Do you know what a wishing well is? Thanks to an old European folklore, people started believing that the deities or guardians of the wells will grant them a wish if they paid something in exchange for it. Want to know the result? There are numerous wishing wells all over the world where people come, throw in some money and make a wish. If asked, many people would swear that their wish was fulfilled, and many would visit again and again.
Your business needs to be that wishing well. You need to build customers who have faith in you, who are ready to come back to you again and again and willing to pay you, telling others about how you fulfilled their wishes. This, my dear businesses is what you refer to as gaining Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction. And believe me, it is not as difficult as it seems.
Do you know that loyal customers will spend 60-75% more as compared to new customers? Also, gaining a new customer will cost you 6 to 8 times more than retaining someone who is already your customer? Translation – Building loyal clients is less expensive and more benefitting, and that that aspect of business which you don’t want to miss upon – ever.
Now the question arises how to build Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction; so without further ado, let me present to you a few (10 to be exact) Client Retention Strategies which are discussed below. Let’s get started, shall we?
10 Ways to improve Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction
Good customer service:I know it’s a cliché and may sound very basic. But a good service still remains the most important aspect of gaining loyal customers. A simple smile while greeting the customers, use of proper etiquettes such as saying ‘thank you’, ‘please’, ‘sorry’, etc are really important. I still remember it was my first ever job and I was at the POS (Point of Sale). I got a weary looking customer ordering a marble cake – I swiped in her card, handed over the cake, smiled, and said ‘Thank you!’ She smiled back and said, “Yours is the brightest smile I have seen in the whole day. Thanks for making today better!” P.S. She came back later to order a latte. Remember, what seems like a small thing will go a long way.
Hiring a competent staff:You as a business need to hire customer service staffs which is quick learners, loyal, and competent enough. The staff you select will be representing your business; theirs is the face, the mannerisms, the servitude, the attitude which your customers will associate with your business. This is a decision to be made wisely.
Providing outstanding products/services:I have seen many businesses reaching great heights simply by providing outstanding products/services. If your customers are satisfied with your products, they will be coming back for more. Not only that, they can even spread word of mouth appreciating your product, they can take to social media to praise you. Remember to go beyond the expectations of the customers and over deliver.
Customers know better:This is not merely a ‘point’ that your sales and marketing team needs to follow, but rather this needs to be the driving point of your research as well as production department. Remember to carry out surveys of your customers or potential customers, asking them what products they may like or what changes they would want in existing products. You need to make them feel and understand that their thoughts will be contributing in production/upgrading of your product; or rather that we are co-designing the product. Their insights are much valuable.
Emotional connect:Remember that experience I had shared above about my first job experience? What do you think that woman remembered? The cost of the cake or my smiling face? The answer is simple to see. You as a business need to be able to have an emotional connect with the customer. If you are able to give your customer the feeling of warmth, family, a sense of community, you will be able to retain a customer for life.
Personalize and customize:Shakespeare once said, what’s in the name? Well, I would say everything. If you are able to recognize a repeat customer, and address them with their name, you will be able to get more personal with your customers. With technology today, you have all the data if anyone has been your customer even once. If you know who your customer is, what are their buying preferences, etc. when they return to you, you can offer them more personalized products/services, you can customize them according to their afore mentioned preferences. You can even offer them personalized VIP subscriptions. This makes them feel special, gaining you Customer Loyalty and Satisfaction.
Automation:As mentioned, technology is going to be of help for your business in building loyal clients. Today there are CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Systems in place which help in integrating all your departments so as to improve your relationship with customers, and reducing the load on your sales representatives. Other than this, you can make use of automation while marketing to your customers. You can send customers emails on automation during their birthdays, anniversaries, or even when their subscription is nearing an end, etc.
Transparency:Be authentic and transparent. Let your customers see what goes on with your business. Create your own website, go on social media, update complete information about your business, upload videos of how you do things, you can add in snippets of how your production is done, ask your employees to be on social platform and be vocal about what they do, and how they enjoy doing their work with your company, etc. Always stay in their sight. Create a complete story of your business, present a transparent front, and your customers will believe you some more, they will be more invested and more interested.
Loyalty programs:Once you create loyal customers for your business, you need to make sure that you retain them. These are the customers coming back to you again and again and have absolute belief in you. You can then reward such loyal customers by giving them some loyalty awards and offers. The loyalty rewards offered should be such that they will also motivate other customers to become your loyal customers. For example, Amazon prime by Amazon.
Feedbacks and referrals:Customer reviews can make or break a business. Remember to get feedbacks from your customers. If they are not positive, work on improving yourselves to get them satisfaction. Once they are satisfied, get referrals from them. Let them be wowed with your services and offers so that they themselves recommend your business to their friends and family, or even on the digital and social platform.
These above mentioned 10 Client Retention Strategies are merely the tip of iceberg. Many more things go into building Client Loyalty. However, this is where you can start. Hope it helps. Adios!