You can get foot traffic to your business with special events, discounts and a great marketing plan, but retaining customers requires something else. In their drive to attract more new customers, businesses often make the mistake of ignoring their existing ones. This is a serious misstep for a variety of reasons. Most businesses report that the vast majority of their sales can be attributed to existing customers. Reliable data shows that not only do return customers buy more things, more frequently, but they also purchase more expensive products. Creating customer relationships and loyalty should be paramount for any business. Here are a few ideas that might help do just that.
People gravitate to individuals and entities they can trust. Gaining your consumers' trust is one of the most important steps you can take to build loyalty. Be transparent with your customers whenever you can, even if what you have to share is not good. People intrinsically understand that a business that will be honest with bad news is one they can trust. Be willing to take responsibility when a customer is unhappy with something whether that be with an employee, a product or a price. Nothing destroys trust quite like getting the feeling that a business is trying to take advantage of you or is willing to sacrifice your satisfaction for their profit. Even small things can convey honesty or a lack thereof to a potential buyer. Don't ask your reps to use a canned script; instead, empower them to speak naturally and openly with customers. Don't try to be clever in the way you word your policies; make information accessible and clear. Even using a CNAM service so that prospects know that it's you when you call them shows a willingness to be forthright and honest.
Show Your Appreciation
Make sure that your greatest asset, your customer, knows how much you value them. Find ways to reward them for being loyal to you. Be certain that you are using a great customer satisfaction platform. The right program will help you keep track of existing customers which will then allow you to develop multiple customer appreciation programs. Create an active email communication strategy, customer blog or newsletter to keep in touch with customers. Offer them ongoing information and support for the products they have purchased and other topics that might be of interest to them. Acknowledge your loyal customers on special days like their birthdays. This is also a great time to offer them some kind of little gift such as a coupon, discount or even a small free item. Other ideas would be to start a customer appreciation program, hold a special sale for existing customers only or hold drawings that give them an opportunity to win products or to upgrade a product they already own.
Share Their Values
Hopefully, you've done the legwork to build a profile of your average customer. Make sure you understand what your customers see as important, and support and share their values. Avoid making all your communication with your customers a sales pitch. Through your newsletter, website or blog, share stories and news that will be of interest to them, even if the topics have little or nothing to do with your product. As a company, participate in supporting causes that speak to customers' values and share what you are doing through social media. Research has repeatedly shown that customers will remain loyal to a brand that shares their values even if that brand's products are more expensive than its competitors.
All businesses have something to sell, whether that is a product, a service or information. Of course, you are going to dedicate many resources to attracting new customers; however, never neglect the customers you already have. Deal with your customers with integrity, let them know they are valued and communicate with them about the things they hold most dear. A loyal customer is an asset whose value should never be underestimated.
Publish Date: September 15, 2021 5:40 PM