15 ways to build customer loyalty
1.Let customers know what you are doing for them
This can be done via a quick informal phone call or a friendly email newsletter – either way, you want to subtlety let your customers know about all the work you have been doing for them. For example, you may have spent part of your weekend fixing up a few problems for a customer – you can hint about this when you follow up the next week. It’s important to realize you are not being cocky here; you are simple letting them know you value their business and are willing to go the extra mile for them.
2. Write a personal letter
For long time clients, get personal. Tell them you value there business. Send them a letter like this. “I was grabbing a coffee the other day and your name popped into my head. How has business been for you? Are you on track to hit your targets this year?” Be genuinely interested in their business and life, be personal.
3. Remember special occasions
Send regular customers birthday cards and holiday cards. Try not to be boring (like all the other companies). If you can make these special cards/gifts unique in your own way, that will go a long way to building customer loyalty. Use your creatively and find a way to tie the gift ideas into your business, the customers’ business or his/her personal life.
4. Follow up calls with customers are business development opportunities
When you talk to your customers, they’ll probably have referrals to give you. Make sure you take an open approach to every contact you have with each of your customer, you never know what new business you can get out of it.
5. Go to where you customers hang out
If you want to create customer evangelists, you need to hang out where they already are. If they’re on Facebook, or LinkedIn – jump on there and engage them. If they are on a wildly popular body building forum, start contributing discussions on there.
6. Make customer retention a priority
This may seem pretty obvious, but I’m serious. Make a commitment to put customer retention at top of the list. If you spent as much time building customer loyalty and retaining customers, as you did acquiring new customers, you’d have the world’s best advocates and a 100% retention rate!
7. Owners must lead from the front
Let’s face it; everyone loves dealing with the business owner. There’s something about dealing with the face of a company, the number one man, the boss in charge. As the business owner or CEO, you should be the one engaging existing customers and building customer loyalty. Make this your priority and not anyone else’s.
8. Understand the true purpose of marketing
Effective marketing is about building trust and developing relationships. Too many times people think marketing is just push a bunch of ads and they will come. Well, it’s not that easy. Tom Asacker, marketing author, explains the purpose of marketing it to ‘create and maintain a strong feeling with customers so they are mentally predisposed to continually choose and recommend you’. Building customer loyalty is about building trust and developing relationships – you see how it’s all interlinked?
9. Tap into what your customers want
By understanding what you customers actually want, you can build relationships that are memorable and set you apart from the competition. Focus on understanding each of your customers on an individual level and find out what really makes them tick, and why they like doing business with you.
10. When you do wrong, make it right
Resolving customer complaints is the best way to build customer loyalty. By handling complaints in a professional manner, you earn the opportunity to fix the problem and regain customer trust. In doing so, you engage your customer on an emotional level. Providing you resolve the problem, you customer now has a very unique experience with you, and you have shown first hand your willingness to recognize the problem and go out your way to ensure it is fixed and won’t happen again. Customers love this.