Organizations can become so focused on finding new customers that they inadvertently neglect the ones they already have. While new customers are always vital to your organization’s success, so is investing in the long-term value of your current customers.
Why is long-term value important?
There are several reasons you don’t want to ignore your current customers like:
- It costs less to keep a customer than to get a new one. It’s expensive to find new customers. In fact, according to research done by Invesp, customer acquisition can cost up to 5 times more than customer retention. So, keeping current customers is a smart financial strategy for your business.
- Established customers often make repeat purchases of your products and services. Gaining a new customer is great, but gaining a customer who makes repeat purchases is even better.
- A satisfied customer can become an advocate for your brand. Whether it’s an informal recommendation or a formal case study or product review, a satisfied customer is one of the best persuasive tools you have.
How to provide a phenomenal customer experience
So we know that long-term value is important, but how do we improve that?
It starts with the customer help experience. 73% of customers cite customer experience as a deciding factor when making a purchase.
We know that most customers do not want to talk with a real person. They want to solve their problems on their own. Companies must have customer self-help systems put in place to meet this need.
According to Gartner®, “44% of customers who started their journey by calling believed that their issue should be easy to resolve — demonstrating that organizations are fielding far too many calls that likely could be resolved without live support.” 
When your customer service works well, users find the answers they need quickly and easily. When it works poorly, customers spend lots of time looking for answers and end up frustrated and disappointed with your brand.
Harness customer loyalty
Loyal customers become advocates, but so do frustrated customers, simply for different reasons. The internet makes it easy for angry customers to leave detailed information about your help experience, and once it’s on the internet, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to remove. In the same way that a good help site can help you gain new customers, a poor help site can drive potential customers away.
If you want to invest in customers long-term, you must invest in your help experiences.
Unfortunately, even organizations that already have self-service offerings in place are still missing the mark. Gartner® also reports that 87% of customers who attempt to self-serve end up switching to an assisted channel.  This means that even when customers try to solve their problems, the systems in place aren’t effective in meeting their needs.
What makes a good self-service help site?
A good self-service help site removes the pain points for customers looking for answers. It transforms a challenge into a positive experience with your brand.
The best help sites are:
- Discoverable (Searchable and easily navigable)
The content on your help site should be easy to locate. Using tools like faceted search allows users to search entire content repositories from different sources in one place.
Single-sign in can open up a whole new world for your help site. When users sign into a help site, you have the ability to show them personalized content and filter out irrelevant information.
The last thing your customers want to do is flip through a 50-page PDF, looking for a single paragraph. All too often, businesses simply throw their user manuals on a help site and call it a day. Instead, you should use structured content to deliver small, relevant, bite-sized pieces of information to each customer.
Focus on long-term value
We can’t forget our current customers while working to attract new ones. Investing in the long-term value of your current customers is a smart financial decision that will pay off for your brand.
If you’d like to learn more about how Heretto can help improve the long-term value of your customer, we’d love to chat.
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 *Gartner®, [Address 3 Reasons Why Customers Avoid Self-Service], [Published 22 July 2022].  [Accelerate Self-Service Adoption by Focusing on Customer Needs], [Published 17 March 2021]. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.