One of the biggest factors in business growth comes from having loyal customers. They are your best buyers and better yet, they are your brand advocates, recommending your products or services to their family, friends and colleagues. The question is, how do you earn that loyalty and transform infrequent customers into “regulars”? Here are four tips to get you started.
4 simple ways to keep your customers coming back
When you think about ways to grow your business, where does your mind go? Do you think about increasing your advertising or marketing budgets or running a sale or discount promotion? Maybe you’ve thought about putting one of those large wacky, wavy inflatable guys outside of your business. Turns out, one of the biggest factors in business growth comes in a much smaller package (and is likely much less wacky and wavy). It’s the loyal customer. They are your best buyers and better yet, they are your brand advocates, recommending your products or services to their family, friends and colleagues.
The question is, how do you earn that loyalty and transform infrequent customers into “regulars”? Here are four tips to get you started.
Make customer service a 24/7 (and social) priority
The ACA Group, an alliance of operations and supply chain management experts, defines excellent customer service as, “the ability of an organization to constantly and consistently exceed the customer’s expectations.” Accomplishing that means being on call 24/7 to handle the needs, questions and complaints of your consumers. You don’t have to set up a round-the-clock hotline, but your social media accounts should be a place where your customers can go for answers. It’s an excellent way to engage them in conversations, strengthen relationships and, with that, build loyalty.
Set up a rewards program that actually rewards them
Are you part of a loyalty program that’s more work than rewards? Does it involve passwords, a needlessly complicated points system or eight-foot-long receipts with coupons for products you don’t want? Customers love to feel they’re getting special treatment in return for their business, and offering programs with simple, customized rewards is a great way to build loyalty. Punch cards, instant-discount membership cards and tell-a-friend promos are just a few examples of easy-to-run, easy-to redeem programs.
Ask for (and thank them for) their customer feedback
Want a customer to feel valued? Ask them for their feedback on how you can make your company, and their buying experience better. Whether it’s a suggestion box on-premise, a comments section on your website, or a blast to your email list, let them know you want to hear from them. And when you do, make sure you respond to thank them for their ideas, regardless of whether or not you act on them. Knowing they’re being listened to gives customers a sense of belonging, and when you actually implement a great idea, it creates a sense of loyalty that money can’t buy.
Hire employees who put the customer first
We’ve all had to deal with people that have poor customer skills. As a consumer, it’s annoying. As the employer of said worker, it can be lethal. If there’s a competitor out there with a kinder, more helpful staff than yours, you can find yourself losing your customers to them. People like to feel appreciated. They don’t like handing over their hard-earned money to people who seem unfriendly or disinterested in their business. Your staff is a direct reflection of your company, so make sure your customer-facing employees have people skills and have been properly trained. Also, offer perks and incentives for the ones who provide “above and beyond” customer service.
Building customer loyalty requires a combination of attentive service and—of course—having a quality product or service to sell, two areas we focus on when it comes to our suite of communications solutions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your businesses operate more efficiently and productively.