In most situations, it is more cost effective to retain a customer than find a new one. With existing customers, it is also easier to upsell and cross sell. How do you improve levels of customer loyalty in your business, however? Here are 17 tips.
1. Develop personal relationships
This is straightforward if you have a sales team that sells to customers personally. It is more difficult if you have large numbers of customers that purchase from you electronically, or by visiting your shop. You can overcome this using social media and/or email marketing.
2. Communicate using a method the customer prefers
Talking of communication, you should use your customer’s preferred method. If they contact you by email, you should respond by email. The same applies if they phone you, contact you through social media, or any other method
3. Use social media
Social media has already been mentioned a few times. Having a social media presence in itself can also improve loyalty as it gives your brand/company a personality – when done right.
4. Give something your competitors don’t
This doesn’t have to be price-based. For example, you can offer enhanced levels of customer service, a greater selection, how-to guides, or lower cost delivery.
5. Be as convenient as possible
Make sure your customers can contact you or purchase from you at a time that suits them. This doesn’t mean you have to be available all the time – customers have to be reasonable too. Closing on days that customers might expect you to be open, or ignoring help requests over a weekend, could result in lost sales, though.
6. Have robust customer service policies
Make sure you have a comprehensive customer service policy in place, and ensure your staff is well-trained on how to implement it. Review the policy and the performance of your staff on a regular basis.
7. Know your customers
The more you know about your customers, the more likely they are to be loyal to you. This is sometimes challenging if your customers are hard to define as a single group. In cases like this, you should segment them into more easily defined groups. You can then determine what each segment likes/dislikes about your brand or products.
8. Ask for feedback
Continuously ask customers for feedback. When you get feedback, don’t be defensive or dismissive, and don’t be accusatory with members of your team. Instead, use it constructively to make improvements.
9. Offer the best quality product or service possible
Everything has to start from this point as without it, nothing else matters.
10. Focus on the detail
Details are important. Things like arriving on time, saying you will do what you say you will do, and anticipating problems, all help.
11. Be visible
Stay front of mind with your customers through marketing and PR efforts. This includes remaining active in the local community or in your industry.
12. Personalise communications
Make all communications you send as personal as possible. At the very least, you should address customers by name whenever you can.
13. Give existing customers something extra
This could be extra discounts, lower minimum order quantities, or something else that differentiates you from the competition.
14. Follow up with customers who stop buying from you
Contact customers who have stopped buying from you to ask them why. Don’t use the contact as a sales pitch, however. Genuinely request the reasons so you can make improvements. Once the improvements are made, you can go back to them to let them know.
15. Deal with complaints positively and proactively
When complaints are dealt with properly, you will improve your business. In addition, customers who make complaints are likely to remain loyal, if you deal with the complaint well.
16. Make sure you’re not doing anything that annoys you
Be aware when you are a consumer or buyer. What annoys you? Make sure your business is not doing any of these things.
17. Do something unexpected
Surprising your customers improves engagement, makes you more memorable, and increases the likelihood that they will continue buying from you.
For more tips and advice running your business, please contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon team today.