Maintaining Customer Loyalty
Securing customer loyalty in today’s tough market should be at the top of every business owner’s “To-Do” List. The statistics are well known. It takes more time, effort and company money to procure a new client than it does to maintain the loyalty of a current one. Therefore maintaining the loyalty of your customers should be of paramount importance. Let’s examine some conventional and not-so-conventional techniques to keep customers returning to your business.
- Good Communication – Once you have a client one of the best ways to keep them is to keep the conversation going. This might be in the form of emails, regular check ins or even through holiday cards or postcards with reminders and special offers for returning customers. If your business has a social media component, keep the information flowing through those avenues as well. Post important articles, offers or current info about your field to keep customers coming back.
- Customer Service – Going hand-in-hand with communication is the customer service component. If a client calls, writes or somehow communicates an issue or question, get on it right away. No one likes to wait when they have an urgent business issue so try to make them top priority and provide them with top class customer service. This will be remembered when it comes time to renew a contract or decide on purchases.
- Incentives and Special Offers – Everyone loves a good deal especially when it rewards loyalty. Customer incentives give people a reason to return to your business. They come in a variety of forms; buy two and get one free, frequent shopper points, rebates, adding a free service to the sale, gifts, and gift cards all offer enticement for people to choose your business when they decide to spend their hard-earned dollars.
- Anticipate the Needs of the Customer – Once you have begun to understand your client and the needs of their company, now is the time to show off your organization and customer service abilities by anticipating the clients needs. For example, do you know that the client offers a big sale in the fall? (B2B) Check in with them prior to the event to make sure all their needs are met. Does the client usually have a huge boost in service calls at a certain time? Be ready with all their needs in advance. In fact, check in with them to show that you are thinking about their company in advance.
- Admit your faults – In the case that customer service or some other component of the B2B or B2C relationship has failed make sure to right those wrongs. If a mistake was made, apologize and be sure to show the client how the company has learned from the error.