Great customer retention today is much more than the right thing to do, it makes great business sense! How do you ensure that your customers receive a great experience, so remarkable that they convert into repeat customers and then into referral advocates?
A few simple things can help you increase customer loyalty and push your business to greater heights:
Customers tend to start the process of trust and building loyalty with you through effective communication. The best way to ensure a proper communication here is by igniting their ego. Carefully crafted messages that talk about how your business can help meet customer aspirations and goals will build customer loyalty. You should ensure your communication strategy mentions the pain areas the customer faces and how you and your business can thoughtfully address these.
The other important point to be noted here is that you treat your customers exactly how you would want to be treated. Through impactful dialogue, customers know that they are being treated like human beings and not sales figures – this ensures they come back to you.
By using the words customers want to hear, your job is 50% done. It’s much easier to convert to a sale. Use words like free, discount, new, customize….these are only some of the words and you need to do some research into your target market to truly speak to your customers.
Making small changes in your pitch can have a lasting impact. This also means identifying customer pain points and immediately addressing them. Let us say your business charges a fee for its services. There are two ways to communicate this – the first one being “here is the service that we offer at a fee of $10” ; the other method could be – “this incredible service comes to you at a small fee of $10”. Which one do you think makes a lasting impression? Tailor your messages according to customer pain points.
Maintain transparency with your customers. Explain all terms and conditions associated with the cost and the likely scenarios when this cost can increase. Let them know why they would have to pay this amount and when. Be authentic. They are people like you and want to know everything about your product or service. They have options but have come to your because they want to try you. Just make sure that your pitch converts this try into a buy and then work on the retention bit.
Let the customers see that element of sincerity in your eyes; they have to feel what you are saying is the truth and nothing more can be more beneficial to them. This creates customer loyalty. They need to feel that you are genuinely interested in their comfort and well-being
Surprise your customers! It works! Remember your reaction when somebody does something that you wanted but did not expect? Create a similar experience for them. Imagine you getting a call from the president of one of your vendors asking you how your business is doing and if they could something more to enhance your experience. It’s similar – you need to show your customers you care. Of course, you mention that in your sales pitch! But they need to see it happening – for real! Create a surprise strategy, if you can. Go back to your customers one week after the purchase, checking if all is working well and to confirm that they have been able to start using your product or service. Create check points at one week, one month, three months, six months and ten months. Do not let your customers forget you!
Answer customer queries the same day you get them. If they have e-mailed you or called you, they want to connect with you! Work on developing this relationship. If you are working on improvising your service or product, let them know. Talking to them about the benefits this has to offer can open the world of opportunities for you. They may want your product, they may check with you if a replacement option is available, they may not want your product but know somebody who wants it and can refer you!
Have you walked into a store and heard the store-owner call you by name? Does it feel nice? Wherever possible, try and remember customer names. Remember special occasions as well. Set reminders for you to send birthday and anniversary cards to your customers. A handwritten card may work wonders! How about a letter along with a card checking with them if everything is going well with their business, targets, family? This will show that you genuinely care about them. Wouldn’t you want to go back to someone who remembers you so well? If you want to do even more, spend some effort on educating them – forward e-mails that you feel will interest them, help them with their business or life. Personalize these with a message – just thought this would be of interest to you…. And wait for the long term magic to happen! They will definitely come back, maybe along with a few referrals!
You could even utilize their birthdays and anniversaries as occasions to give away thoughtful gifts to your customers – these gifts should be of value to them and also enhance your business. How about a discount coupon with a six month validity on their next purchase? Or maybe a ‘buy one get one’ free offer coupon valid only for the birthday month?
You should focus on building great relationships through customer centric values such as consistency, punctuality, reliability and great communication. Applying these simple, yet overlooked strategies can make your customers convert into committed partners, build customer loyalty and getting more customers!
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