There are two main reasons for why customers switch sides: the product/service or the customer service experience. Other reasons for why they'd choose another business over yours could be because a competitor has a lower price, or because they simply provide a version of the same product or service that’s better tailored to the customer's needs.
Sometimes you can't help that there's a big sea of competition out there, and there could always be a bigger fish. Businesses often resort to competitive pricing or packages and bundles that are more attractive for the customers. If for some reason or another you can't match their prices, then you need to build up strength in another area, and one of the most effective is customer service.
Let's talk about building customer relationships. What they're built on is a foundation of trust and confidence, along with a strong commitment to providing quality service. Even outside of customer service, any relationship between two people can't be built without trust. Two of the most common reasons for failed customer relationships is overpromising and underdelivering service. When a promised service isn't met, customers get irritated, and failure to meet expectations not only damages a company's reputation but your own as a service advisor. Always deliver on your promises on time, and ahead of time as often as you can, and before you know it, you'll be building lasting customer relationships left and right.
In addition to building good relationships, you'd be improving the company's reputation which can improve the base level of trust with new customers. Most businesses nowadays offer discounts and freebies on top of purchases to encourage customer loyalty, but be careful: too much of a good thing can skew your customer's expectations, which could lead to overpromising. If you think you can help a customer out, feel free to deliver it with an ‘element of surprise.' If they weren't already expecting a freebie to sweeten the deal, they'll sure be happy to get one!
While pricing of products and services is important, trust and loyalty earned through customer service have a bigger impact on winning new customers and retaining old ones, even when the competition has lower prices. This, in turn, leads to higher profits because customers are more likely to look for companies that make the act of finding the right product or service easier for them. Top managers always point out that providing quality service is the most important factor in customer satisfaction and retention.
Commitment to preserving long business relationships is a collective effort. Customers want to not feel neglected, and failing to consistently deliver on promises will definitely have a negative effect on your business, especially with tight competition. The importance of keeping good business relationships and the importance of maintaining your business are one and the same, because without customers, your business is dead.
Understand that building customer loyalty can't be done overnight. From the moment you meet a customer for the first time, the tone you set will make or break the future of that relationship, and that relationship will have a hand in determining the future of your business. Your commitment to customer satisfaction will draw the line between success and failure. Never forget that happy customers are the best form of advertisement for your business you'll ever find, and they're free!