Regardless of whether you run a PR agency or a fashion boutique, customer loyalty plays a key role in your company’s success. After all, the energy it takes to retain your current clientele should be substantially less than the necessary effort to recruit new buyers. What’s more, a fiercely allegiant customer base can be the best marketing tool at your disposal; no matter how much money you spend on advertising, no promotional message will ever be quite as impactful as word-of-mouth. The below tips provide insights on how to foster enduring relationships with your current customers to ensure loyalty and longevity.
1) Make Customer Relations a Priority Amongst Staff
As a business leader, you’re not able to micromanage every single interaction your workers have with clientele or the public. Therefore, instill solid values within them and, more importantly, firmly cemented plans of action for different scenarios. Make company policies on how to handle disgruntled customers, both in-person and online. Remember, contended employees will naturally bring a positive energy to communications with others, so also take steps to invest in your staff’s satisfaction.
2) Give Incentives for New Customers to Become Repeat Customers
Email and social marketing are affordable ways to further nurture customer relationships. Let people know about new inventory or sales, and perhaps reward loyalty with special, exclusive coupons. Depending on the nature of your product or service, consider whether you could start a membership program. Would signing up allow participants to accrue “points” with each purchase? Would they receive a monthly rate to use your facilities rather than pay per visit? Would there be special VIP privileges? Such bonuses seal the deal with customers to keep them coming back for more.
3) Provide Branded Mementos
By furnishing loyal customers with goods that display your company’s logo, you accomplish two goals at one. Firstly, you’re able to strengthen preexisting relationships and provide the clients with a lasting, positive impression of your organization every time they use the items. Secondly, others will see the recipients writing with your pen, opening up your umbrella, donning your t-shirt, or pulling out your mints. This will serve as a silent endorsement for your company and raise overall awareness. This is why it’s important you put great thought into the chosen gift that will display your logo. Find pieces that align with your overall brand identity. The items should ideally be used on a regular basis and in public forums where they can receive greater exposure.
For example, a customized watch that displays your logo will be seen by others, especially when the wearer shakes hands. Similarly, an attractive tote bag can be handy in a versatile range of settings. Goods that are poorly made, are easily disposable or are essentially useless will serve little purpose, so avoid paper weights, bookmarks, matches, etc.
4) Collect and Incorporate Feedback
Everyone likes having their opinions heard and respected, so why not use customers’ input to make your business better? Not only can you use the knowledge to circumvent troublesome issues, but it can help your clientele feel a sense of pride in your business. For example, if you own an ice cream shop, you can encourage customers to vote for which new flavors they want to see on the menu, the ones that select the winning ice cream will undoubtedly appreciate that their views hold substantial weight in your mind.
5) When Possible, Provide a Human Touch
Automation is quick and efficient, but also impersonal and can backfire. Go above and beyond to interact with your customers. For example, let’s say you offer businesses’ an online file storage and sharing system; you or your staff could follow up with any email-based tech questions by offering to hop on the phone to help the person figure out the situation step-by-step.
Essentially, people are more likely to share an emotional bond with a fellow person rather than a faceless corporation, so add personality and an emotional component into your customer interactions whenever possible.
In regards to all five points suggested above, always be seeking out new possibilities rather than staying with the tactics that seem to work year after year. Just like human relationships, the connections customers have with your business will naturally shift over time, and your strategy should evolve with it. Consistently seek out feedback and new ideas to figure out whether there truly are ways you can improve the bond your clientele shares with your brand.