Ultimately, great marketing depends on great customer service. Your marketing dollars go to waste if no one responds to a potential customer’s email or phone call. Great customer care is becoming increasingly important and over 50% of consumers have cancelled a transaction because of bad customer service.
The Importance of Customer Care
For a growing number of customers, how a company treats them is more important than the product itself. Some experts are even saying that customer service is the new marketing. Chances are, you have a number of competitors that offer similar products or services and great customer service is a key way to stand out.
On top of that, customers are exposed to thousands of ads every day. Depending on the person, this number can be between 4,000 and 10,000 ads in 24 hours. People have lost faith in gimmicky ads, meaning the best way to make a lasting impression is through great customer care.
Every happy customer is an ambassador for your business. Not only will a happy customer likely become a repeat customer, but they will also be more likely to help your business acquire new customers. Happy customers are more likely to tell their friends and family about your business, creating word of mouth marketing.
Everyone trusts word of mouth recommendations more than they trust advertising. Whether a satisfied customer writes a review online or tells their friend over coffee, a recommendation from an actual person is more valuable than almost any marketing campaign. That’s why many businesses (including ours) reward customers for referring others.
The Real Cost of Losing a Customer
Cost of acquisition is the metric used to measure how much it costs to gain a new customer. It varies based on the business and industry, but you can measure it by dividing your marketing spending by how many new customers you get in a given time frame.
That said, the exact cost of acquisition is less important when we compare it to the cost of keeping an existing customer. It’s fairly well-known that it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. If that wasn’t enough to convince you, the success rate of selling to a new customer is only 5% to 20%, whereas selling to an existing one is as high as 70%. Even without any marketing, existing customers are the core of your business. Around 65% of all sales come from existing customers.
Marketing Strategies to Improve Customer Care
Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management is the strategy your business uses to engage and interact with customers. While it can be synonymous with certain software you can use to keep in touch with customers, it’s more about the approach to building relationships with people who buy from your business.
When you book a service for a customer, make sure you’re collecting their contact information. This can be their email address or phone number. After the service is complete, follow up with your customers. Do they have any feedback or questions? Do they want to prebook their next service? Do they want to follow you on social media or sign up for your mailing list? Most importantly, thank them for being a customer and show that you value their business.
Social media should not only be a part of your marketing strategy but your customer service strategy as well. Whether it’s to complain or rave about a company, more and more people are turning to social media. 80% of consumers use social media to engage with businesses, and you should be there when they do.
It’s also important to equip your social media manager with the resources they need to answer customer questions and complaints in a timely manner. Some businesses do this by having designated customer service staff reply to messages and comments, while others have a “question book” type of document for reference. Whatever method you choose, make sure it provides the best customer experience possible.
Customer Expectation Setting
Another way to align your customer service with your marketing is to make sure your messaging doesn’t over-promise. Your marketing should be realistic with what your business can deliver. For example, don’t promise customers 24-hour service if that isn’t something you can easily deliver on.
Marketing shouldn’t make false promises, as you’ll end up with disappointed customers and an unsettling reputation. When in doubt, follow to old adage of undersell, over-deliver.
Sharing Customer Stories
A marketing campaign that shares customer stories works similarly to word of mouth. It’s effective because it highlights the work you do and makes it easy for potential customers to relate. Customer stories told by the customer come off as more authentic and less sales-y than traditional messaging.
Sharing a story about how your business went the extra mile, in particular, can win over new customers. Depending on your budget or the platform, this can be done in various ways. It can be as little as sharing customer reviews in a brochure or website, to creating a video campaign around a satisfied customer.
Customer Loyalty Programs
Customer loyalty programs are one of the best ways to retain and reward existing customers. Rewarding customers who already know your business can be 25% cheaper than acquiring new customers (and much more effective).
They can increase revenue, save you money, and they make customers feel appreciated. It can also be a valuable opportunity to collect information about your customers. Customer loyalty programs can give you valuable insight into your customer’s spending habits and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
If you need some marketing insight, we’re here to help. Our team of digital marketers specialize in marketing for home service businesses. We’ve worked with companies across North America to improve their marketing so you can focus on customer care. Contact us to learn more about us and what digital marketing can do for your business.