Here is the cold hard truth: if you don’t have customers, you are not making any money. You may have a great business idea, but if it never sells, your business will never succeed. The key for any business to strive to achieve is obtain customer loyalty and maintain it. Sure, it is a wonderful accomplishment to gain that dollar from your first customer, but you want the customer to come back and hand over another. By having repeat customers, you are not only making more money, you are made aware that your product/service is good and people want more of it. There are various ways to maintain customer loyalty, here are a few examples how:
Great Customer Service
This may seem like an obvious point, but it is an important one nonetheless. You are likely to keep customers if they have a great experience buying your product or service. This means that your employees are your biggest asset. It is beneficial to hire enthusiastic individuals who have expertise in your unique business field. By employing knowledgeable people who are passionate about their jobs, they will create a pleasant, helpful atmosphere for every customer they come in contact with. Happy employees result in happy customers!
Trust is everything when it comes down to what a customer chooses to buy; they want to buy a product they know will work. Not everything is 100% perfect, however. Things are bound to go wrong. When they do, it is how you handle and resolve complaints that will set you apart from the competition. Your willingness to recognize and resolve the problem will prove to the customer that you care and this will save your business in the long run.
Make it Personal
Nothing pleases someone more than unexpected gifts. By surprising a customer with thoughtful gestures such as thank you cards, complimentary samples, upgrades, etc., their experience becomes personalized and they are bound to remember it. At Lemonlight Media, they have taken the custom of following up with their clients a month after they’ve delivered the finalized product.
Set up a Rewards Program
Give customers an opportunity to be loyal! Most people love a red carpet treatment, why not give them a similar VIP experience within your own business. Rewards programs don’t have to be complicated. Offer an annual discount on their anniversary or give them access to exclusive promotions via email. There are many avenues to go with a Loyalty program, so choose one that works best for your business.
Market through Social Media
People are busy and have a tendency to forget. To keep their memories sharp, give them gentle reminders via posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. People scroll through these apps daily and may be intrigued by one of your updates. Remember, try not to sell through social media because people are often turned off by advertisements. Share your story: the daily happenings, new products or highlight a worthy employee.
Provide Customer Incentives
This can be in the form of punch cards for a free coffee or a buy one get on free deal. Customer incentives will give someone a reason to return. Everyone loves to save a dollar and are immediately drawn to discounts and freebies. You can use customer incentives during slow periods or to promote a new product. Make sure it fits in with your marketing strategy and works well with your target audience.
Retaining customers can be a balancing act, but building customer loyalty will pay off because it costs more to attract new customers than maintain old ones. Furthermore, a loyal customer is more willing to refer your business on to their family and friends. Follow a few of the above guidelines and watch how the customers return again and again.