To me the three most important keys to retaining customers, irrespective of business environment, are three words: Listen, Think and Act.
LISTEN to what your customers are telling you about their relationship with you. Sometimes its in words other times by actions. Its vital to look beyond the raw scores in customer relationship surveys. You need to find out what they care about and why they think like they do.
THINK about exactly what customers are telling you and what your business needs to do about it. Customers will focus on your products/services but the less obvious messages are often more important if you want to retain customers. Focus on the overall relationship. For example it could be that they love your product but hate your rude accounts department. Customers often leave for these type non obvious reasons and never tell you why.
ACT on the messages that you get from your customers and never tell them that they are wrong. When you have fixed whatever it is that you need to fix go back to your customers and thank them for pointing out the area that needed improving. Then tell them the actions that you took as a result of their concerns and ask if there has been an improvement. Your competitors will not do this so your customer has an exceptionally strong reason to stay with you.
As you know the name of my company is Three Step Consulting. I’m sure that you can guess what the three steps are.