I have complied a list of my top tips for customer loyalty – I have listened to various talks and You Tube videos, read presentations, copy and white papers and attended various conference and this is what i think:
One of the keys to maintaining a thriving business is a steady customer base. A successful company typically sees 80 percent of its business come from 20 percent of its customers. Add to this the fact that the cost of attracting new customers is significantly more than that of maintaining a relationship with existing ones, and you have a powerful incentive to keep that core group of customers happy. Yet too many businesses neglect this loyal customer base in pursuit of new customers.
Communicate with Customers.
Whether it’s an email newsletter, a monthly flier, a reminder card for a tuneup, or a holiday greeting card, set up a system for reaching out to the customers you already have. Dedicate time to creating and maintaining a database of contact information, including phone, email, and snail mail addresses. If there’s 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.
Anticipate customer wishes.
When a customer’s need is met before it has been expressed, it sends the message that you care about the customer as an individual. It doesn’t require telepathic ability, just paying attention and knowing your customers.
It’s well worth the effort. The cared-for feeling a customer gets when her wishes are anticipated is where you can generate the fierce loyalty.
For example: Instead of putting up one of those generic signs saying “If our restrooms need attention, please notify the staff,” Charlie Trotter’s famed restaurant in Chicago long ago decided on a proactive system: They themselves discreetly check the towels and soaps after every use, thus never leaving the next guest’s experience at the whim of the last, nor ever putting a guest in the awkward position of having to ask for supplies or maintenance.
Show your personality.
When customers choose to interact with a person at your company, they want the transaction to be, well, human — even in an online interaction.
For example, why send emails to customers from a Please-do-not-reply-to-this address? Instead, if possible, invite recipients, even of your mass emails, to respond directly — and, of course, make sure someone answers those replies when they come.
Spoil your best customers
Look after your most loyal customers. Send them promotional codes and treat them to free delivery on their orders. This is a great strategy to use for the year's gift-giving periods (Christmas, Father's Day, Valentine's Day etc.). Your customers will stay loyal and keep coming back.
Understand the true purpose of marketing.
Effective marketing is largely about building trust and developing relationships. The purpose of marketing is to "create and maintain a strong feeling with customers so they are mentally predisposed to continually choose and recommend you." Successful marketing also requires being relevant and unique. This brings us to tip #2.
Identify and build your brand.
We're not talking about your logo, marketing "look," or tagline, although you should have those tools in your marketing kit. Branding that builds genuine customer loyalty goes beyond what the eye can see. It's branding at the emotional, sensory and gut-feeling level. Your brand is what your business is known for, how you engage with customers and what people can depend on you to consistently deliver. It's a compilation of your most important strengths. What would a customer referring someone to your business say about you? "They go out of their way to find resources and solutions for me." "The staff is warm and caring; you can feel it the minute you walk in the office." Identify your brand and leverage it to see customer loyalty and referrals increase. Don't be shy about showcasing your uniqueness and strengths.
Social networks: a direct connection to your customers
Social networks provide companies with a great opportunity to increase their visibility and establish good customer relationships: a direct connection with internet users. If you don't have a brand page then create one now. Facebook and Google are essential tools to secure customer loyalty. For example, your customer may have a question and go on Facebook to post it as they know they'll get a fast and personalised reply. A visitor who feels they've been listened to is more likely to come back to your website and share their positive experience on social networks. Considering that 85% of internet users read customer reviews before placing an order, increasing your presence on social networking sites is a no-brainer.
You could also ask your customers what improvements they would like to see on your website or services. Why? To get your customers talking about your website and get information about their expectations to satisfy their demands.
Fast and personalised replies, reductions or gifts for your best customersâ€¦You've got it, customer loyalty is all about the little things. Use our four tips, stand back and watch your customers come back to your website.
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