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Your customers don’t have to continue buying from you nor do they have to tell their friends about you. However, if you can earn their loyalty, these are the things that they will do.
Retaining your customers and cross-selling different products may be one of the most challenging parts of a business. And, since finding new customers is much more costly than maintaining your current customers, here are a few things you can do to create loyal, long term customers.
1. Be Credible
The only way to come off as credible is by doing what you say, every time you say something. People are keen observers, and you will be held up to your standards. If you can’t deliver on your end, you’re going to lose trust and customers quickly.
When it comes to content, always strive to add value to your customers by writing well-researched content from accurate sources. Become dependable and reliable by building a relationship based on understanding the needs of your customers. Instead of focusing on making a profit, focus on providing value then remind your customers of the value you offer.
2. Be Personal
When you’re writing those email campaigns or Facebook campaigns, know your audience. Cater to their personalities and shopping trends. If you’re placing irrelevant ads and emails in their inbox, your customers are likely to unsubscribe and put you into the spam box. You never want to end up there.
Use analytic programs to track your current customers to understand their needs. Then, create an email campaign that is direct to them. Make them feel that you understand who they are and that’s why your products and services will add more value to their lives.
3. Be Responsive
When a customer has a question or a complaint, be there to respond as soon as possible. If customers are trying to reach you outside of your working hours, set up an autoresponder that reassures them that they will be looked after the moment you’re back online.
If you can, provide easy access to information that you may already have available to address the common questions concerning your business.
For many e-commerce websites, there is the option to add live support. This enables you to address your customers immediately and assist them at all times.
In the case that you cannot respond to urgent issues, you should create a customer recovery strategy. This could be in the form of a special promotion, discount, of the free trial of a service to gain back any trust that was lost.
Sometimes, you may have to empower your employees to make the right decisions to benefit the customer. Even though there may be some short-term losses, focus on the long-term relationship with that customer.
4. Hire Exceptional Front Line Employees
It takes a certain personality and personal touch to engage with the various types of customers out there. Select the best frontline employees with high emotional intelligence. Their focus should always be on the needs of the customers.
For hiring guidelines, find people with cheery, upbeat personalities. These are the people trustable by nature and can serve as an asset to your company. If possible, find the people with the traits you need instead of selecting from whatever random applicants come your way.
However, something to keep in mind is that these skills can be taught. It will require a bit of an investment, however, if you don’t invest in them how will they be able to properly serve your customers?
IMPORTANT FACT: The Garner Group discovered that the 80/20 principle of profits applies to repeat customers. Their studies revealed that 80 perfect of a company’s future income tends to come from 20% of their existing customers.
5. Create A Culture of Belonging
Often loyalty comes down to how effective your employees interact with your customers. Aside from the training, you’ll provide your employees, the best way to keep the good and weed out the bad is by inviting them to participate in strategy development and quality improvements.
Trust in your employees by sharing insightful facts about your company. Being transparent with the people you work with will make them participants of your company instead of just working to make a dollar.
Remember, how you treat your employees will be reflected in how your employees treat your customers.
6. Keep It, Super Simple
KISS your customers. This means, keep it super simple. Find ways to solve the difficult problems your customers may face. Customers don’t enjoy filling forms over and over again. Collect their data and provide them with an auto-fill template.
One of the best things you can do is to get feedback from your customers. This way, you can make the adjustments and tweaks to your business to better serve their needs. A satisfied customer will continue their experience with you and go so far as to tell others about you.
7. Celebrate Special Occasions
We all know that products and services tend to go on sale during specific holidays. However, start doing something more.
Do you have access to your customer’s birthdates or anniversaries? Make your customers feel special by sending special promotions to celebrate the holidays.
Use your creativity to come up with special gifts relating to your business. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to show that you care. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that are remembered most.
The key to creating loyal customers comes down to your ability to create exceptional relationships. Your frontline team will be the ones dealing with the issues and questions about your business. Equipping them with the skills and talent to build customer relationships is a fundamental approach to winning the hearts of your customers for years to come.