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3 big customer retention mistakes you need to stop doing now

Posted by Perceptive Customer Insights Team - 01 February, 2016

When customer retention is an issue, you need to know what you’re doing wrong. This can be tough if you’re not regularly monitoring what your customer feedback.

Retaining your customers is often the simplest way to maintain a steady flow of business, as you're able to up-sell and cross-sell easier. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70% while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5–20%. 1

When it comes to the biggest customer retention mistakes, here are three tips on what now to do. 


1. Ignore your customer feedback and analytics (or don’t have any at all)

Having access to customer feedback data or analytics software but not using it fully, or worse, not having it at all, is probably the biggest customer retention fail you could ever make. The reason for this is self-explanatory as collating up-to-date customer feedback and analysing it will lead you well on your way to understanding both your customer base and knowing where your company needs to improve.


2. Thinking that you know – when you don’t

Misunderstanding how customers think and feel is a definite way to fail when it comes to retaining your customers. So, you might think you know – but do you really know? According to data by Bain and Co, 80% of companies surveyed said that they offer excellent customer service, but only 8% of their customers agreed with them. Reality check needed – pronto.

Another study, from IBM, demonstrates just how wrong businesses can be about what customers are thinking. In the survey, businesses were asked about why they thought that customers followed them on social media sites. A large majority mentioned discounts and purchases among the least important reasons. 

But when the customers themselves were surveyed, they in fact listed discounts and purchases as the major reasons for following a company on a social site. Business leaders: wake up and smell the coffee! The only way you can really know is to (you guessed it!) employ an advanced customer feedback tool which tracks feedback over time.

To avoid misunderstanding customers, you’ll want to focus more on actual customer behavior, not on what you predict a certain customer is going to do. Check your web analytics regularly and use it to build your marketing strategies. 


3. Being reactive only

What we mean by this is not being proactive enough to engage with your customers to understand what issues they’re facing and doing your best to help them out.

Not listening to customers or engaging on social channels, being too afraid to ask what’s wrong (and doing something about it), or simply not having a continuous relationship with your customers, can mean losing out on valuable business. 


And another thing…

Always remember that having customers – especially loyal ones – is not a given these days. Competition is fierce and, therefore, being thankful for the customers you do have and working hard at retaining them is the best strategy of all.


Want to customers to come back to your business again and again? Learn more about customer retention strategies in our free guide!

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1. Bain & Co.

Topics: Customer Experience

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