Customer retention 101: How to win dissatisfied customers back - Sodexo

Customer retention 101: How to win dissatisfied customers back

How much of your existing customer base has stayed with your organization through the years?  

Research has shown that retaining your existing customer base is more cost-efficient compared to aggressively acquiring new ones. In fact, increasing customer retention rates by 5% have been found to increase profits by at least 25%. The secret ingredient? Great customer service.  

However, the reality is, we can fall short sometimes and leave customers feeling disgruntled.  

How then can we play the cards right again? Just remember the acronym HELP. 

1. H – ear your customer out. 

Tempting as it may be, this is not the time to be defensive about your product or service. Listen thoroughly to your customer’s concerns. Think of it as an opportunity to get real live feedback to improve your offerings. 

2. E – mpathize before you apologize. 

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What’s driving their frustration? You can mention phrases like “I completely understand how frustrating that would be” or “I understand where you’re coming from,” among other things. Don’t forget to apologize sincerely and assure them that you are taking ownership of the problem. 

3. L – ead forward, don’t leave them behind. 

Before taking any further action, do some digging to get to the root of the issue. Don’t pass customers on to the next representative to resolve their issue. Remember that no customer wants to feel like they are aimlessly being passed around.  

4. P – roactively respond with a course of action.  

Time is of the essence. Make sure to let your customers know of the next steps you are taking to resolve their frustrations and reach out to them promptly once resolved. 

Pro-tip: Go the extra mile.  

Authentic customer service is not just about satisfying customer needs. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach either. Rather, it’s all about ensuring delight at every step of their journey. The good news? Rewards are a great way to turn your unhappy customers into loyal ones, and Sodexo has got a host of solutions ideal for your customer retention needs. Take your pick from: 

  • Mobile Pass – a digital GC customizable to certain partner merchants or products that recipients can receive via SMS or email, accepted by over 7,500 merchants nationwide
  • Sodexo+ – a versatile GC accepted by over 10,500 merchants nationwide including in-store and e-commerce merchants
  • Sodexo Premium Pass Paper GC- accepted in over 12,000 merchants nationwide including brands in food, home, tech, and more. 
  • SM Gift Pass- the SM Group's official paper gift certificate accepted in all SM branches and affiliate stores nationwide. 
  • SM Gift Pass Digital GC in the Sodexo+ app – redeemable rewards at SM and its affiliate stores nationwide  
  • SM Gift Pass Choice – with wide acceptance in-store, the SM Gift Pass Choice does not have an expiry date and can even earn SM Advantage points 

Want to know more about the Sodexo solutions that can be right for you? Sign up here.