This post originally appeared on Forbes Business Council Community Voice, written by Connor Tomkies, CEO of SupportNinja.
Let’s face it — people change. Much like your business is made up of constantly evolving people, your customer base is too. Because your customers’ needs change, your company should have a customer experience model in place that provides solutions to critical problems, allows customers to be heard and provides opportunities for your satisfied customers to connect you with new opportunities for growth. The equation is simple: happy customers equal more business.
Here are a few ideas you can take back to your team to develop strategies that capitalize on your customer experience and add both fiscal and sentimental value to your company.
Complaints Are Key To Retention
When it comes to customer complaints, how you frame your outlook is key to how you will react and how your customer will feel. Nothing is ever perfect, and sometimes things will go wrong. Customers will complain from time to time, and their experience depends solely on how you react.
Is this just a grumpy person, or an opportunity for your business to improve and grow while retaining your existing customers? If you frame the conversation as a pessimistic waste of time, you’ll end up letting your customers down. If you look at your complaints as an opportunity to improve, your customers will feel like you listen, respond and care about solving their problems. This will not only decrease your attrition rate but can also increase your business through upsells and referrals. The final trick is this: When a customer comes forward with a complaint, thank them, profusely. Customers love to be appreciated. Point out exactly how they helped you and how they are contributing to a better experience for the next customer. Happy customers become repeat customers.
Referrals: If You Don’t Ask …
Referrals can make or break your business. Maybe your product or service is wonderful. Your customer experience is excellent, and your customers are hungry for more of your product or service. But your company isn’t growing as fast as it should, and you’re perplexed. Why is this happening?
The No. 1 reason is that you aren’t asking your customers for referrals! A lot of companies assume that if they satisfy their customers, the referrals will come organically. This isn’t true. If you want the referral, you have to ask! Referrals are critical to your success. Not only can they account for a significant chunk of your revenue, but they help your existing customers feel like a vested part of your team.
Come together with your team and develop a creative plan for how you’re going to approach your existing customers for referrals. Be sure to incorporate your existing media into the mix — email, social media, events and word of mouth are all great for gaining referrals that turn into new customers.
People Will Pay For Quality
Many businesses worry about their competitors stealing their customers at a lower price point, forgetting they aren’t competing solely on price. The fact is, customers would rather pay more for a better product or service than save a dollar for something that doesn’t work.
In fact, 81% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Incorporating these tactics will increase your customer experience and simultaneously increase your value to your customers, meaning you can charge more because your experience means more to them.