So you’ve got customers now. But how can you keep them? While there is no way to guarantee you’ll keep customers, some things can certainly go towards improving your odds.
Be loyal to your customers. Recently my family & I were at a car dealership trying to purchase a new vehicle. While there, we contacted the credit union that our last car loan was through. First we were told our loan officer was at lunch. Later we called back and found that to be untrue. In fact she was busy dealing with walk-ins. We called a little bit later, and we were told just to leave a voicemail. Everytime we called, we had to explain that we were 2 hours ahead of them, and we were sitting at the dealership with 3 small children. Did I mention we spoke with the same lady each time we called? One of the phone calls, she even sighed dramatically at my request that she let our loan officer know were were trying to reach her.
I understand the need to gather new clients, but ignoring long standing members in order to get said clients isn’t wise. So here’s 5 things you can do, to retain your customers loyalty.
Sighing and being dramatic is not appropriate or professional. Even if you believe the customer is wrong, even if they are downright rude, you maintain professionalism. No swearing, sighing, or excuses. Find a way to keep them/make them happy.
2. Make them feel special.
Your mileage may vary, depending on your business. If you know their birthday, send them a handwritten birthday card (professional content please!). Address them as Mr./Mrs./Miss unless they specifically request otherwise. If they’ve been a customer for a while, offer them a small free service, or give them a discount in their birthday month.
3. Be quality.
Where I live, we have a grocery store called Publix. Growing up in Texas, I’d never heard of Publix. But here, people may shop at Krogers, or Wal-Mart, or Publix, or Aldi. Those who shop at the other stores, will often switch which store they use, based on convenience. But we know loyal Publix fans. Ones who have liked them on social networking sites, and who will drive all the way across town to shop there. Why? It’s not their prices. Frequently they are more expensive than the other locations. It’s not their location..they literally have the most inconvenient location in my town. It’s their brand. They are quality. Their store is cleaner than any grocery store in its price range. It’s got produce that always seems fresher than the other locations. They have a wider selection of produce, and meats, and specialty items. And those who have experienced them, usually love them.
4. Stay true to your brand.
Your best customers will be those who connect with your brand. You’re also far more likely to attract the customers you want, if you stay true to what you/your company represent. If you want to be a clown, you’re probably not going to dress like an attorney. If your brand is professional, maintain that through & through. Have professionally taken headshots, of you in professional attire. Keep the website clean & crisp. If your brand is meant to attract teenagers, keep it bright & funky. Have a silly bio. Keep the language low key & casual. Embrace you!
5. Ask them what you can do.
Periodically, select a few of your best clients & ask them what you can do to improve things. Maybe there’s a new service they’ve really been wishing you’d offer. Maybe they want incentives for referrals. Maybe they think you’re perfect, in which case you’ve gained an encouraging word for yourself. Maybe they’ll even write you a testimonial. At the very least, they will probably be flattered that you asked their opinion. (See step #2)
What are your favorite tips to encourage customer loyalty? Please share them in the comments!
- The True Cost Of Customer Loyalty! (knockoutcustomerservice.com)
- “Better targeting” is not the panacea to customer loyalty (socialcustomer.com)
- Publix ranks as one of best grocery stores in Consumer Reports survey (tcpalm.com)