015: Customer Retention Strategies for the Security Industry pt. 2
On today’s episode, we cover Part 2 of our series on strategies that work to build customer retention in the security industry. To see Part 1, click here. This week, we talk about the various ways in which security companies can develop customer loyalty.
Be An Advocate For Your Customers
Regular customers are passive, they stick with your company while its convenient but might be pushed or pulled away by external circumstances.
This starts by you being active in showing your appreciation for the customer. Something as simple as thanking them for their business is an important first step in building a stable relationship. Really, though, most people do the first 90 days well. The key to customer loyalty is keeping up that effort and engagement five years into the relationship.
“I try to put a schedule together where I can follow up with them… whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly,” says Chris. “What day could I actually make a phone call to get in contact with them to check on service?”
With these calls, really listen to your customer’s concerns. Take an interest in their business, and in them, even things that don’t necessarily have to do with your service. If you want them to become an advocate for your business, start by becoming an advocate for theirs.
Set Realistic Expectations
Promising the sky occasionally works to win customers, but it’s never a good strategy for retaining them. Nothing turns customers off more than constantly overpromising and under-delivering.
“You would rather set a prolonged timeline on some of these items, and be able to successfully deliver it, than set an aggressive timeline and fall short because it’s just so much more damaging to the relationship,” I tell Chris.
Setting the expectations is just the first step. Once the expectations are established, you need consistent communication to ensure that those expectations are being met. Just because a customer isn’t saying anything, doesn’t mean they’re satisfied. Some customers will let you know about every little problem, but others will stew until they get so frustrated that they don’t renew your contract.
Taking the time to check in with customers on a regular basis ensures that minor issues are taken care of quickly before they can snowball into a much larger problem. It also demonstrates to customers your commitment to service.
Celebrate Mutual Wins
Remember, you and your customer are on the same team. They hired you to accomplish specific goals, and when those goals are accomplished you both win. Both you and the customer have to work together to succeed at these goals, and you should share in that success.
“Celebrate some wins,” I tell Chris. “At the six month mark, point it out, saying ‘hey, guess what, it’s been six months since we’ve had any vandalism, we just wanted to call and celebrate this with you. This is awesome, this is done in partnership with you guys, you’ve put us in a great position to succeed.’”
Along with celebrating wins with customers, be quick to step up and take responsibility for losses. When you make a mistake, which will happen, acknowledge the issue and find ways to address the issue as quickly as possible.
The theme running through all of these points is communication. Customers are going to be more loyal to a company that is intentional about building a relationship with them and being attentive to their needs. Just like in a personal relationship, you have to put in the effort to make it successful.