How to handle new and existing customers

July 31, 2020

As customer expectations are steadily growing, the old way of treating all your customers the same might not be the best idea. In fact, over the past decade, most businesses realized how important it is to categorize clients and treat them accordingly.

It may happen that even today some companies still don’t take under consideration that new customers have completely different expectations than existing ones. Your first interactions will greatly influence whether they will stay with you or leave for the competition.

We collected the main differences between new and existing customers to help you offer the customer experience both groups expect.

First interactions matter the most for new customers

Did you know that new customers complain or ask questions three to five times more than existing customers? If you think about it, it’s not surprising.

As a new customer, you’re trying something new, be it a product or a service. You’re excited about your new purchase and more importantly, very eager to test whether it was worth it.

Starting to use a new product or service (especially in the tech industry) might be confusing. Therefore, new customers reach out a lot more to customer service teams. During this time, you need to be there for them, ready to help in case they have any questions.

As creating brand loyalty with new customers takes time, they are more likely to get upset very quickly if they don’t receive the help they are searching for. As a result, they might complain to their acquaintances and flood your customer service team with angry calls and emails.

Digitally savvy customers require different approaches

If you’ve been running your business for a longer time, you probably serve different generations of customers. The younger generations discovering your company will most likely be a lot more tech savvy than your existing, long-time customers.

Of course, digitally savvy new customers require quite a different approach than existing customers. While your older customers might prefer to be contacted via phone, you can be pretty sure that newer generations, such as Gen Z, will expect you to offer them self-service options.

Your best option here is to provide your customers with multiple channels they can reach out to your business. Self-service IVR systems and FAQ pages are greatly popular among younger generations who prefer to solve their problems on their own instead of dialing a business’ customer service department.  

Prepare special offers for your existing customers

As I’m sure you know, acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining existing ones, and 48% of people switch brands for better customer service. It is true that new customers require more attention and special care in order to convince them to stay with your company for good, but don’t forget about your existing customers.

In fact, existing customers easily become frustrated when they learn that new customers are offered better deals. As they have been with your business for years, they expect a special treatment as well.

Creating special offers exclusively for your existing customers might be a great idea as it will prove that being a long-time customer does have its privileges, and as a result, they might end up buying more and remaining loyal to your company.

More resources on providing excellent customer service

If you want to maintain a superb customer service for all your clients, be sure to check out these posts as well:

Customer satisfaction measurement methods that are key to your business
Coaching methods for excellent customer support
Bad customer service can affect your business even more than you think

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