By Shauna Getty
YNOT – Loyal customers are the driving force behind any great business. Every great business not only understands this, but also goes to great lengths to keep its customers happy. Happy customers are paying customers who will remain loyal for a long, long time.
There are several other, less obvious but equally important, reasons why customers should receive excellent care. Let’s take a few minutes to examine four of them.
1. Retaining current customers is far less costly than finding new ones.
Let’s face it: In the online adult entertainment industry competition is fierce, and customer loyalty is profoundly fickle to say the least. Consumers want what they want, and they want it yesterday. Research indicates it is five times more costly to attract new customers than it is to simply retain the ones you already have.
According to a Harris Interactive Customer Experience Impact Report, 86 percent of customers have abandoned a company because of one bad customer service experience — just one.
Make every customer interaction positive, and you’ll not only keep the customers you have, but also convince new customers they should stick around for the long haul.
2. Word-of-mouth advertising is inexpensive, yet effective.
Word-of-mouth advertising — the kind customers do every time they mention your brand to an acquaintance — can be exceptionally good, or it can be extremely damaging. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a dissatisfied customer will tell nine to 13 people about a bad service experience. With only one dissatisfied customer, that’s not so bad; however, multiply the numbers by 100, and your business will begin to suffer.
In contrast, a customer who is happy with the service they receive will tell only four to six people. Satisfying 100 customers stands to impact the decision of 400-600 others in a positive way.
It takes more effort to create a satisfied customer than to create a dissatisfied customer, and the return is about half as impressive … until you realize each of the friends and acquaintances influenced by your customer may pass along your brand’s reputation, as well. If you put the effort into maximizing satisfaction and minimizing dissatisfaction, the scales will balance in your favor more quickly than you think.
3. Customers spend more money when they receive better customer service.
A Harris Interactive Customer Experience Impact Report noted that even in a failing economy, 60 percent of consumers will pay more for a product or service that comes with access to excellent customer service. This is a very important detail for the online adult entertainment industry. Almost anything adult content producers offer a consumer for a price, that customer can find for free. Consider this, though: Customers will pay for the peace of mind that comes from knowing real human beings will solve any problems they might encounter with a website or its content. Not only will they pay for that service, but on average consumers are willing to pay up to 30 percent more for a product or service that offers outstanding customer support.
4. Happy customers will tell you how to keep them happy.
One of the worst things a business can do is assume that just because their product or service is popular today, it always will be. In truth, what’s popular changes all the time, and if you don’t keep in touch with your customers, you’ll very quickly lose touch with what they want.
The easiest, fastest and most effective way to keep up with changing consumer demands is to talk to consumers. If you track why customers buy or cancel, what support issues they’ve had, what they like and what they dislike, your business not only can keep up, but sometimes get ahead of the game. Consumer input is will allow you to make changes quickly in order to keep your current customers happy and attract new ones.
Shauna Getty, who possesses more than a decade of experience working with Fortune 500 companies in the call-center industry, is operations manager for Adult Support Systems, an outsourcing provider of customer support and consultative sales services. The company is dedicated to making customers happy, increasing retention, decreasing dissatisfaction and gathering marketing data to help clients keep their products and services on the cutting edge and in a positive light.