Customer Retention and Employee Retention post-Christmas
I know planning for next Christmas (or any other busy period) is probably the last thing on your mind just now.
But if we don’t take stock now of how this year has gone, we’ll be missing out on the opportunity to learn from the experience. Don’t kid yourself you’ll remember what you’d change for next year… You won’t, and only kick yourself afterwards!
Debrief at the end of each day or event and keep notes of what you’ll do differently next time. This helps you identify ways to improve both customer retention (particularly customers buying from you the first time) and employee retention, by keeping your permanent and temporary staff happy.
Customer Service and Customer Retention
- Keep a note of what your customers have bought, so you can prompt them next time around, so they (and you) don’t forget anything. And you can deliver a consistent service which is at least as good as, if not better than this year.
- Capture feedback from your customers. Find out what they loved (so you can do more of the same in future) and what they were not so keen on, so you know what not to repeat. Do this now while their emotions are still running high from their experience, not in three weeks’ time when everything is back to normal.
Build on this feedback for next year, so you can plan what you’ll add or do differently.
- Ask your happy customers for testimonials, and check they’re happy for you to use these in next year’s marketing. This in itself helps with customer retention, as few customers who recommend you are likely to then go elsewhere.
- Follow up with your customers to show you appreciate their business. Take this opportunity to ask them what they enjoyed and tell them what you have planned for the year ahead to sow the seed for further business throughout the year or at the same time next year.
- Capture details of new customers so you can stay on their radar and tempt them back at other times of the year.
- Get feedback from your team, both permanent and temporary staff. Involve them in the review process by asking for their ideas. Focus on 3 questions:
- What went well for them?
- What was challenging and where did they struggle to meet customers’ expectations?
- What can be improved on or should be done differently in future to ensure the customer experience is still a great one even when you’re busy.
- Identify where your team needs support, coaching or further training; all of which you might be able to address in your quieter weeks ahead.
- Recognise and reward your team. If they’ve put in extra hours or effort to make your busy periods a success show them how much you appreciate this, so they’ll be happy to do the same again next time. Remember, rewards don’t have to be financial; for some time off or flexibility of shifts to spend with family or friends after Christmas could be the most valuable gift you could give them
- Keep tabs on your costs to ensure you have an accurate picture of your expenditure and profit margins. If you run events or promotions include post costings for each event, to take account of uptake, wastage, and actual spend.
- Bring everything together from your debriefings and summarise:
- what went well. What will you continue, develop or build on for future
- what didn’t go so well, and needs doing differently.
- What have you learnt.
- Make notes which will be meaningful to you months down the line, and file these somewhere where you can find them easily when it comes to planning next year!
Finally, take the time to celebrate your successes and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.