Tips for retaining customer loyalty
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Keeping customers loyal pre-internet days was hard enough but now given the range of options that a customer has online, retaining them is even harder. All they have to do is go online and in seconds they can go to your competitor. Barriers of entry are low in some industries so it is vital that you maintain customer loyalty and keep them returning to your website.
Following are some tips to keep front of mind in retaining customer loyalty. Execute these properly, and your business will reap huge benefits. Ignore it, and you just might end up closing your doors.
1. DELIVER ON YOUR PROMISE. It is easy in the sales process to over promise. If you really want the business ,there can be a tendency to over commit ones self . If you do this you must follow through with what you pledged. Going back on your undertaking will result in an disappointed client who will be un-likely to return. On top of this they will spread the negative publicity about your business to their friends. If you fulfill your end of the bargain and do everything promised then you will keep and retain a happy client who will brag about your service and delivery.
2. KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS. Go the extra yards with your clients. Approach each client as a potential long term committed partner. Don't embrace the attitude that a client must 'be around for a long time before you offer them VIP treatment. Consider, from the very start that this brand new client is going to be a reliable, good paying, easy going customer and give them the treatment that they deserve. Basically, by over servicing them from the beginning will keep them very loyal.
3. DONT HASSLE NEW CLIENTS FOR MONEY. If they are a new business and you can afford it, allow them 7 or even 14 days payment. Help them get off the ground and allow them a bit of breathing space. Hassling them for money from day 1 will just annoy them and they will go else where. Obviously if they look risky get a large deposit upfront, but if they seem reliable and credible then cut them a bit of slack.
4. BE PREPARED TO BARGAIN. Customers love nothing more than a good haggle. If they have been around for a while and you can see that the are giving you consistent work then offer them a discount. Dont be afraid to meet their budget constraints either. Working within these budgets and offering discounts will keep customers not only very happy but also loyal. remember
that they are able to go online easily and search for a more competitive price so be prepared to deal out a discount.
5. INVOLVE THEM IN YOUR BUSINESS. A good idea to retain loyalty is to get them to write an article about their business/company that you can publish on your blog. This is a great promotion for them and it provides a feeling that you are giving something back.
6. BE RESPONSIVE. If they contact you, get back to them. Especially, if it is via email. Even if you cant respond right away with a detailed explanation just let them know that you have received the email and a time frame when you will be able to respond fully. One could call it email etiquette, but nothing makes me more angry wondering if the recipient received my email and if they are going to reply. Its all about customer service and by getting back to people promptly you will find that they hang around and in turn give you more business.
7. BE PROACTIVE. The phone is your friend. Pick it up and speak with your customers. Ask for genuine feedback and take it on board. Perhaps even reward them with a discount on their next job for their input and response feedback. Also, perhaps you could offer your customers a positive written testimonial if you have used their products or service before. This is an awesome way to keep them on side.
There are probably 100 other strategies that you could keep clients on board but if you follow just these few I am sure that you will find that it will make a difference. These are just the basics, if you think of a few more please email me at email@example.com and I will be happy to publish them with a link back to your website.