What are the biggest challenges right now in gaining customer loyalty? This is a question I posed on Linkedin this week. Here are three of the best answers that came back.
Bruce Tutty (XML IT Manager for On Holiday Group) said:
To be honest these issues have never changed, and neither has the answer. Know your products, sell quality, and listen to your customer.
This is no different regardless of economic conditions, its just that in harder times you have to prove harder what you are worth it to customers.
This combined with the vast majority of companies that still think hard-sell works, means people are turning away from marketeers, and towards customer reviews, which they trust more.
Danielle Sterling (Director of Operations at Tim Hortons) said:
Customers with economic times are looking to save money when it comes to purchases. I find that customers are not as brand loyal as previously thought. However, when a company delivers exceptional service that is on the top of the mind of the customer it gains their loyalty. I personally would rather pay the extra dollar for exceptional customer service than just mediocre service!
Kenneth Larson (Retired Aerospace Contracts Manager, MicroMentor Volunteer and Founder Smalltofeds) said:
The following principles have served me well across 6,000 customers over the last 7 years. They keep issues from arising, deal with economic downturns and result in loyal clientele:
1. Do not promise what you cannot deliver
2. Do not overextend your resources and get a reputation for poor performance.
3. Do not tell the customer what he or she wants to hear. Tell them what they need to know. They will respect you for it.
4. Network constantly on professional sites such as Linked In. Hit the “Answers” feature and accumulate an “Expert” rating from your peers in your field.
5. Blog like there is no tomorrow. A blog is quite different than a web site. Provide good, solid information free of charge and use blog searches for synergistic businesses to team with. Teaming is an absolute necessity these days.
6. Be prepared to provide information, samples and valuable service gratis as a marketing tool. Introduce yourself and then immediately engage the client with your presentation tools available to bring your expertise to whatever topic they are interested in. Let them take you where they want to go with their concerns and their needs. Apply your presentation tools and expertise dynamically on the fly in a sincere manner to those concerns and needs and you will be in demand for follow up business.
7. Quote and bill what the client can afford and grow with him (in content and resources).
8. Be dedicated to working yourself out of a job with a specific customer and having your client take over by training him. He will remember you and recommend you to 10 others.
9. Remember growth is a function of persistence and foresight. Know where your market is headed and get their first – then write and speak about your success indirectly by helping others. Demonstrate humility and a satisfaction in helping others succeed. They will find ways to give you credit. There are ways of tooting your horn without making peoples’ lights go out.
10. Word of mouth advertising from pleased clients is a sure ticket to success.
What would you add to this? Join the discussion by commenting below or join our Customer Love Linkedin group