sunToday, competition for customers is fierce. Businesses across all industries are vying to attract and acquire new customers. Margins are tight, and companies are increasing their marketing and sales budgets in order to maintain their planned levels of growth.

With higher acquisition costs, our customer base is a precious commodity that we need to nurture and care for. We know what it cost to get customers, now we need to retain them. One statistic is that replacing a customer costs five times what it would have cost to keep an existing customer. What does it take to become a more customer-focused company to keep the clients you already have?

1.     The Company Culture is Pro-Customer

Every company has a personality, whether it is positive or negative. At a positive one, employees like working at the company and feel that they receive regular communication from leadership about the business, and important information is shared with everyone. They also feel that they are empowered with the knowledge and processes to take care of customers and provide them with quality service. Customers like doing business with this company because it is easy to work with, and the service provided is outstanding and consistent. The customer believes that the company has its best interests in mind and thoroughly wants to help them.

The company leadership and employees are ingrained with the philosophy that without the customers, the company could not exist. Therefore being proactive to meet expectations is not enough – the company must do what it can to exceed customer expectations and live by this philosophy every day.

2.    The Business and Sales Process is Designed Around the Needs of the Customer

One of the most important things customers look for in a long-term relationship with a vendor is how easy and convenient it is to do business with them. Placing the customer at the center of your processes when creating and implementing your systems will help ensure that you are empathetic to what they have to perform in order to do business with you. This will help you to streamline unnecessary and repetitive steps. Eliminating redundancies will also help you to save time and money so that you are more profitable.

Periodically running through business processes that your customers use can help you create systems that are easier-to-use and may be fine-tuned to cut any unnecessary steps and aggravations for your customers.

 3.    The Company Understands its Customers and Industry

Nothing beats experience, and by thoroughly understanding your industry and your customers, you can understand the nuances and tailor your products and services to meet their unique needs. Additionally, openly communicating with your customers and asking them about what kind of products and services they like will allow you to customize your offerings to achieve loyalty.

Staying up-to-date with your customers and industry regarding market research reports, and trade journals, associations and conferences, can help you be proactive and stay ahead of any changes.

4.     The Company’s Employees Receive Continued Training

It’s important for company employees to not only have experience in the industry and the products and services they offer, but also to continually receive training in their field. This includes in-class or online; ad-hoc or certification programs.

You may think that the expense is not worth the cost or time, especially if you believe that employees will leave your organization. Another question you may want to ask yourself is, “What happens if employees stay at my company and never receive any training?

 5.    Customer Feedback is Measured and Performance Metrics have been Put into Place

There is no way to know how good the services that you provide your customers are, unless you are asking on a continual basis. In this way, you will know if you are improving, remaining at status quo, or declining, and you will be able to compare this to other prior time periods.

The sooner you can find out insights and information about you performance, the quicker you will be able to correct anything that is going wrong before it is too late and your customers leave. Consider doing qualitative customer roundtables and open-ended question surveys, or quantitative multiple-choice surveys, or a combination of both. Also asking the same questions will provide you with measureable benchmarks.

No company should stop investing in sales and marketing efforts to acquire new customers, however, more companies should be focusing their efforts and investing in customer retention policies and programs.

If you are looking for a customer-centric IT managed services company, contact NexusTek at 303-773-6464 or visit www.nexustek.com.

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