Customer Referrals Retain While You Grow

Feb 21, 2022
5 min read
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The most successful field service organizations sustain healthy growth and maximize profits year after year. While part of this success stems from an ability to attract new customers, an even bigger part is a commitment to customer retention. 

A business can’t succeed without loyal, repeat customers. These are people that are already familiar with your services, have already trusted you to take control of their needs, and should already have a positive view of your company. 

You’ve already done the hard work of getting them to try your business and remedy their problems. Now it’s time to make sure they continue to see the usefulness you provide and feel valued as a client. Even if you have provided services for a customer for several years, you can’t take for granted that they will continue to use you forever. Companies can ensure a profitable future by actively caring for the customers they already have.

 1. Start By Acknowledging That You Need Them

Sure, the loss of a single repeat customer won’t devastate your business. However, companies that continually lose customers have to work much harder to maintain a flat volume of sales. 

It’s been shown that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase profits by more than 25%. This should be a huge incentive to invest in customer happiness. When combined with the harm that may come to your reputation and the loss of potential referrals from a dissatisfied customer, their importance becomes even greater.

The 2017 American Express Customer Service Barometer showed that:

  • 35% would consider switching companies immediately after poor service.

  • 60% would consider changing after 2-3 instances 35 of poor service.

The same survey found Americans are more likely to share good customer service experiences on social media than bad experiences:

  • 35% will post negative comments about a company. 

  • 55% will post positive comments about 35 a company.

2. Learn Why They Leave

To improve customer retention, you must understand the problems.

Figure out why your customers are leaving. Calling to reconnect after a lapse in service can give you valuable information for your retention strategies. It also gives you an opportunity to try to persuade former customers to try you again.

  • 49% experience feeling unappreciated.

  • 37% experience rude or unhelpful staff.

  • 30% experience being passed around between multiple agents.

  • 27% experience not being able to speak to a real person.

  • 27% experience not being able to get satisfying answers.

  • 27% experience being kept on hold for too long.

3. Make Retention A Priority

Once you understand why customers are no longer using your services, you are in the great position of being able to do something about it. Fortunately, customer retention doesn’t have to be complicated. However, it will take hard work and potentially a change in company culture.

Improve Customer Service 

Make sure all employees understand that providing excellent customer service isn’t an option. Outstanding customer service is fundamental to the success of your company and critical to customer retention. By providing excellent customer service, you can prevent customers from ever feeling neglected or taken for granted.

A Guide To Providing Stellar Service:

Get everyone on board. 

Everyone in your company needs to be dedicated to creating an excellent experience for your customers. 

Emphasize knowledge. 

Engage in ongoing training for technicians and customer service reps to make sure they not only can perform the most up-to-date services but also can explain them to customers in a way that’s easy to understand. Everyone on your staff should know your company inside and out with the singular focus of exceeding customer expectations. 

Be professional and respectful. 

Every time a customer has an interaction with your business, you are making an impression. Be courteous and professional, using phrases like “thank you for trusting us,” “you’re welcome” and “it’s been a pleasure working with you.” Nobody owes you their business; work to earn it at every interaction. 

Be proactive. 

Check in with customers to gauge how they are feeling about the services you are providing and learn whether there is anything else you could be doing better or differently for them.

Make it personal. 

Everyone in your company needs to be dedicated to creating an excellent experience for your customers. 

Be responsive. 

Don’t leave customers hanging when they contact you for questions, service requests or problem resolution. Prioritize getting back in touch with them and responding to their individualized situation as quickly as possible. 

Empower employees to solve problems. 

From your technicians to the office staff who answers the phone, give them the freedom to solve problems as they arise vs. escalating to management. This ensures that customers are responded to quickly and problems are resolved with immediacy. 

Reward your staff. 

Offer bonuses and incentives tied to your customer retention plan. Acknowledge employees who go above and beyond, especially if it’s a customer who calls their actions to your attention.

Resolving Complaints 

Unhappy customers are inevitable. While sometimes the problem is beyond your control, what you can control is how you respond and resolve the issue. It can be helpful to remember that every unhappy customer isn’t a problem; it’s an opportunity to convert them into a cheerleader for your company.

When a customer calls to complain, being defensive or arguing starts the interaction in a direction difficult to reverse. Instead, try the following:

Listen to the customer’s complaint and make sure you understand the situation. Get as much information as possible and take notes about key points. 

Understand that the problem is probably far more distressing to them than it would be to you. Be empathetic and convey your understanding and how seriously you are taking the situation. 

Ask what a successful solution looks like to them. Often, customers only want to be heard.

Work with the customer to come to a satisfactory solution and then act quickly to implement it. 

Follow-up afterward to make sure they are happy with the situation and let them know you care about their business and their happiness.

Set Expectations 

You know exactly what will be involved in the services you provide. Your customers, however, don’t. Take the time to educate them about what you will be doing and why, and answer any questions they may have. 

It’s imperative that they don’t expect much more than you can or will deliver. When expectations are not aligned with what will be provided, it’s a recipe for an unsatisfied, unhappy customer. 

If a single visit or treatment isn’t going to solve their issue, make sure they know what they can reasonably expect and what a full solution will look like. If it doesn’t look like you will be able to meet expectations that have been set, communicate that immediately and adjust their expectations. 

When you provide consistent communication, set realistic expectations and prioritize customer service, your clients will know what to expect and trust you more than competitors they may have encountered.

Charge Forward

With an active customer retention strategy in place, your recruitment efforts will enhance the positive reputation you’ve gained and the culture you’ve encouraged.

Promote testimonials. 

When a customer calls to praise an employee or thank you for the services you provided, seize the opportunity to ask them for a testimonial or online review. Employees can do the same when out in the field and talking with a satisfied customer. By bolstering your social proof, potential customers will be influenced to trust you for their needs. 

Focus on quality assurance. 

By sending out customer surveys, reviewing incoming calls, and doing occasional technician ride-alongs, you’ll get a great sense of the impression you’re making with new and existing customers. 

Make it easy to work with you. 

Consider the entire experience a customer has with your company and streamline it wherever possible. This may mean removing hurdles to scheduling or speaking with an employee or setting up autopay with a credit card.

Your Partner In Growth

We hope this guide has been helpful. Whether you’re looking to add efficiencies, make things easier for your employees, improve your customer experience, increase sales, or anything in between, FieldRoutes is committed to helping your business reach its full potential. 

The platform automates all aspects of field service operations for enterprise and small business customers that span office management, advanced route optimization, payment processing, digital sales, marketing, and customer acquisition solutions that accelerate growth, streamline operations, increase customer retention, and maximize revenue. Our operations and marketing suites were built with your customers and employees in mind and can help you grow quickly, scale intelligently, and serve customers relentlessly.

Call for a Demo at 214.466.1765

Join the growing number of thriving businesses using FieldRoutes to acquire new customers, improve automation, and crush the competition.

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