or via social media can offer valuable insight into how to improve your brand. When customers know that their voice is being heard they are more likely to speak up. Changes made because of customer feedback helps make customers happy.
- Analyse the data
Views, click-through rates, on-screen time, or conversion rates are all numbers that can help your business improve. This data can help you identify trends and refine your strategy based on this quantifiable data. This data is often compiled in reports.
Now that you have been armed with this data, you are ready to take your business to the next level!