The function of every business is to get and keep customers. – Ted Levitt, Senior Professor at Harvard Business School. Consequently, it is also the function of every employee of every business to do the same. Keeping customers long-long term is crucial to the success of any business.
It can cost, on average, four to six times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one. Once you have attracted a new customer, how can you build customer loyalty and build a long-term relationship?
What are some tips to getting this done you ask? Viola! We have found several ways to help you build customers for life.
Create VIP’s. Human nature is such that people want to receive courteous, accommodating, hospitable, genuine customer service when and where they decide to spend their hard-earned money. Studies have shown that people are even willing to pay a little more for a product than they would pay your competitor in return for white-glove treatment. Every human being has a need to feel special. Do you keep this in mind? Why are you different? What are you known for? If your customer were to go to your competition, they would not only expect, but demand the same level of service they get from you. Are you merely matching your competition currently? Or are you going above and beyond in order to teach your customer new standards so that they feel special and well taken care of in your hands? If you are truly creating an unmatched experience for your customers they won’t even think about turning to someone else for a fear of inferior treatment. Plus, they will appreciate your efforts!
Guarantee Your Products and/or Services. Take responsibility for everything you do. This can make a huge difference especially if the customer has complaints. Make sure the customer knows you mean it. If a customer has a problem use it as an opportunity to stand behind everything you do and differentiate yourself from others they have done business with in the past. Many people expect to be ignored or pushed off to the “Not My Problem” line. It is like a breath of fresh air when someone acknowledges their issue, attempts to correct the error, and makes sure they have been updated with the results. Also – be sure to be honest. If you made a mistake, own up to it. We are all human and are aware that no one is perfect. Many times it is your reaction that decides their feeling towards the situation. This leads me to the next tip.
Survey Your Customers. I mean for honest answers. Find out if you are doing a good job. If there is a problem, react quickly. Most customers are not very likely to complain to you if they are unhappy. They are more likely to tell someone else or just move on to the next company to take care of them. Ultimately, you should find out from them what they thought. You can do this through a survey, phone call, email or text, or other more creative methods.
Say “Thank You.” You may have “wined and dined’ them to get their business. They finally purchase and then what? Don’t forget to say Thanks! This can be done over the phone, through a mailed thank you note, and email, etc. Leave an impression with them that will keep them coming back.
Deliver a Clear Message. What are you known for? You are the guys that ______? How would one of your customers finish that sentence? How would you like them to finish that sentence? Is your message clear? Make sure the customer knows why you are different and why they are smart for choosing you over others. Your entire team should know why you are different and be able educate and reinforce this to your customer. Your customer will be confident in their awesome decision to choose you!
Follow the Golden Rule. Put yourself in your customers shoes. Sit down and take a moment to think of what a good experience would be like with your company. Go through the process. Write it down. Now, what would make it great? What would make you tell someone else about it? What would make you keep coming back for more? Try adding just one of these steps into your process at a time and see the positive effects it has on customer loyalty.