Customer loyalty: how to make your business grow in the right direction
Marketing studies affirm that a loyal client ends up spending, over time, ten times the amount on your product or service that they spent on their first purchase. On the other hand, selling to a new client is six times more difficult than selling to an established customer. A client only exists if they exist in time, so it’s time to get the Fourth Dimension working for you! Customer loyalty will contribute so much to your business, and not only to your bottom line. They can evangelize for your product or service, be a data source on how the public interacts with your company, even a future employee or collaborator.
-Treat them right
You don’t have to put a ring on it, but respect and familiarity is the way to anyone’s heart, and a client is no exception. Treat them right and they will keep coming back, or at least think twice before going to the competition.
-Anchor your client
After winning the client over with your tact and charm you don’t want them to forget about you when you are not around, so how about reminding them that they are always on your mind? You need to “anchor” your clients, give them a little treat that shows you’re thinking about them, and that will make them think about you in return.
If you’ve carried out a study of your clients you could send them some targeted coupons, for goods or services they have bought before, or send them a handwritten letter thanking them for their customer loyalty during all these years. Christmas cards are a nice touch, but a message on their birthday is an even nicer personal touch, even if it was automatically delivered straight from the heart of your data center.
-Don’t let your customer service be anything less than first class
Forewarned is forearmed, so the more information you can collect on your clients the better: their consumption patterns, their behavior, the most frequently recurring problems or queries they have…This knowledge will be a great help when solving your customers’ issues in the future, or even anticipating them before they occur. Your customers will appreciate your speedy response and attention.
-The personal touch
Every client is different and no one wants to be thought of as just a number, so make your interactions as personal as possible. Craft questionnaires, ask for feedback, use as many channels of communication as you can to get closer to your clients and find out their likes and dislikes, their preferences and needs. Crunching client data in a server somewhere may not sound very personal but it is going to help you provide the personal touch that will give you an edge over the competition.
-Keep a candle in the window
Your client may have a very occasional relationship with your business, but however much time passes it’s never a bad idea to remind them that you’re still open for business. Send them the occasional reminder – an email on a business anniversary (check LinkedIn, for example), a quick survey for them to complete and return, tickets for a draw, a discount voucher, anything to remind them that you are still open for business.
-Take care of your exes
Just because a relationship comes to a natural end doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends. Remember the old saying, where there was fire the embers still glow. Maybe your client doesn’t need your service any more, but they can still recommend you to someone else. They may even find themselves one day falling out of love with their new provider and longing to be back in the familiar, loving arms of their first supplier. If it was your fault it didn’t work the first time around learn from your mistakes (or keep a record of best practices to apply in future).
If all your gentle reminders don’t work, remember, there’s no law against stalking a client. Old love never dies.
Customer Relationship Management software may not sound exactly personal, but if there’s one thing to take away from this article it is the fact that technology can facilitate human relationships, including the B2C relationship.
A CRM platform is an invaluable help when it comes to organization. Keep tabs on client accounts, contacts, leads, invoicing, and basically everything related to your relationship with your client. If you are handling thousands of clients and their associated paperwork and administrative functions you could take a look at Integria IMS.
-Implement a loyalty plan
They say you can’t buy customer loyalty, but you can coax it out of your customers, little by little, with a customer loyalty program. Discounts, special events, a loyalty card, product previews, who doesn’t like to feel special? Make your clients feel like they’re one in a million and you can count on them to come back time after time.
-Raise your social media profile
Generate online content related to your sector via blogs, or social media platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, and involve your clients through these channels. Get them to participate in comments sections, or competitions and draws. Look for partnerships with NGOs that can increase your feel-good factor and get people associating your brand with positive emotions.
-Participate in good causes
Look for partnerships with NGOs that can increase your feel-good factor and get people associating your brand with positive emotions. Choose a cause that has some connection with you or your business, or even on behalf of a client. You’ll be helping others and, indirectly, helping your business. Win-win.
-Keep track of your customer loyalty initiatives
All your good work will be for naught if the actions you initiate don’t get you the results you’re looking for. You need data-driven feedback on the results of your activity, which is another reason why investing in CRM software is a wise use of your budget.
These are just a few ideas that the good people of Integria have suggested, but maybe we’ve forgotten something? Do you have any tips for winning over customers that we haven’t mentioned? If so, let us know by leaving a comment below.