In this episode, Andy discusses the importance of your customers and retaining long-term customer relationships.
Through his recent experience, you can glimpse the value of a long-term customer. In addition, this episode details strategies for both customer retention as well as strategies to win-back lost customers.
Discover why focusing on your current customers is the key to long-term business success.
ABOUT THE HOST:
Andy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.
New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.
Andy Splichal 0:00
Hello there, this is the Make Each Click Count Podcast and this is your host, Andy Splichal. Today we are focusing on your current customers in discussing if that is the key to your long term business success. Now before we get into the nitty gritty, the nitty gritties of the details, I want to tell you a little bit story and you'll see how it all comes around to success dealing with long term customers. The story goes one of the reasons that my wife and I we purchased our current home eight years ago was the yard and the fruit trees that had been cultivated throughout the year. So within our yard, there's a large avocado tree. There's five orange trees, there's four lemon trees, there's two blood orange trees as a tangerine tree, persimmon tree to large groupings of pomegranate trees, great minds to blueberry bushes, a raspberry bush and a walnut tree. It is a real life growing fruit salad. And what we soon realized shortly after moving in was the vast number of creepy crawlers and host of other critters that were enjoying our mentally of fruit trees just as much as we were now through the years. And even though this house is in Pasadena, not exactly country living but I have seen the following creatures I've seen raccoons, possums, squirrels, rats, bobcats, coyotes, lots of geckos, hawks, owls, swear one time I even saw what I believe was a weasel. Seeing all these animals, except for the rats, of course is kind of cool. It is a regular ecosystem alive and well in the middle of our city. However, what we also had was a full blown spider infestation, when we moved into the home 1000s of spiders, including black and brown widows, that turned our yard into a real live action Halloween display. Now after a few months of living on the property, we hired a pest control company called Terminix. Now they came out every three months and sprayed on the outside of the property, which helped control the spider population. Now for the pest control, I would be automatically charged 147 bucks every three months. All in all, I paid $588 per year, which totaled $3,528 In the six years that I kept the service. In addition, I added their mosquito protection during the last two summers, where they would service our home every two weeks or four months during the summer and spray the yard for mosquito mosquito mosquito larvae. So this service it was an additional 98 bucks a month or $392 a year total $784 Over the two years. So the ground the grand total that I pay Terminix was $4,312. Over six years I wanted to give you these numbers, not so you can see how much I paid but so you could gain an overall understanding of just how valuable a long term repeating customer can be to a company. Now about a year ago, after a second bad experience with a new technician that was signed to my house I decided to cancel the service. This is where the story and your interest in the story should really began. Now I do not know much about pest spraying businesses or how they work. But I like to learn from what companies are doing when attempting to salvage a customer from leading. The lessons and techniques that a company will often implement when it comes to customer attention are often useful is they may lend themselves to other companies Regardless of industry. Terminix is one of the largest pest control companies in the world. Now I know this because I looked it up. They have a presence in 47 states and in 22 countries and their annual revenue is reported back in 2015 was a hefty $1.45 billion billion dollars. Given that I figured they would have a good customer retention Winback procedure in place. Well, I was wrong. When I called to cancel the phone representative asked me why I wanted to cancel. I told her I was not happy with the service provided by the new technician to which he responded. You'd be surprised we actually have had a few complaints recently about his service. Sorry, you weren't happy, and I'll cancel your service right away. That was it. My service was cancelled just like that. And a customer who had paid them almost five $1,000 and had been engaged in ongoing service agreement over the last six years was lost. Now I did start receiving postcards about ones and one about every two months. But the postcards were generic and did not address my issue, or the issue why I cancelled but service. Now also interesting was that each of the subsequent postcards focused on Terminix is more expensive service, the mosquito spray and not the original service, which is where my backyard spider problem is against servicing. Now, most companies, especially ecommerce companies, they do not have the luxury of having customers call and tell them why they're no longer going to use their service. And before we even discuss a win pack, campaign, or ideas of how to salvage a customer relationship, once it is broken, or at least it's fractured, it's important to discover how the relationship with your customer began became damaged. Now, in the past few weeks within both my podcast and my blog I've been discussing the mother of gold rule, and the mother will rule is is are you treating your customers with each and every interaction, the same as you would as if the order was placed by your mother. Now this rule is valid in creating goodwill in your customer relationship, which is both vital to e commerce as well as professional service companies. However, beyond offering great service with each interaction, there are other additional measures that you can take. And why should you focus on this extra effort to keep those customers happy? Well, here are some really good