Why is it that Fire & Security customer retention is not being discussed by more UK directors?
The majority of your sales people tell me that:
“most of our work comes from existing customers and word of mouth referrals”.
So it sounds to me like it’s hugely important to keep your existing customers sweet. They’re the golden goose that keeps most Fire & Security companies going.
A great infographic from Experience Matters shows that loyal customers are:
5x more likely to repurchase, 5x as likely to forgive, 4x as likely to refer and 7x as likely to try a new offering!
Loyal customers boost your bottom line
It costs 7x as much money to acquire a new customer as to retain an existing one.
But it’s more than that.
Research by The Kinig Group says that:
A 5% increase in customer retention results in a 25-95% increase in profits.
This happens when you shift the focus to decrease customer attrition and increase loyalty.
Customer Experience is the key to retaining customers
Give a great customer experience and you can boost your bottom line by charging more as well. So says a stat in this slide deck:
86% of consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience
Fire & Security is a crowded market. Walker reports that in 2020, customer experience will overtake product and price as the key brand differentiator.
But here are my top tips for how UK Fire & Security companies can retain their customers by giving a better experience.
1. Communicate with your customers
Targeted, personalised emails, social media status updates or regular phone calls. Regularly talking to your customers is vital to maintaining your relationship with them. It cost a lot to persuade them to become a customer. Don’t lose them through neglect.
Educate them in small chunks and simple language. Inform them about the things their security system could do to improve their lives. Talk about the new AI. The latest initiatives with analytics cameras. And automation options that allow easy management and monitoring of domestic and commercial security from a mobile device.
Regularly ask for feedback. This could be when customer service calls to book a 6 monthly or annual maintenance check. Find out how you’re doing and whether there is anything you could do better.
It’s better to find out now than when they decline to book their next appointment.
However, here’s an example of how not to ask your customers for feedback.
I have had several missed calls over the last couple of days. The message left on my answerphone said the call was from my bank. I called the number back and they said it was a feedback survey from a public relations company on behalf of my bank.
Checking the number online, I discover that this is a company with a poor reputation. The survey takes 20 minutes and most people were not that impressed. Others voted that it was actually a scam.
Now I’m not unhappy with my bank. But I’m not that happy either. Now they’ve given my details to a third party without warning me. And they want me to take part in a survey on how well they are doing. Without asking me. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
2. Reward customers who renew their maintenance or upgrade equipment
Thank them for continuing to be your customer on the anniversary of their install. Reward them with some form of offer or promotion.
Perhaps this could be better price if they sign up for a further three years of maintenance rather than just one? Or a special offer to upgrade some of their older cameras?
Could you offer an incentive to your happy customers if they refer you to friends?
3. Identify at-risk customers
This is important, especially if they are big customers. Have a specific sales or customer service team for these customers. Ensure they get the most from your fire safety or commercial security equipment.
Don’t let a competitor slip in because you couldn’t be bothered to take care of them. Or didn’t take the time to pre-empt their future needs.
And remember, 74% of Millennials will switch to a different supplier if they have poor customer service! Make great customer service training a focus for all your people. And make sure it is provided to all customers – whatever their size.
4. Use complaints and bad reviews to improve your service
You can learn a lot from 1-star reviews and complaints… Analyse them. They usually break into two or three key objections.
Now you know where your service is lacking. And what you need to improve on.
It also helps with understanding customer expectation. So you can manage this better during your initial sales process.
Are you using the data you have about your customers to increase the effectiveness of your solutions for those customers? And keep a record of your communications with them?
Do you actually have ANY data about your customers that you could use?
Tracking that information is vital if you want to keep the customers you’ve landed for the long term.
And a CRM is the best place to store that data. Make sure you get one that allows you to keep GDPR information for easy response to a Subject Access Request and delete the data if required.
Need more leads for your sales team to close into loyal customers?