As a business, finding customers in the first place can be a challenge. Driving them away is unacceptable – and expensive. Bringing in new customers costs between five and twenty-five times as much as retaining the customers you already have. If you can identify and mitigate the risks within your company, you can avoid driving your customers away. This will help your business build and maintain a customer list that wants to work with your business over the long term.
Out Of Date Technology
Keeping technology up to date in your office is an important part of making sure that you can continue to interact with your customers on a high level. You need to have up to date tech in order to access the best programs for managing customers, job orders, sales, and overall in-house functioning.
You need to keep your hardware up to date, but this has to do with more than that. If your company has a website that looks like it was created in 2004, they’re going to place less trust in your business than if your website has a modern design, for example.
It’s also important that your staff on the road have up to date technology. Customers now expect to sign contracts on tablets, see presentations offered in their hands, and reach sales staff at any point of time. Younger customers in particular expect to reach staff through multiple channels. They’re less likely to make a phone call, and more likely to ask questions through a live chat.
Having these options available will help you keep your customers happy.
Bad Customer Service
Every company should be constantly on guard against poor customer service. We may think of customer service as staff being openly rude or dismissive to customers, but there’s really much more involved than that. Bad customer service can look like two departments not talking to each other, requiring customers to speak to multiple people multiple times. Bad customer service can look like staff giving customers the bare minimum of information so that they make poor decisions.
Of course bad customer service can also look like rude agents and abrupt interactions. But if this is happening in a work place, it’s important for managers to understand why it’s happening before they start to try and manage employees out of the organization.
Bad customer service can arise from bad training. Not all bad training is specifically about how to handle customer interactions. Agents may be unsure of expectations or not have enough information to properly answer customer questions. They can also have unreasonable standards that they are trying to meet and be trying to end calls quickly and abruptly in order to try and meet standards.
Understanding what is causing poor customer service is crucial for fixing it.
Businesses are aware that modern employees know more about company culture than any group before, but customers are also increasingly aware of customer culture. They watch business social media feeds, look at Glassdoor reviews, and ask their friends what they’ve heard about companies before they make a purchase. If they hear that a company is awful to its customers, they may choose to avoid the business. For example, continuous cultural pressure regarding working conditions has pushed Amazon to increase wages and improve working conditions for warehouse employees.
As many companies use Facebook and Twitter to interact with fans and customers, it’s important to have a code of conduct on how employees use social media. At the bare minimum, this must exist when they are acting as public figures and representatives of the company.
Customers are more likely to support businesses that line up with their personal beliefs, especially when these revolve around social and political issues. Businesses sometimes blame customers for not making purchases without looking at what businesses are doing to drive away those same customers and the associated sales. By knowing some of the risks within your company that can come into play, businesses can reduce those risks and retain customer retention.
Identity theft continues to be a serious threat for consumers. In 2017, 16.7 million people were victims of identity fraud, and more than $16 billion were stolen. For the individual consumer, most companies now have protections in place that help keep them from paying the dollar costs of what has been stolen. Where they see the personal loss tends to be in the form of time that is needed to sort out all the losses. When a simple credit card number is stolen, the issues tend to be very minor. When a social security number is lost, the problems can last for years.
A number of high profile losses have been publicized over the years, showing that even the biggest companies are not invulnerable to cyber attacks designed to steal information. Many customers have become more cautious about where they enter which information because they want to stay protected.
There are ways that a company can demonstrate its commitment to safety. For example, smaller companies that accept online payments may consider going through a high profile processor instead of accepting payments on their own. This will allow them to piggyback on the bigger company’s security instead of needing to create their own.