Bolster Profits by Focusing On Current Customers
Your business can’t grow without continually acquiring new customers. However, it’s your recurring customers who are your company’s lifeblood. They not only drive most of your sales, they also provide free word of mouth advertising. Keeping their loyalty needs to be your company’s highest priority. If you want to learn what you can be doing to improve customer loyalty, keep reading.
Understand Your Customers’ Top Priorities
One of the chief reasons customers lose their loyalty to a business is that their needs changed but the business’ products or services did not. Your target demographic might be initially drawn to your company’s offerings because they care about reliability. However, after a few years, they might be more concerned about low costs. Suddenly, your once-attractive products no longer seem so attractive.
To counter this effect, your company needs to keep up with your customers’ top priorities. Find out what forums your client base frequents, and check them regularly to see the kinds of issues they are discussing. You can also conduct surveys and put together focus groups for the same purpose; this will give you more targeted information but at more cost.
Identify Why You Lose Customers
If your customers start going elsewhere for the products or services they were purchasing from you, it’s essential to find out what caused this shift. Understanding your customers’ priorities will help, but you also need to take a look at what your competitors are doing. Look at what they’re doing differently from you and figure out how you can regain lost customers.
Acknowledge the Value of Loyal Customers
Your customers are more likely to stay loyal if they feel like their loyalty is being reciprocated. Conversely, if they feel like your company doesn’t really care that they’ve been purchasing products and services for a long period, they are more likely to start looking elsewhere.
You can show your long-term customers that you value their loyalty by instituting engagement and customer reward programs. Offer discounts or free products to long-term customers. Customer loyalty cards are a good way to do this. If you are running a small business, make sure you get to know your repeat customers by name and ask after them when they come in. Asking for feedback is an important way to keep customers engaged. You can send a survey to your loyal customers asking how you can improve your products or services.
Make a Positive First Impression
A big part of getting loyal customers is making a positive first impression. Your customer service representatives need to excel at customer service. They need to demonstrate politeness, honesty, empathy, and good listening skills. Your business website must be easy to use. Everything about your business, from brick and mortar locations to online presence, must be neat, orderly, and appealing to look at.
Resolve Customer Problems Quickly and Fairly
You not only lose the business of an irate customer; you also lose the business of many of the people that customer tells about their experience with your company. You need to resolve customer complaints as quickly as possible, ideally within just a couple of days. Never let a customer complaint go 24 hours without being addressed, even if resolving it is going to take longer than that. Try to resolve the issue as fairly as you can. Offer discounts or free services if needed to make the customer happy again.
The Bottom Line
Customer loyalty is one of the most valuable assets any business can have. By following the tips described above, you can encourage the kind of customer loyalty that will take your business far into the future.
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