There is a distinct difference between customer satisfaction and customer retention. A customer may be happy with your product or service but never purchase again. Why? The gap between satisfaction and repeat business is the relationship between the customer and the sales associate at the company. Creating and building relationships is the link and many times the deciding factor. Strong relationships definitely increase the probability that your customer remains yours and not your competitors.
Ten Ways to Create and Build Relationships:
1. Have a few friends or colleagues call your company to ask a question about your services, hours or directions and see how quickly the phone is answered, how friendly the conversation is, and if additional information is provided beyond just responding directly to the inquiry.
2. In general, new customers need to know more about your services and products then repeat patrons. Create a list of items that would help first time accounts learn more about your business.
3. Loyalty begins with a person, not necessarily the company itself. People go to the same coffee shop every day because “Mary” knows their name and how to prepare their latte without asking. Your associates need to naturally know how to build relationships. Retain those employees! Don’t let them go to your competitor for a $1 more an hour. Your customers will follow and you will have lost more than an employee.