One of the biggest problems that I note with smaller companies is how they do not give enough attention to previous customers. In most cases, the costs associated with retaining a customer are very low compared to that of acquiring a new customer. On top of that, a repeat customer may be responsible for a greater part of your bottom line than a new one.
As a cleaning business owner, competition is always tough. Whether you are competing locally or in a larger area, your cleaning company must be extremely adept at marketing as well as deliver exceptional performance to stand out from the rest. After putting in all that effort to gain a client, why not put in a little more to retain them?
Advantages of Having Lifetime Customers
Before we dive into some of the ways through which you can gain lifetime customers, let’s look at some of the benefits that go along with it.
- The lifetime value of a customer increases when you retain them. Customers that come back once are much more likely to come back again.
- Repeat customers are much more likely to refer you to their friends and family, thus helping you grow organically.
- Repeat customers offer a steady paycheck, which can be quite useful for cleaning business owners who face tough competition.
Decreasing the rate at which your customers defect by 5% can add between 25-125% to your profitability. There are innumerable statistics that point to repeat customers being the foundation upon which businesses are built. As such, let’s take a look at a few ways through which you can increase customer retention for your cleaning company.
Offer Consistent Quality
I am sure you are already aware of how your output must be quality. However, it is the consistent part that is important. Take a look at Apple, the tech company. The main reason why they are so successful is because their customers know whatever they manufacture will have exceptional quality. Because of this, they can afford to lag behind some of their competitors when it comes to innovation.
Consistency becomes paramount if your cleaning company has multiple franchises. Your customers should get the same quality that they do at the branch that you manage at another branch that is managed by someone else. Here are a few ways to ensure this happens:
- Train each new employee to make sure that they perform up to your cleaning company’s high standard.
- Have proper rules, regulations, and guidelines for your staff.
- Pay extreme attention to customer as well as employee feedback (never ignore employee feedback).
- Periodically hold group trainings and one-on-ones with employees to make sure they are doing well.
Of course, there is a lot else you can do to increase and maintain the quality of your output. These are things that you will learn as your cleaning business takes off. Keep on doing them and consistency should improve.
Value Customer Service Above All Else
After you have made sure that you are providing great quality to your customers, you must also take good care of them. This includes making sure that they are heard, their calls are answered in a timely and polite manner, and their complaints are heard and dealt with swiftly.
There is a lot of data out there that paints a scathing picture for businesses that are not adept with their customer service. For example, around 90% of the customers of businesses who switched to their competitors stated that poor customer service was the reason why they switched. On top of that, one-third of consumers are likely to switch to a competitor after a single instance of a poor customer experience.
If your cleaning company can afford it, hiring a professional customer service agent is probably a good idea. We have mentioned how a professional marketing firm can enhance your business’ prospects immensely in the past. The same goes for a customer service agent. However, make sure you have a strong foundation before you do something like this. Paying a professional agent by the hour will be a waste unless you can provide quality cleaning services to match your customer service.
Provide a Personalized Experience
One of the most important parts of marketing is product differentiation. It is one of the best ways to gain a customer that stays with you for years to come. However, it is extremely hard to do as a cleaning business.
One way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is to provide a personalized service. Actually talking to your clients before you begin cleaning and asking them if they have any special requirement can go a long way towards retaining them.
Your company should also be willing to go out of their way to help a customer as long as it doesn’t cause a lot of inconvenience. Once the job is done, make sure you provide ample post-purchase care by making sure that the customer is completely satisfied. If they aren’t, try to remedy the situation as much as you can.
Remember, while marketing for new customers is important, retaining customers is much more profitable in the long run. Businesses are built on repeat customers, and the aforementioned ways are just the baby steps that you should take to increase your customer retention.
To put it simply, always look for ways to better the customer experience. This will be the most cost-effective way for you to build your cleaning business.