In today’s business landscape, C-level executives and key stakeholders are having to adjust to new norms in both marketing and customer service to gain a competitive edge. In this digital age, consumers place a high premium not only on the product they purchase but on their buying experience and the level of service they receive. If they find they are dissatisfied in any of these areas, companies can expect to have a difficult time retaining them and can also expect that their competitors will most likely win their customers over. This is where a Management Certification Program can be very beneficial.
Why Customer Retention is Important
There are several reasons why a business may lose a consumer; however, many studies find that bad customer service is one of the most common reasons. Once lost, persuading a customer to return to a business has proven to be exceedingly difficult – if not impossible. As such, it is essential that companies commit to better understanding what will encourage their customers to remain with them, in order to avoid losing them to the competition.
When developing strategies to improve and grow a company, customer retention is an important factor. Let’s go over some of the reasons why customer retention is so important:
- Customer Acquisition is Expensive – Acquiring a new customer is 5-8 times more expensive than retaining a customer.
- Customer Retention Increases Profits – Studies show that just a 5% increase in customer retention results in a 25 – 95% increase in profits.
- Retained Customers are Brand Advocates – Retained customers help you gain more customers via positive reviews, customer marketing and word of mouth referrals.
- It’s Easier to Sell to Retained Customers – The probability of selling a new product to an old customer is 60-70% compared to a new customer, which is 5-20%.
The Role Customer Service Plays in Customer Retention
Today’s market requires leaders to focus on a high level of service combined with continuously improving and reinventing customer retention strategies to make the most out of their retained customers.
In a previous blog, we looked at the online retailer Zappos as an example of a company that has as its motto: “Powered by service”. What does this mean? In their own words it means: “It is a daily quest for every Zapponian to “WOW” our customers in new and wonderful ways.” In other words, they put the customer at the heart of their business by making sure customers are always happy and proud to do business with them. When customers feel this way about a company, they remain loyal and, in some cases, become advocates or brand ambassadors. This is only possible when every employee in the company has received training that aligns with the Zappos customer service values. It’s also imperative that every department and their managers understand and follow the same principles.
Creating a Customer Service Culture with Management Certification Programs
More and more company executives have developed a holistic approach to sales, marketing and customer service for their organization. They have come to realize that all departments need to work in unison to provide service excellence. If a company’s goal is to retain their customers, it is integral that all department heads share a common vision and its implementation, which is commonly known as a customer service culture.
One way of making sure managers follow the same standard is to invest in advanced, manager-level customer service training and certification. Since this certification is not a one-time training but has to be renewed and kept current by completing professional development units each year, it ensures that managers are equipped with the most relevant knowledge, up-to-date skills, and customer service best practices. They can, in turn, share their new insights received with their teams so that the customer experience is consistent across all touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
This investment in training and certification is well worth it when we look at the direct correlation between customer retention and a company’s profitability. We’ll end here with a great quote by motivational speaker and author Jerry Fritz:
“You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be too easily duplicated. But a strong customer service culture cannot be copied.”