A successful company typically sees 80 percent of its business come from 20 percent of its customers. Add to this the fact that the cost of attracting new customers is significantly more than that of maintaining a relationship with existing ones, and you have a powerful incentive to keep that core group of customers happy. Yet too many businesses neglect this loyal customer base in pursuit of new customers.
Follow these 5 tips to increase and maintain greater customer loyalty:
- Communicate with your customers
Whether it’s an email newsletter or a holiday greeting card, set up a system for reaching out to the customers you already have. Dedicate time to creating and maintaining a database of contact information, including phone, email and snail mail addresses. If there’s a social media element to your business, invite people to your page or website and keep that online element fresh.
- Provide great customer service
Customers remember being treated well and positive experiences result in repeated business. Pay attention to your customers concerns and complaints. By letting you know that they’re dissatisfied, your customers give the opportunity to resolve their issue and to improve your service. Remember to maintain a positive and upbeat attitude towards your customers; the reputation of your business is at stake.
- Build employee loyalty, too
If you have integrity in all of your dealings, your employees will be proud to work for and with you. If you’re consistent in your decisions and actions and display a willingness to protect your employees, you’ll earn their trust. All of these qualities will build your employees’ loyalty to you and your business. If you’re loyal to your employees, they’ll feel good about their jobs and pass that loyalty along to your customers.
- Provide customer incentives
Customer incentives give people a reason to return to your business. These come in a variety of forms; gift cards, buy one get one free, adding a free service to the sale etc. These offer enticement for people to choose your business when they decide to spend their hard-earned cash.
- Build a reputation for reliability
Your companies reputation is closely related to the reliability of your products and service. The more reliable these are, the more likely your company is to have a favourable reputation. Be reliable, communicate clearly, honour your promises and warranties and be considerate of your customers’ time and concerns. If something goes wrong, let customers know immediately and compensate them for the inconvenience.
Sources: hellopeter.com; www.allbusiness.com