Learn more about why customer retention is so important for field services businesses and the retention strategies you can implement today.
Did you know that it costs five times more to attract customers than it does to retain existing ones?
Additionally, Customer service complaints have reached their highest level on record and cost businesses over £9 billion per month in lost staff time.
Therefore, for your business to thrive in a world where customer expectations are constantly changing, you will need to focus on impressing your current customer base and keep them coming back for more.
In this blog, we’ll take a 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 reputation and your bottom line simultaneously.
Why is customer retention so important?
We already know that customer retention is cheaper than acquisition. We also know that poor customer service can cost your business dearly. But, that’s not the only reason you should be trying to impress your existing customer base.
Existing customers offer the following benefits:
👍 Existing customers are likely to stay: 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.
👍 Repeat customers spend more: 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.
👍 The best type of marketing: 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.
4 customer retention strategies for successful field service businesses
- Review and analyse 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 and a low churn rate. The higher your churn rate, the more customers you’ve lost.
💲What does this mean for your business?
In an ideal world, your perfect churn rate is 0% but customer losses are inevitable.
Start by calculating your current rate and set a realistic target for improvement. Is your churn rate high?
👉 Check out our article here, which explains what might be driving your customers away.
👉 The best way to do it?
A field service management platform provides access to in-depth customer data that is updated 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 errors that skew your analysis.
- Collect and implement customer feedback
89% of customers want to provide feedback to the companies they spend their money with. This gives you a great chance to gather constructive feedback and opportunities to improve your customer experience.
Those businesses that don’t consider their customers’ needs are missing out on a valuable opportunity to enhance retention rates because there’s a good chance they haven’t thought about their services from a different perspective.
👉 The best way to do it?
When you implement field service management software, collecting customer feedback is easy.
Use the system to design a personalised and branded survey template and customer information from your field service CRM.
Once technicians have completed a job, your back-office team can send a customer service satisfaction survey at the click of a button, meaning it won’t steal your staff’s attention away from other business-critical tasks.
Customers can fill out their survey on their mobile devices, and the platform stores each response so you can see what you’re doing well and the 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.
- Regularly communicate with your customers
Just 14% of customers say they’re happy with current business communications. Therefore, you have the perfect opportunity to stand out from competitors who are not making an effort to stay in touch with their customer base.
Modern customers lead busy lives and therefore won’t want to wait around all day for a technician 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 with estimated travel time and arrival times.
👉 The best way to do it?
Live tracking technology allows customers to see the exact location of their engineer on the day of their appointment. Back office staff can automate text messages that include links and estimated times of arrival.
Not only will real-time tracking impress your customers, it also means your customer service team won’t have to spend time on the phones, providing manual updates. Staff are then more productive and able to focus on providing more value to your customers.
- Build trust with your customers
Impressing your customers is a good first step to winning repeat business, but it doesn’t guarantee that they will immediately trust your company. To build trust, you have to follow through on your promises and deliver great customer service consistently.
But how can you get your customers to trust you?
⚒️A good first-time fix rate
Field service companies with a first-time fix rate of over 70% boast an 86% customer retention rate.
As we mentioned earlier, customers 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.
Job scheduling technology allows back-office teams to:
✅Understand customer’s requirements
✅Match work orders to a technician based on information such as qualifications, location, vehicle type and job constraints
✅Effective asset management
✅Assign the right equipment to the right job
As a result, mobile workers will turn up to every appointment fully prepared.
⏳Get paid quickly
According to PwC, speed of service matters most to 70% of customers. So, it’s paramount to eliminate any silos and inefficient processes that could slow services down.
In a digital world, paper-based documents, legacy systems and spreadsheets are no longer enough to meet customer expectations. Digital tools can increase efficiency for both your staff and customers.
Financial management software can help you to streamline the full customer experience, from bookings to invoicing and payments. For example, once technicians have completed a job, they can create digital invoices on their mobile devices and send them to your customers in just seconds.
Technicians are able to track completed work within a mobile app and allow customers to pay immediately through their chosen method.
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.
🔐Keep customer’s data safe
71% of customers say they would take their business elsewhere following a data breach. So, to ensure your customers are loyal to your company, security must be taken seriously.
In addition to presenting a threat to customers’ sensitive details, if your business is found to be GDPR non-compliant, you could suffer from debilitating financial, operational and reputational damage.
Implementing a secure CRM system significantly lowers the possibility of a data breach. This shows your customers that you take data privacy seriously, and they can rest assured that their information is in good hands.
Customer retention is key to the future success of field service organisations. Not only are existing customers more likely to return, spend more and recommend your business to others. This impacts the bottom line of your business so it’s essential to look at your customer retention rates and how you can keep your customers satisfied.
In addition, the processes and strategies you put in place to improve customer retention can improve the overall efficiency of your business, the productivity of your employees and your profits.
Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.