Building Customer Loyalty
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The key to any successful business is a loyal customer base and making it top priority to retain those customers. Most successful businesses receive 80% business through only 20% of its customer base. For that reason it is crucial that businesses invest the required time and put strategies into place that will produce, develop and retain good customer relationships. Sadly more businesses invest a lot of time and energy in acquiring new customers which often costs more than retaining the current customer base.
Important tips that will assist in developing your current, loyal customer base:
Communication is probably the most important element of building loyal customer relationships just like it is in any other personal relationship. Make your customers realise how important they are to your business through actively pursuing after sales contact. Contact your customer a week or two after the transaction to find out if they are satisfied with the product or service. Send all your customers a monthly newsletter, a SMS or e-mail to notify them of your specials or a reminder phone call for their next appointment.
No matter if you sell a product or service, service is the differentiating factor that will make your business stand out from your competitors and will secure loyal customer relationships. Even if your location or the product isn’t the best; service that makes the customer feel important will secure continues growth of sales and an increased customer data base. Customers will receive possible hiccups or problems with open arms, if they can see you are going the extra mile and they are treated friendly throughout the process.
Your employees are a very powerful asset when it comes to building a loyal customer base. They are the contact point between your business and customers, as well as the frontline business image. If you want your employees to be loyal to your customers, you first have to show loyalty towards your employees. Make them feel important, respect them and show recognition when he/she has shown outstanding quality work. Also, management should display customer loyal behaviour before employees will whole heartedly showcase the same behaviour to the business’ customers.
If you want your employees to display an act of professional service and a loyal attitude towards the business’ customers, train them in the manner that you want them to interact with the customers. Empower your employees to make certain decisions that will benefit the customer.
Give customers a reason to return to your business or give them a reward for being such a loyal customer. For example, a dentist could give his client a free cleaning who has been a loyal customer for the past three years.
Make sure that you know the products that your loyal customers purchase regularly and keep these items in stock. You can also add other products to the regularly bought items that will complement them, for e.g. merchandise a flashlight and batteries together.
If you had told the customer that the product will be ready for collection the Monday morning 11h00, make sure that it is ready by 10h00 on Monday morning. Not only will it showcase an attitude of going the extra mile but it will definitely spark an increased customer loyalty. If for some reason the product won’t be ready for collection that time or day, keep them informed continuously and if something goes wrong make sure that you compensate for the inconvenience.
- Choose people over technology
People are human and respond to openness, kindness and friendliness. The moment a customer feels that he or she can not speak to you, they will feel unwelcome and unimportant and go somewhere else.
Know your regular customers by name and get to know them personally!
No business can be successful without customers. They are the key asset to a successful business, and by treating them as important you will not only grow as a business but build a very large, loyal customer base that leads to word of mouth and increased business.
If you had the opportunity to increase your business’ customer loyalty, would you do it? Here is how: Trevor Ketler is one of South Africa’s most renowned and experienced trainers and motivational speakers within the corporate circle. www.ketler.co.za is the tool to your business’ increase customer loyalty! Contact us today for more information!