The big companies are losing touch with their customers which means that customer retention is a major problem.
Small companies could do better too.
We crave human touch. A smile, eye contact, friendly voice, a hug even. Most of these touches have not been available to us this year. We miss them.
It’s possible to smile behind a mask but no one notices [unless you tell your eyes that you’re smiling].
This could represent a massive opportunity for small businesses and start-ups. Get this right and you will take more than your fair share of the business out there because the big companies are losing touch with their customers and customer retention is a problem.
Why Can’t We Talk?
You can’t get to talk to a real person with online companies who have introduced automation and AI to deal with pesky customer interaction. The telephone company BT is one of the worst, given that they are in the communication business. I know, they sneaked in a charge for service back in April and I had to fight on a chat line to get it sorted. I declined the offer to be transferred to their Customer Loyalty Team as I was doubled up with hysterical laughter by then.
After 20 odd years as a customer, I’m leaving.
I digress. Back to my point.
Don’t feel valued
It’s frustrating trying to get through to somebody who can help. It’s as if they don’t want to engage or actually speak to somebody. Are people losing the art of talking to one another? The nearest thing we get is mastering the art of a chat line. We know the chat agent is juggling two or three other ‘conversations’ with other frustrated customers but it’s better than wading through pages of solutions that don’t actually help your particular concern.
In an effort to automate and reduce cost they have become impersonal. Perhaps they spend more on attracting new customers than retaining the ones they have. Most companies do.
In contrast, my experience with First Direct Banking last night restored my faith in a large company’s ability to offer personal service. In changing phones my online bank account app was not excepting my password. I was very quickly put through to a guy on the telephone who talked me through how to fix it. He was friendly, patient and I felt that he had gone out of his way to solve my problem. They’re always like that. I’ve been with them longer than I have been with BT.
I could go on but we’ve all had frustrating experiences are big companies ignoring us and treating us like data. I don’t need to labour my point.
So where am I going with this?
Let’s Fix This
Well, I started this article by saying that big companies have lost touch with their customers but unfortunately so have the small companies. They don’t stay in touch.
Restaurants don’t stay in touch. Clothes shops either not do any of the retail outlets. Hair and beauty salons don’t. I canceled a gym membership two years ago and no one bothered to contact me to find out why. Having been a member for 18 months you think someone would have missed me.
All of these businesses are thinking of ways to spend money to attract new customers when they’re not even staying in touch with their existing ones and it’s a big mistake. It’s simple to set up a Customer Retention process to do this. Important too.
Customer Retention now there’s an original concept. One that could earn the business a lot more money than finding strangers to talk to.
It starts with gathering contact details and staying in touch in a meaningful way. There are lots of great ways to do this.
During the lockdown, Amazon has stayed in touch with me more than any of the local retailers I used to shop with. Do I make my point?
It’s simple to sort out. Your local competitors are not likely to be doing it so you’d have an edge straight away.
If you’ve read so far and you don’t have a Customer Retention system in place, let’s jump on a call and talk through steps you need to take to sort it.
I guarantee it will increase sales in your business.