4 Methods To Earn Customer Loyalty
On the surface, the benefit of the returning customer is fairly simple: by returning, that means they’re going to buy more, which means you’re going to sell more. Terrific. But there’s more to it than that. A loyal customer is also more likely to try your premium products, more likely to recommend you to friends, and even more likely to defend you if you’re under attack.
But timing an infrequent customer into one of your “regulars” is no easy feat. It requires more than just meeting their needs. You’ve got to go the extra mile to earn their loyalty. If you don’t, you can bet your competitors will. 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
Want a customer to feel valued? Ask them for their feedback on how you can make your company, and their customer experience better. Opinions are like belly buttons; everyone has one (again, we’re not talking about dogs). Whether it’s a suggestion box on-premise, a comments section on your website, or a blast to your email list, knowing they’re being listened to gives them a sense of belonging, as well as a sense of pride when they see their suggestions realized.
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 wanted. They don’t like handing over their hard-earned money to people who seem unfriendly or disinterested in their business. Your employees are a direct reflection on your company. If you care about your shoppers, make sure your workers care about them, too!
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.
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