Did you know that it costs five times more to attract customers than it does to retain existing ones? Therefore, for your business to thrive in an economically turbulent post-pandemic world, you will need to focus on impressing your current customer base and keep them coming back for more.
However, not all retention strategies are going to be effective. What worked ten years ago is unlikely to be as successful today, especially as customer expectations continuously evolve and become more challenging to fulfil.
That’s why we’ve put together this helpful guide. We’ll begin by taking a closer look at the importance of customer retention and how it can benefit your business. Then, we’ll share the top four ways you can retain customers, boost your reputation and your bottom line simultaneously.
The Importance of Customer Retention
We’ve already established that customer retention is cheaper than acquisition, but that’s not the only reason you should be trying to impress your existing customer base. There are several benefits that your company could enjoy if you take the time to think about your service offering and customer experience.
Firstly, the likelihood of an existing customer using your company again is an impressive 60-70%. Today’s customers don’t want to spend hours researching and comparing different businesses when they require field services so, if you impress them on your first visit, they’ll keep you in mind for the future. Customers who have used your services previously will know that they’re spending their money wisely, rather than taking a chance on an unknown competitor, which is a win-win.
Better still, repeat customers typically spend around 67% more than new ones. When you do an outstanding job, your customers will be more inclined to try out your other goods and services, creating the perfect opportunity to upsell and increase your profits.
Finally, your existing customer base is one of the best — and cheapest — forms of marketing. On average, repeat customers refer 50% more people to your company than new ones. So, if you have a large pool of loyal customers, you’ll find it much easier to generate more business.
Now you know some of the main reasons why customer retention is so necessary, let’s look at the top four strategies that actually work.
Want More Repeat Customers? Use these Customer Retention Strategies
1. Review and Analyse Your Churn Metrics
You can’t create a strong retention strategy if you don’t analyse your churn metrics and figure out what might be driving people away — for example, 32% of customers would cut ties with a company after just one negative experience. To run a successful business with a loyal customer base, it’s your job to ensure that you’re delivering exceptional services.
But what is a customer churn rate?
Your customer churn rate, or attrition rate, measures how many customers have stopped doing business with your company over a specific period. The higher your churn rate, the more customers you’ve lost.
Here’s a simple way you can calculate your attrition rate:
Churn rate =
(number of customers at start of month – number of customers at end of month)
customers at start of month
Let’s say, for example, you had 200 customers at the beginning of the month, but only 150 by the end:
200-150 = 50
50 ÷ 200 = 0.25
0.25 x 100 = 25%
In the example above, your customer churn rate would be 25%. The perfect churn rate is 0% in an ideal world, but, unfortunately, customer losses are inevitable. The best approach is to begin by calculating your current rate and then setting a realistic target for improvement.
The good news is, finding the stats you need to analyse your churn rate needn’t be a headache. With a field service management platform, you will have access to in-depth customer data that updates in real-time, giving you the most accurate picture of your business all in one place. No more searching across multiple platforms for the answer and no more human error that skews your analysis.
Is your churn rate high? Check out our article here, which explains what might be driving your customers away.
2. Collect and Implement Customer Feedback
77% of people have a more favourable view of companies that seek out and apply customer feedback, so it pays to ask your customers for their opinions. Businesses that don’t consider their customers’ needs are missing out on a valuable opportunity to enhance their retention rate because there’s a good chance they haven’t thought about their services from a different perspective.
With field services currently in high demand, it can be tempting to forgo creating a customer satisfaction survey to keep up with the volume of work. However, with a field service management platform like BigChange, collecting feedback is quicker and simpler than ever before.
The system contains a pre-designed survey template that you can personalise with your company’s logo and customer information from the CRM (customer relationship manager). Once your workers have completed their jobs, your back-office team can send the customer satisfaction survey at the click of a button, meaning it won’t steal your staff’s attention away from other business-critical tasks.
Customers fill out the survey on their mobile devices, and the platform stores each response so you can see what you’re doing well and where there are areas for improvement. With so many vital insights at your disposal, you’ll be able to enhance your services and make your customers feel valued, which will keep them coming back time and time again.
3. Communicate Regularly with Your Customers
A mere 14% of customers say that they’re happy with current business communications, giving you the perfect opportunity to stand out from your competitors who aren’t making an effort to keep in contact with their customer base.
