Sound like a lofty business goal?
Achieving it is easier than you think, if you do this one simple thing:
Keep your customers longer.
Marketers say it costs six times more to win a new client than it does to keep an existing one. Six times! So if you improve your client retention – even incrementally – you can dramatic improve your staffing service’s profitability.
Know what’s even cooler? Increasing customer loyalty doesn’t require a huge financial investment. It takes common sense, discipline and a little shareworthy service know-how (which I happily provide below):
Don’t take loyalty for granted.
Staffing customers have choices. Lots and LOTS of choices. Remind your team that even those clients who have gladly used your services before are apt to forget about you. They’re not being rude; they’re just being human! As a result, earning loyalty is a continual effort – not a once-and-done event.
Very nice. Especially when problems occur. I know this may sound like common sense. But if you think back over the past few weeks, you can probably remember a service interaction in which a company representative was less than courteous to you (maybe even downright rude).
Just one negative interaction with your firm can cause a loyal customer to run to a competitor. So proactively train your client-facing employees to be genuinely nice and helpful (and if they can’t do that, move them to a different department or replace them). Regularly remind everyone in your company that you really do have your customers’ satisfaction at heart.
Broaden and deepen relationships.
What happens if you only have a single contact with a client company and that individual leaves? You guessed it: your customer relationship is in jeopardy. Build a network of relationships within each client’s organization, so that you limit your dependence on single points of contact. Then, find ways to nurture those relationships by:
- focusing on solving your customers’ problems (not selling your services);
- building emotional bonds (by adding value and doing more than what’s required);
- making relationships personal, so that customers have a hard time letting go (even if you make a service mistake).
Don’t mistake silence for satisfaction.
How satisfied and loyal are your customers? Are you sure?
Most unhappy customers will never say a word to you. They’ll just quietly take their business elsewhere, leaving you scratching your head and wondering, “What the heck happened?”
Ensuring loyalty requires providing consistent shareworthy service. And to do that, you need to gather high-quality intelligence about what your clients really think of your staffing firm’s performance. In this post I share several customer service feedback techniques to help you find out what you really need to know – and resolve issues that drive clients away.
It’s a New Year. What will your staffing firm do to increase customer loyalty – and boost your bottom line? I’d love to hear your plans or ideas. Leave me a comment below!