Customer retention is actually just another way of saying customer relationship. Face it, people work with, continue to work with and refer those they know like and trust.
In order to maintain strong customer relationships there are some major keys.
An open line of communication is an absolute must. You need to know what they’re thinking and visa-verse. Surprises are never a good thing and many conflicts could be avoided by early and proactive communication.
Be Where They Are
I’ve heard so many business website owners pooh pooh social networking. “It’s such a waste of time and I just don’t understand it.” OK, that’s all good and peachy for you. But what if that’s where your customers hang out and communicate? Or what if text messaging is their preferred way to talk? Which leads me to my next point.
When a customer asks if they can text you and you don’t even have a cell phone, that will send a clear message about where, on the curve, your company sits. Which brings us to…
Make sure what it is you are offering is current. Don’t be the car salesman pitching that innovative crank on the front of this year’s model!
This is not the same thing as being friends. It’s nearly impossible to keep your business objectives on track if you become friends with your customers. There is a healthy distance where you can be friendly while still maintaining professional boundaries and policies. There’s little worse than having to put a friend in their place for crossing the line. And it’s not enjoyable at all how powerful an ex-friend can be at trashing your company.
Bottom line, make sure what you’re offering is leading edge and current. Communicate with your customers where they are and often. Stay current, don’t hold your clientele back because you refuse to move forward.