How to Satisfy and Retain Customers

If you have the choice, it is always better to focus on retaining your current loyal customers than to forsake them in the interest of chasing down new ones. Your current customers have already been impressed by your products or services and already feel some sort of loyalty to your company, while there is no guarantee that the thousands or even millions of dollars in advertising and marketing costs you invest in will attract a decent number of new customers. That is why it is more important than ever to keep your existing customers satisfied.

The first way to keep your customers happy is by making sure that you provide a quality product or service. This is obviously very specific to your business, but rest assured that what constitutes "quality" is just as obvious to your customers as it should be to you. Does your product do what it is supposed to? Does it last, and is it dependable? Does your service provide what is advertised? Does it meet your claims? If these questions aren't answered with a "yes", you will have a hard time retaining customers even with excellent customer service.

Even with the highest level of quality, without a fair price it will be difficult to keep customers from exploring other options. Now, in some areas, such as fashion, jewelry, certain types of sports equipment, or luxury services such as spas and resorts, you can afford to charge well above what your competitors do. That is, you can charge more if the quality of your product or service backs up that higher price tag. With other items, you can't afford (no pun intended) to sell your products or services for much higher than your competitors, even if your level of quality is higher.

Another advantage you can use to keep customers loyal is to provide a unique take on what it is that you do. You will see this a lot in restaurants, where the food may be very similar to that of other establishments, but the overall experience is very unique and keeps customers coming back. The same is true in the entertainment world, in most types of service-oriented business and also in collection services where the debt buyers have to work towards settlement of debts by the debtor. Try to provide something that your competitors literally cannot duplicate, and your customers will have to stick around.

It may surprise many people, but research has often showed that the quality of your customer service can be just as important, if not more important, than the above-listed factors. Competition is high these days in just about every type of business, so you can bet that someone may be able to approach the kind of quality and price that you can offer. If that is the case, customer service can be the deciding factor for customers who are not sure which product or service to spend their hard-earned money on.

Customers are busy in today's world, and you must not waste their time. Make sure that they can get answers or assistance quickly and easily, and use technology to allow them to access the information and help that they need in a variety of ways. This could mean everything from taking advantage of social networking websites to allowing customers to chat with representatives on your website for immediate assistance. Above all, make sure you take care of your customers if you want them to continue supporting your business.

It will cost your company a lot more money to earn a new customer than it will to keep a current customer, so it is important that once someone gives your business a try, you do everything that you can to ensure that they will be loyal to your company for years to come.

A customer's acknowledgement of services. "I just want to say that I've dealt with other collection agencies on this account and I paid it off because the way the people at handled this matter. Very professional and treated me with respect."

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