Most businesses spend more time and energy trying to find new customers instead of retaining those they have. The logic behind customer retention is simple it costs far less money to keep customers happy than to spend much more money recruiting new ones. Loyal customers tell their friends about your business and will spend more money than new customers.
As competition among companies is increasing with every passing minute, therefore almost all of the companies are emphasizing on providing the excellent and good products and services to the customers. The survival of the firms lies in the retention of the loyal customers for long term basis to get long term profits.
Have you ever noticed how skeptical and tight-fisted new customers can be? For online marketers, it’s a problem that comes with the territory. And the attitudes of new customers and prospects are perfectly understandable. After all, your business probably isn’t on the other side of town; it may be on the other side of the country or of the world. So each new customer wants to check you out. Test you. Make sure you provide value. Long-time customers are so much easier to deal with. They know, like and trust you. They are confident that if they pay you money, you return value. But customer loyalty doesn’t happen overnight.
This is great news for you! Why? Because many of your competitors lack the skills and the patience to cultivate solid customer relationships, by implementing these techniques:
- You can position your company miles ahead of the competition.
- You can set up an online customer loyalty program that’s a profit center, not a cost burden.
- Grow your marketing list with ideal customers who love to respond to your offers.
- Tweak your marketing program for maximum performance and profitability.
THE SEVEN STEPS
STEP ONE: COMMUNICATE WITH CUSTOMERS
Whether it’s an email newsletter, a monthly flier, a reminder card for a tune up, or a holiday greeting card, set up a system for reaching out to the customers you already have. Dedicate time to create and maintain a database of contact information, including phone and email addresses. If there is a social media element to your business, invite people to your page or website and keep that online element fresh. Remember that all of your messages don’t need to be advertising; some can be useful information or can serve the community. In the long run, communication will pay off.
STEP TWO: PROVIDE GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE
Good customer service means going the extra mile to meet customer needs. Customers remember being treated well and positive customer experiences result in repeat business. Pay attention to customer concerns and complaints. By letting you know when they are dissatisfied, your customers give you an opportunity to resolve their issue and to improve your service.
Make sure that there’s a clear and accessible way for customers to communicate with you, whether it’s in person, by phone, or by email, and that you have someone assigned to customer service on an ongoing basis. Remember to maintain an upbeat and positive attitude toward your customers; the reputation of your business is at stake.
STEP THREE: BUILD EMPLOYEE LOYALTY
A very popular maxim says “fish stinks from the head down.” Put in a more positive light, loyalty starts at the top and works its way throughout the company. If you are competent, you will earn your employees’ respect. If you have integrity in all of your dealings, your employees will be proud to work with you. If you are consistent in your decisions and actions and display a willingness to protect your employees, you will earn their trust. These qualities will build your employees’ loyalty to you and the business. And if you are loyal to your employees, they will feel good about their jobs and pass that loyalty along to your customers. Reward those who exceed the standards and provide development for those who do not.
STEP FOUR: TRAIN EMPLOYEES THOROUGHLY
Your employees are the face of your company, and training can empower them to make your company prosper. Training sessions should be a positive experience; boring training sessions are a waste of time and money and foster a negative attitude toward the company. Encourage your employees to engage in training and explain how it will help them on the job and why it’s good for business. An excellent way to teach is on-the-job training, which facilitates on-the-spot demonstration of best practices.
STEP FIVE: PROVIDE CUSTOMER INCENTIVES
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 money. Coordinate your incentive program with your marketing efforts and make sure the incentive is appropriate for your target audience. You can use the incentive program to boost business during slow seasons and to promote new products.
STEP SIX: PROMOTE PRODUCT AWARENESS
It may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s forgotten in the competitive hustle of the marketplace that knowing your own product or service is essential to growing your business. Make sure that your staff understands everything they can about your products and service, including old standbys that just keep selling.
Break the business down into categories and show what’s selling well, who it’s selling to, and what’s not working. Talk about the history of the company, which products were hits, and why. Know what your steady patrons purchase and keep these items in stock. Talk about how new products grow out of the old ones, and encourage brainstorming on ideas for the future.
STEP SEVEN: BUILD A REPUTATION FOR RELIABILITY
Your company’s reputation is closely related to the reliability of your products and service. The more reliable these are, the more likely your company is to have a favorable reputation. If you say a purchase will arrive on Wednesday, deliver it on Wednesday. If you say that a service will be provided by 3 p.m. on Thursday, do your best to make that happen.
Be reliable, communicate clearly, honor your promises and warranties, and be considerate of your customers’ time and concerns. If something goes wrong, let customers know immediately and compensate them for the inconvenience.
If you methodically take these seven steps, you can take control of your innovativeness out of the hands of chaos, generate greater customer loyalty, maximize your profitability, and you will create a readiness for which your workforce is proud to work, your supply chain is confident in your leadership, and your customers are delighted to place repeat orders.
Communicating with customers, providing great customer service, building employee loyalty, training employees thoroughly, providing customer incentives, promoting product awareness and building a reputation for reliability are the concise steps you need to accomplish for the above objectives. All of it depends on developing and conveying current, accurate and consolidated information to every aspect of your enterprise from a connected supply chain and an objective-driven workforce, to a delighted clientele. Knowledge is power. Knowledge is king. Take the next seven steps and be that powerful king; the leader of your industry.
Customer service is what you
and your organisation provide.
Customer loyalty is the result of the service.