How do I retain customers to stop them going to my competitors?

It costs between 3 and 10 times as much to replace customers who have gone to a competitor than to keep them.

The best way to retain customers is to give them what they want and need, and do so in a way that is better than your competitors. It is easy to make the mistake of lowering your prices, thinking that customers will move simply because a competitor is offering lower prices. This will not apply to the majority of your customers, providing you are able to offer personal and excellent service.

Measuring customer satisfaction levels and marketing research on an ongoing basis will help you to keep in touch with what your customers want from you and how those needs are changing. When you have a successful product or service it is all too easy to become complacent.

Welcome complaints – record them and analyse them to see what improvements you need to make. A customer making a complaint is telling you that they want to stay with you, but something is wrong. You can act on this information and keep them. Once you have put things right they will tell others about what you have done and become ambassadors for your business.

But don’t rely on just being reactive. Be proactive by measuring customer satisfaction and try to give yourself some early warning if things start to go wrong.

‘Customers’ business advice article: Crown Copyright © 2002-2013

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