Your customers are the foundation of your business, so your number one priority should be holding onto your existing customers. New business is important, but customer retention is more important, especially when it comes to your bottom line. In fact, did you know that it costs 6 times more to gain a new customer than it does to keep an existing one? That’s right, so approaching customer retention with the attitude of “I’ll just find more leads and more customers” is not a great idea.
When it comes to growing your business, sometimes it’s about quality, not necessarily quantity. You need a solid base of loyal customers. Once a customer is gone, odds are they are gone for good- about 90% of customers who leave a business never return. You can prevent this from happening by building strong relationships with your customers and by resolving any problems that arise – doing so will increase a customer’s loyalty by 30%. To improve your customer retention rate and prevent your clients from leaving, you need to look at what customers want and how you can give it to them.
Why They Are Leaving
First, you need to look at why customers might leave your business. Most of the time it’s not because of the price of your product, or because a competitor lures them away. The number one reason customers walk away is that they feel like their agent does not genuinely care about them.
Are you making this common mistake? You sign up a customer for an insurance plan, and then you don’t make contact with them again until it’s time for renewal, or until they need to make a claim. If so, your customers will feel like there’s no personal touch in your relationship with them; your relationship will feel like a mere transaction. Similarly, if you are not returning your customers’ calls or answering their messages in a timely fashion, that lack of communication will take a toll on your retention rate.
What You Can Do
In short, you have to keep your customers happy, and that means going above and beyond with your customer service. You need to:
- Build a customer database – Collect information about your customers and keep it in a database such as a CRM. This will keep track of the contact that you’ve had with them, what you’ve spoken about, what they’re interested in, and any problems or complaints that they have.
- Keep in touch – One way that you can keep in touch with your customers is by sending out personalized emails to let them know about any updates, or any new plans that you think would benefit them. Make sure these emails feel tailored to your customers, otherwise they will just come off like sales pitches.
- Offer different channels of communication – This is the most important thing that you can do to retain your customers. You need to give them multiple ways to reach you in case one way doesn’t work. Ask your customers how they prefer to communicate with you, so that you are ready to communicate in that way, whether it is via email, phone calls, texts, or through social media.
- Thank your customers – People like to feel appreciated and that they are more than just another sale. Go out of your way to thank your customers for their business.
- Resolve any issues immediately – What many business owners and agents do not realize is that customers who are unhappy don’t usually complain – instead, they just end up leaving. So, if a customer does complain, take that opportunity to try and resolve any issues as quickly as you can. Your customer will appreciate your attention, and will be more likely to talk about you to others.
Having a lot of customers is great! That means your business is booming. But sometimes it’s not all about getting more new customers – sometimes it’s about keeping your current ones happy. Having a loyal customer base is a more sustainable business model than that of constantly finding new customers to replace the ones you’ve lost. Do your best to keep your relationships with your customers strong, so that they never get to the point of wanting to leave. After all, it is not about competitors or price – it’s all about communication, which is completely in your control.