For any fledgling company out there the first and foremost task is always how to acquire customers. The market is ruthless and packed most of the time. However, the hill that all companies, regardless of size, eventually must climb is that of retaining the existing customers. The customers are your raison d’être, and they should always remain in your focus and this is why so many companies are turning to the customer-centric approach.
Use the ground-up approach
If you are aware of the importance of customers for your present and future business, why not use that as one of the core values of your company? After all, these values are the key to company culture. They help you in course-correcting your path, by setting the goals which are not directly connecting to purely financial benefit. Let us look at Google’s list of 10 core values. The first one says: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” If one of the most important companies in the world today is directly customer-centric in their core values – perhaps your company would benefit from that too.
Walk a mile in their shoes
Empathy might seem like a buzz-word to you, especially recently, as it has entered the vernacular in a big way. And yet, it is one of the most basic things that makes us human and creates bonds between us and other people. The emphasis on empathy in business is relatively new, but people are finding it very useful in job recruitment, good relations between employees, as well as your relationship with the customers. After all, if a worker understands the needs or problems of a customer better, the odds are that they will work harder and be more invested to help. On the other hand, the customer will feel this and react accordingly. A satisfied customer will not only remain with the company, but they will also spread the word about the high quality of your services. Word of mouth is still some of the finest marketing out there that money can’t buy.
Make them feel welcome
Whether your customers have a need to visit your headquarters often or your new customers need to come in to talk about business, you might consider using a visitor management app. Its main feature is simplicity – have everything you need to track your visiting customers in one place. Reduce the time your visitors wait at the entrance by receiving notifications upon their arrival. If you require an NDA to be signed before a site visit; have one at the ready as they arrive. Add to that other various options such as working offline in case of internet connection loss, highlighting your VIP customers or notifying you of security alerts, as well as marking late arrivals. If you’re on top of who’s coming and going, you can organize your time accordingly. The customers will appreciate that you appreciate their time, saving them a lot of hustle.
Learn the customer value
For those in your company who are having problems to understand the value of retaining customers vs acquiring them (which can be up to 5 times as expensive) it would be a good idea to take a look at CLV (Customer Lifetime Value). It can be calculated easily, using the revenue earned from a single customer and subtracting the amount spent on any services rendered to the customer. The difference is the customer lifetime value. If you are not in the service-providing business, take an average value of your product and add the repeat purchase rates in the mix. You can easily see the profit that is to be gained by focusing on existing customer, rather than chasing new ones.
Churn is only good for the butter
One of the risks of not being customer-centric is losing customers. It is never a good look and it is tough to come back from. If you are a small enterprise, you start doubting yourself. If you have shareholders, they will be far from satisfied. The infamous churn is the percentage of people who have stopped purchasing your product or participating in your service over a certain period. Of course, churn rate does not have to mean you are losing money – but keeping it in the positive figures always means profit. Build it, and they will come – keep them happy, and they will stay.
What’s good for the customer is good for you
Becoming a customer-centric company is not a short-distance race. It is the company-wide change in thinking and operating. However, it is also one of the surest ways of building upon your success. The approach has been spreading among the world-leaders in any industry you can name. You might not be at the forefront, but turning your company even more customer-friendly will always reap benefits.