What are the keys to customer and employee retention?
There is so much weight on leaders right now. You’re expected to deal with an ever-changing world and its effects on your organization. You need to take care of your customers and continue to grow the business. At the same time, you need to take care of your team because attracting and retaining top talent is a huge challenge.
Retaining customers and employees in today’s world demands creativity and engagement. You need to get creative as you dig into what it takes to retain customers right now. And your team wants you to engage with them on a deeper, more authentic level than ever before.
Let’s talk about getting creative as we seek solutions to the customer retention and employee retention challenges leaders face today.
What’s better than acquiring a new customer?
Sure, attracting and closing new customers is exciting. Taking them through your sales process, getting them to commit, and bringing them onboard brings feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.
But… as you know, keeping existing customers coming back is where your organization realizes an even greater ROI. The math is simple. Keeping the customers you have costs a lot less than getting new customers.
When you combine the challenges of a worldwide market with the unpredictability of the past two years, it can be challenging to identify the right steps to take to retain your valued customers. Let’s discuss some possible strategies you can bring to your organization.
1 – When a customer leaves, find out why.
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in business, losing a customer is disappointing every time. Once a customer has decided to take their business elsewhere, take advantage of the opportunity to find out why. Gather this information, analyze the results, then use it to find out why you’re losing customers and what you can do to increase retention.
2 – Collect customer feedback.
Gathering feedback from your current customers is just as important as gathering it from those who’ve left. Take time to survey your customers, asking what they like about your company and what they don’t. Ask for suggestions for improvement to products, services, and processes. Analyze the results and pay special attention to any problems your customers bring up. Act on the information by addressing the issue or, in the case of a problem with product design, forwarding it to the appropriate department.
3 – Build trust with customers.
Given that trust is based in part on reliability, building trust takes time. You need to consistently deliver value to your customers. Consider your brand promises. Ask yourself, “Are we following through on these promises over time?”
4 – Offer a customer retention program.
Customer retention programs come in all shapes and sizes, starting with the grocery store loyalty card you carry in your wallet. Think about a customer retention program in broader terms. Reward loyalty with special access or priority service, offer an outstanding onboarding experience to new customers, or ask valued customers to serve on an advisory board. The goal of a customer retention program is to make your customers feel they are valued.
Look for ways to surprise and delight customers as part of your organization’s culture. This will look different for various brands and industries. As you develop customer retention strategies and practices, make sure they’re consistent with the brand identity of your organization.
Our own Joey Coleman is a keynote speaker who has spent nearly 20 years helping organizations not only retain their best customers but turn them into raving fans! His First 100 Days® methodology provides organizations with strategies and tactics that turn one-time purchasers into lifetime customers.
Joey shares a sobering statistic with his audiences: Most companies see 20-70% of customers disappear in less than 100 days. This is after spending huge amounts of time, money, and energy to acquire them.
By creating remarkable experiences in The First 100 Days®, companies put themselves in a position of gaining a customer for life. Learn more about Joey’s signature programs at www.michellejoyce.com/joeycoleman.
How are you protecting your most valuable asset?
The COVID crisis reinforced what some organizations already knew. A company’s employees are its most valuable asset. Attracting and retaining the kind of employees you need in order to continue to move your organization forward presents challenges unlike any that have been seen by today’s leaders.
It’s important to remember that employees are human. This means they are sensitive to changes within an organization as well as changes outside their work environments. They’ve dealt with – and continue to deal with – uncertainty, fear, and more uncertainty.
Many have been hesitant to make major job-related changes. As some semblance of normalcy returns, however, that is no longer going to be the case. Some of your employees can be considered at risk including:
- Employees who were less than fulfilled in their role before the pandemic but are now ready to make a move.
- Employees who realized work-from-home is now what they want permanently or who want or need more flexibility.
- Those who, as a result of COVID, discovered a greater realization of the importance of family. They’re no longer willing to endure long commutes or extensive travel.
These groups are those you can consider at risk within your organization. However, it’s important to remember that employee retention begins the moment a new team member accepts the job. And it never stops.
Now, more than ever, creating the right culture and workplace environment for your organization is crucial to your success.
Our keynote speaker Jim Knight is known for more than his spikey hair and great energy. An authority on training and development, having led Global Training for Hard Rock International for two decades, Jim teaches key principles in creating a positive culture and building rock star teams and leaders. Learn more about Jim’s signature programs at www.michellejoyce.com/jimknight.
Consider these programs and initiatives your organization can put in place to give you the best chance of retaining your employees.
Employee retention strategies.
- Professional development at all levels of your organization.
- Equip leaders to lead effectively in today’s world .
- Improve the onboarding experience.
- Recognize and appreciate employees, formally and informally.
- Allow for flexible working arrangements.
Look for ways to proactively address overwhelm or overwork. Connect with your employees authentically, taking the time to form relationships. Actively engage with your employees, keeping in mind we have four generations in the workplace and engagement means something different to each of them.
Give your leaders the support they need to succeed.
What do leaders in your organization need in order to become the leaders they want to be? As they are challenged with retaining customers and employees, do they have the training and skills they need? The leaders inside your organization deserve the same care and attention they are being asked to give those on their teams. It’s time to connect, engage, and support them.