Modern customers lead busy lives and therefore won’t want to wait around all day for an engineer because they received a vague timeslot and poor communication. With so many companies offering live updates on purchases, 89% of people now expect an ‘Uber-like’ technician tracking service.
Field service management technology gives your customers the ability to see the exact whereabouts of their engineer on the day of their appointments via text messages that include links and estimated times of arrival. Not only will the real-time tracker impress your customers, but it also means your back-office staff won’t have to spend time on the phones, providing manual updates.
Then, once the work is complete, you can send regular emails to your customer mailing list, which will help to keep your business at the forefront of their minds.
4. Build Trust with Your Customer Base
Impressing your customers is a good first step to winning repeat business, but it doesn’t guarantee that they will trust your company. To build trust, you have to follow through on your promises and deliver great services consistently.
Here are just some of the ways you can get your customers to trust you:
Have a Good First-Time Fix Rate
Unsurprisingly, field service companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% boast an 86% customer retention rate. As we mentioned earlier, people don’t want to take significant chunks of time out of their days to wait for an engineer to resolve their issue, so needing to make multiple appointments is a sure-fire way to disappoint.
Fortunately, field service management software ensures your workers always have the right skills and tools to complete the job the first time. Using an intelligent scheduling assistant, your back-office team can see the customers’ requirements and match them up to a worker based on information like qualifications, location, vehicle type and job constraints.
Then, your staff can check stock and equipment levels in real-time, giving them the ability to assign gear to specific jobs. As a result, your workers will turn up to every appointment fully prepared and ready to do what they do best.
According to PwC, speed of service matters most to 70% of customers, so it’s paramount that you eliminate any silos and inefficient processes that could slow down your services. In our digital world, paper-based documents, legacy systems and spreadsheets simply won’t cut it anymore.
In contrast, field service management platforms streamline the entire end-to-end process — from customer bookings to invoicing and payment — for a more rapid way of working. For example, once engineers have completed their jobs, they can create digital invoices on their mobile devices and send them to your customers in a matter of seconds.
Instead of waiting days (or possibly weeks) to pay for the service, customers can pay on the same day using a range of simple online payment options. Not only will your customers appreciate the convenience, but it also means that you’ll always be paid on time, making for a healthy cash flow.
Protect Your Customers’ Data
71% of people say they would take their business elsewhere following a data breach so, to ensure your customers are loyal to your company, you must take security seriously. Aside from data breaches presenting a threat to your customers’ sensitive details, if your business is found to be GDPR non-compliant, you could suffer from debilitating financial, operational and reputational damage.
Traditional methods of handling customer information — such as spreadsheets — may have done the job in the past, but they’re no match for cybercriminals’ ever-evolving tactics. Worryingly, customers’ details can quickly end up in the wrong hands, even if you’ve password-protected your documents.
On the contrary, a cloud-based CRM system significantly lowers the possibility of a data breach. For example, BigChange’s CRM secures all data in AWS (Amazon Web Services), which is the world’s most comprehensive and widely-used cloud platform in the world. With such a robust security system in place, you can show customers that you take data privacy seriously, and they can rest assured that their information is in good hands.
Retain Customers by Undergoing a Digital Transformation
By improving your customer retention rate by just 5%, you will benefit from an impressive 25-95% increase in profits, so it’s worthwhile investing in the technology that will make it easy to deliver services that delight your customers.
With a platform like BigChange, you can do the following:
- Give your customers the ability to make and amend their bookings online
- Assign and dispatch workers based on their suitability for the job
- Track vehicles, assets, stock and equipment
- Take payments and invoices online
…and more, all on a single easy-to-use platform. Simplifying your ways of working frees up more time for your field-based workers to attend more appointments and enables your back-office staff to focus their attention on providing exceptional services to your customers. By making the most of your team, you’ll find that customers will become more loyal to your business.
Create More Repeat Customers on BigChange
Some systems manage relationships. BigChange helps you master them.
Our fully integrated CRM system gives you a 360˚ view of every account, contact site and contract. Deliver positive customer experiences at every level thanks to an array of dynamic product features, and bring in new clientele with ease through the superior customer experience you can provide.
Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.