Did you know that acquiring a new customer costs five times more than retaining an existing customer? Therefore, an enduring customer retention strategy is at the core of every successful field service business. Customer retention is about maintaining connections and earning repeat business with customers over time, which builds a reputable name for your business, sparks company growth, and increases overall value.
To maintain customer relationships, you have to understand their needs, prioritize their requests, then implement specific strategies to meet those needs. Below, we’ve provided four core strategies that you should prioritize.
4 Essential Customer Retention Strategies
Build trust with customers
Customer retention depends primarily on the customer’s trust in the business. In fact, 81% of customers reported that trust is a significant aspect of their decision to partner with a business. Meeting customer expectations, honoring contracts, and following through on deliverables paves the way to establishing trust.
The factors that make customers trust your business and keep them coming back are consistently exceeding expectations, exhibiting company values, and eagerly providing quality service. You can learn more in our blog post, How To Increase Customer Loyalty For Your Lawncare Business, where we outlined some tips for building trust with customers. (We promise, the information works for businesses outside of the lawncare industry, too!)
Gather customer feedback
Whether you read online reviews or send out customer surveys, staying up to date on customer feedback is a must for customer retention. Reviews are a great way to gauge where your field service business does well and pinpoint areas that need improvement. Not only will this help your business provide more efficient service in the future, but it also shows the customer that their opinions are valued. A customer’s bond with you strengthens when they feel heard, and they are more likely to stay loyal to your company.
Accidents happen, and equipment breaks down. A technician’s response to adverse situations and how they communicate with customers directly impacts customer retention rates. Clear and consistent communication with customers helps you ensure that issues are resolved promptly and thoroughly.
When it comes to service appointments, your business should stay in touch with customers through an app, phone calls, or another messaging service. Managing customer expectations about arrival times, delays, etc., is crucial!
With field service management software like RazorSync, technicians and dispatchers can contact customers directly through the app. For example, you can notify them when a technician is en route (they can even track their journey on a map!). Your technicians can also access service requests ahead of appointments to assess the issue before they even visit the job site. As a result, they gain a clear understanding of the problem and the tools they’ll need to solve it, which minimizes service failures and maximizes first-time fix rates.
Nurture the relationship
Lead nurturing is a fundamental marketing concept defined by Hubspot as “purposefully engaging your target audience by offering relevant information, supporting them in any way they need, and maintaining a sense of delight throughout every stage of the buyer’s journey.” Regardless of whether the customer is returning or new, anticipating and understanding their needs throughout the customer lifecycle will result in stronger customer retention.
Personalizing customer communications is just one of many ways to nurture leads. No one likes to receive a robotic, canned message. Instead, you can make customers feel valued by including personalization in communications, like a service follow-up email. Try to incorporate a relevant detail from the customer’s service appointment to help them feel seen and heard. For instance, if you’re a plumber and you recently fixed a running toilet for a customer who complained about the noise keeping them awake at night, perhaps you can mention that you hope they’re sleeping soundly now that the repair is done.
One other way to use personalization is to provide relevant information or promotions related to recent services to demonstrate your company cares about its customers’ needs and offers valuable advice. Using the example above, the plumber might offer the customer a discount on the next service call.
Choosing and implementing the right customer retention strategies for your business will keep existing customers returning and further expand your customer base. We hope you can utilize the information outlined here to help you grow your business and maintain a strong standing in the industry. Read HubSpot’s blog post 7 Amazingly Effective Lead Nurturing Tactics for more information on lead nurturing strategies. And to learn more about customer retention, check out our blog post How To Increase Customer Loyalty For Your Lawncare Business.