It is becoming increasingly difficult to retain loyal customers. This is partially due to the ever growing number of business entities that spring up like mushrooms every day. This makes it imperative for you as a business owner to retain and satisfy your customers at all costs.
These six tips below will help you wow your customers, guarantee their loyalty, and keep them coming back for more.
1. Surprise them occasionally.
Giving your customers occasional surprises goes a long way in ensuring that they remain loyal to you. You may decide to give them rewards occasionally or invest in other creative ideas and surprises.
Related: Customer Loyalty Is Spelled N-P-S
For instance, if you sell computers and computer accessories, you may send accessories to some customers with a small note reminding them that you always think of them and appreciate their patronage.
2. Make use of gift cards.
Using gift cards or cash cards as it may be called is becoming an increasingly desirable way to maintain customer loyalty. Initially, it used to be popular with young people. But today, it has increased in popularity with virtually anyone that enjoys shopping.
They also serve as a subtle advertisement to customers, reminding them that you are always ready to meet their needs. Small businesses often issue brand-specific gift cards that can only be used within their stores. However, studies have shown that customers prefer cash-value cards. While these charge a higher fee to the purchaser, it’s a solid investment towards retaining customers.
There are a plethora of stores accessible online to purchase general-purpose cards for reasonable fees -- One4all, Tesco, Target and Zeek, just to mention a few. Zeek, for instance, sells and buy unwanted gift cards and vouchers. And they even allow you to buy your gift card/voucher at a discounted rate, which saves you some money as well.
Another benefit of using gift cards is that consumers who are given the cards are more likely to come back, compared to customers that do not have them. A very simple explanation for this is that customers with gift cards will want to spend the balance on the cards.
3. Automate non-value added work.
Many Managers and entrepreneurs don't devote their full attention on making their customers happy because they lose a lot time on moving information from one communication platform to another. To avoid that, automate non-value added work. Then focus on providing good customer support, and less on managing software.
For example, you might receive a customer complaint in Zendesk (a help desk tool) and ato-do can be automatically created for your team to solve in Active Collab (a project management tool). Then, when the task is completed in Project Management platform, a message can be automatically sent to the customer.
This way, you don’t have to worry if someone forgot to solve a customer problem because it got lost in the chain of communication.
4. Keep your customers abreast of new developments.
According to Will Reynolds, the CEO of Contract Works, “Building rapport with your client starts with creating an easy to understand contract that outlines how your company will deliver services to meet their needs. Customers want to feel like they’re part of a community; that they’re up to date on what’s happening at your business and how it impacts them.”
A typical example is when you realize that there may be a little delay in the delivery of an order placed by a customer. Ordinarily, such delay may be viewed as insignificant and may be overlooked. But, a simple email, chat or phone call to the customer explaining why there is the delay may go a long way in showing the customer that you really care about him or her.
The gesture may be simple, but the customer will have a hard time forgetting it.
Way too many customers complain at the slightest delay not because the delay had any significant effect on them, but because the silence from you didn’t make them feel valued.
5. When you do wrong, make it right.
Resolving customer complaints is the best way to build customer loyalty. By handling complaints in a professional manner, you earn the opportunity to fix the problem and regain customer trust.
The personalized attention it takes to resolve customer issues, if handled promptly and accurately, will create a sense of trust and loyalty.
6. Reward loyal customers.
In the words of Margarita Hakobyan, the CEO and founder of Movers Corp, “If you have customers that have been with you for a very long period of time, they should be made to feel important or to have a greater status in your business as befitting their patronage.”
Related: 3 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty
Below are a few amazing ways you can do this;
- Invite these loyal customers to previews of upcoming services or sales.
- Occasionally give them discounts.
- Compile data on customer birthdays and send birthday greetings to these loyal customers when due.
“Of all the tools and resources needed for business success, customers are the most overlooked, yet they hold the key to business growth. They say the customer is king and I couldn’t agree more”, says Cliff Auerswald, the President of Reverse Mortgage.
Here’s to that big boom in your business.