reasons First, keeping your customers as customers is going to be significantly less expensive than acquiring new customers. Think about how much it cost to acquire a new customer. Regardless of your business, this is typically going to be the most of your advertising costs. Now, think about how much you are spending on keeping your customers happy. Second, happy customer often will refer you other customers similar to themselves, and extremely happy customer is likely even to become an ongoing ambassador for your business. Third, an unhappy customer will sour others on your business and is much more likely to speak of your company in a negative light to others regarding your company than a happy customer is to prefer. In fact, it has been shown that an unhappy customer is seven times more likely to sell tell somebody about their experience and a happy customer is Case in point over the six years of doing business with Terminix. I referred about six people or about one per year. It's not too bad. But now look, look at today how many people I'm telling about my unhappiness with Terminix. All right, I'm just kidding. But it might be an extreme example, but I think you're gonna get your point here. Now providing your long standing customers with benefits such as VIP programs. With exclusive privileges rewarding frequent customer purchases are simply learning more about your customers and their needs and working to solve their problem is going to go a long way to increase your customer retention and increase your long term profitability. You must consistently reinforce to your customer that you are the best choice to continue to do business with compared to both your competitors options, and the option of doing nothing. Let me say that one more time, you must consistently reinforce to your customers that you are the best choice to continue to do business with compared to both your competitors option and the option of doing nothing at all. And once you dedicate yourself to great service you provide your customers and effectively use your resources to continually remind them of the benefits of doing business with you. And customer retention will undoubtedly increase. However, let us assume now that you have done everything you can to keep your customer relationship healthy, and a customer still decides to take their business elsewhere. No matter what you may do this is sure to happen from time to time and if it does happen, you need to be ready. Now the most important thing you can do is to try to determine why your customer no longer wants to be a customer. If you can do this, your customer retention issues going to get a whole lot easier. Once you know why they are no longer going to be a customer such as Terminix where I flat out told them it is important to have a procedure in place. Once you know the issue, you can follow these steps and an action plan for retaining the customer number one, address the problem and then fix the problem. Very simple right. Number two, do not ever let a customer leave without providing an offer to have them stay a discount on service a discount on products and an advertised bonus. There are many different options and you'll need to test the effectiveness of these offers but make sure you do have an offer. Ready. Three make it easy For customers returned, once someone has done business with you and you have addressed their problem of why they no longer are doing business with you, then winning them back will be much easier than attaining a new customer. Focus your marketing on their problems, as well as the reason that they're fractured the relationship. So Terminix continues to market me, but for their add on expensive mosquito service and not the original pest control service. If they would mark it to my original and currently persisting spider problem with perhaps a bit of an incentive to return. Well, they would have a real good chance of gaining a customer back. And that is why it is important to know why your customer left, what current problems they have, and remind them of how you can solve those unique problems. Now this is just as true for ecommerce companies as it is for professional service companies. If you have a customer who has made multiple purchases in the past, and then stopped, do what you can to discover why they are no longer your customer, fix the issue and make them an offer to return. The process of customer when back is going to be much more cost effective than focusing purely on new client acquisition. And in the long run, this strategy will work to ensure your growth and sustainability. Now final word before I go the cliche that a customer is the lifeblood of your company has often been said however many times it is either forgotten, misinterpreted or simply ignored. Now what I believe to be a more useful saying is that focusing on current customers is the key to long term business success. I think this statement defines the importance of serving your customers with a goal of them becoming repeat customers. For growing a profitable company can only become so if they do not have to continually spend on new acquisition but can depend on a reliable base of customers continuing to purchase. Now in order to create this loyal base of customers, it's important to treat them well. That's the mother of gold rule, as well as reward them for their purchases and continually remind them of the benefits of doing business with you. And if a customer no longer wants to do business with you find out why take action correct the issue. by correcting the issue that are making customers leave you can perhaps save that customer while ensuring that your other customers are not leaving for the same reason. So that is it for today. Remember, if you liked this episode, please go to our Apple Podcasts and leave a five star review. And if you're looking for better results from your online marketing request to join the Make Each Click Count Facebook group. We keep expanding and it gives you a great access to both myself as well as other industry experts. that's it again for today. Remember to stay healthy, keep safe, and we will catch you in our next episode.