I know what you’re thinking. No kidding that your customers will love you if you take great care of them. We all know that that’s a fact, but how many of us have worked for companies that said this verbally, but then often overlooked client concerns, questions, or issues with your service or product? It happens more than you might think.
I’ve worked for some of the largest companies around and seen some things that were definitely more focused on profitability or market penetration than ensuring the customers you have are happy.
Think about banks charging overdraft fees. They’ve worked hard and spent tons of money to acquire their customers and then they charge them fees, often times for simple mistakes, that endanger those relationships.
Most companies that look at customers like assets that will churn at an acceptable rate, often experience churn in higher numbers. This can cause a number of issues. Your retention drops of course. You also make it harder on yourself to ask for upsells or make recommendations for other services or products that could genuinely help your customers. Lastly, asking for referrals to others becomes infinitely more difficult.
So, how do you keep this from happening? How do you turn these weaknesses into strengths? Let’s dive into each and chat through it.
Retention is the most immediately affected by poor customer service. Unfortunately, too many companies view customer service simply as doing your job. Delivering your product or service on time may make you think you’re doing a great job. Your customers may not be upset or unsatisfied, but that’s not enough to ensure retention.
As Sonci Honnoll said in the interview I did with her a week or two ago, she knew that their relationships with their customers were going to be immensely important to their business. In order to wow their customers, they always work to deliver on their goals faster and to exceed customer expectations.
You can’t just deliver the bare minimum, you have to be transparent and honest with your customers while working to exceed their goals as a partner. If a business is going to succeed, it needs to help its customers (partners) succeed. If they see success, they’ll tell others about it.
Here at WarmUp, we feel that that’s one of our biggest differentiators. We don’t just want to sell you a piece of software and back away while your checks clear, we want to be involved for as long as it takes to ensure that you are successful. Together we grow, learn, and evolve.
It may sound crass to talk about upsells in a blog on our website that our customers can read, but we all know that that is the business’ goal. We work hard and spend a great deal of effort and money to acquire new customers and if they always come in at a certain dollar amount, it only makes sense that we would want them to take advantage of other services or products so that we can deepen the relationship and expand our revenue from those existing customers.
However, there’s a huge difference between arbitrarily asking customers to “buy more” and being honest with customers about additional services or features that could benefit them. If it provides value, it’s very likely that there will be an additional cost for it, but as long as we’re transparent and showing them that they’re getting additional value that offsets that expense, then it’s a benefit for them.
This also ties into truly partnering with your clients. You come off as very tone-deaf and your lack of empathy is shown quickly if you view upsells as a quota or something to be gouged from your customers. Upsells should be a natural part of a customer journey as they grow within the use of your product. If you do a great job taking care of them and your product provides real value, then they should want to see more success and use additional products or features to enhance their success and ROI.
This is a part of the natural progression of a client relationship. As Chris Chasteen of Content Cucumber mentioned on our first episode of WarmUp Chats, building that trust and deep relationship makes asking for a referral much easier.
If you aren’t showing your customers the love and making them feel so special that they love you back, then your ask for introductions to people or companies they may know who could use your product or service will often seem self serving.
Doing a great job starts by helping you retain your customers. Then, as you grow the trust with them, you can expand within their organization through upsells so that they use more of your product or service. Once you’ve expanded and continued to show value, then you can ask for referrals.
Have you ever had an experience where someone randomly asks you for referrals early in your experience with their company? Isn’t it jarring? It always seems strange when I get a message on LinkedIn from someone I barely (or don’t) know asking me for referrals to others that I think might be a good customer for them. If you haven’t shown me any value or given me a reason to think you can bring value, then why would I make a referral?
Start building your customer success team/processes by focusing on how you can truly help your clients. Think about how your product or service brings value and maximize that. Show your customers through reporting and frequent updates how much value you’re helping them create.
Once you’ve done that, it’s important to have processes in place so that you can be intentional about ensuring their retention, asking for upsells in a way that benefits them, and finally, asking them if they know others that could benefit from your products or services.
What do you do to show your customers that you love them? How do you go above and beyond to earn your customers trust? Once you’ve done that, how do you use that trust to help them grow even more? Answer those questions and your retention, upsells, and referrals should go through the roof.