When you pulled into a gas station in the not too distant past, the stations attendants would come running to assist you. They would check your tire pressure, your oil level, wash your windows and pump your gas. Today is a lot different. We pump our own gas, wash our own windows, check our own oil and pay extra to fill up our own tires. Where did the love go? Do the big companies not appreciate our business anymore? Do they not care about us as long as they get our money? This feeling is not limited to gas stations, but many companies in the world today.
We, at the Tufford Group, believe that customer service is becoming a lost art. There is too much focus on finding new customers and not enough on the customers businesses already have. What some companies don’t realize is that finding new business can cost several times more than it would to keep their existing customers, and that those customers are more likely to buy, and more frequently than new ones.
While it is still important to look for new business, after all repeat customers were all new customers once. There needs to be more consideration for the existing customers. Some companies do this with gifts or loyalty programs, and for larger businesses this would work, but smaller companies, or industries where the purchases would be large and far apart, this is not the necessarily the best plan.
Customer retention is the best plan for any company big or small. This, however, requires different strategies for different companies and industries, but what it means to everyone is relationships. By building strong relationships with customers that are based on caring, trust, honesty, respect and communication, the relationship gives back in loyalty. This loyalty translates into work of mouth advertising, endorsements, and repeat purchasing.