No matter the size of the business, customer loyalty is incredibly important. Repeat customers spend up to 67 percent more than new customers. Plus, it’s up to ten times more expensive to try to attract new customers than it is to keep the ones already doing business with you. Your goal is to have a frequent interaction with the customer, so when the time arrives for them to purchase your product again, they will think about you and your business first. By doing this you start to add value to them that your competitors aren’t doing. This value is often the point of difference that sets you apart and stops your competitors moving in on your key customers.
If you’re looking for real ways to create and keep up customer loyalty, consider implementing a few of these strategies.
1. Personalized thank you notes:
I think one of the most powerful ways to create a point of difference is by saying, “Thank you for your business” or “I appreciate the opportunity to meet with you”. Less than 2% ever say thank you in a written format. The important issue here is, when you write the note, make sure it is hand written.
2. Set up ways to communicate with your customers
Frequent communication with your customers keeps you fresh in their minds and lets you pass along important information. Take the time to set up a database with contact information such as email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone numbers. Then you can send friendly reminders, birthday greetings, or a monthly newsletter. Social media is another great way to communicate with your customers on an almost daily basis. Keep in mind that this works better if you limit how many of your communications are actually advertisements.
3. Provide extra perks for your most loyal customers
One of the best—and perhaps one of the cheapest—ways to reward customer loyalty is to give extra perks to your most dependable customers. Whether it’s the ability to skip the line, special meet-and-greets or immediate seating, customer’s love getting a little something extra. By setting up a reward system for the most loyal, you not only encourage them to stick around, you also give an incentive for other customers to strive to reach that status.
4. Prior notice of new products or your sale:
If you are about to launch a new product or update some of your product range let your customers know in advance. Don’t let them find out through the media or through someone else. It is a perfect way to continue to educate your customers about the benefits of your products.
5. Deliver your product with an unexpected gift:
Give people the unexpected gift and they will be pleasantly surprised. It needn’t be elaborate. Imagine receiving an order from a supplier and in the box is a little something. It brings a smile and the next time you think of ordering, who will you go to?
6. Consider different payment plans
There are some businesses out there that are very seasonal and run into cash flow issues during certain times of the year. For instance, a wedding shop usually receives most of their sales during the summer months when weddings are in full swing, but during the winter they struggle. One shop decided to offer a payment plan through which customers could start shopping in the winter, and pay a little throughout the months leading up to the wedding, rather than paying all at once. This plan worked because it helped customers by giving them manageable monthly payments, and it helped the company by bringing in cash during an otherwise slow time of year. In fact, customers were so happy that they often referred the shop to others, and the business saw a nearly 400 percent increase in total sales.
7. Don’t forget to smile
This is another item that seems obvious, but it’s important enough to keep being reminded of. A study in the United Kingdom recorded the expressions used to greet customers as they entered a store, and then cross-checked with how much they spent in the store. The study showed that shoppers who were greeted with a welcome and a smile spent up to 67 percent more than shoppers who were not greeted this way. While it seems like a small detail, a friendly greeting obviously has important consequences.
8. Give customers a reason to be loyal
Many people believe that Apple has some of the most loyal fans out there. Customers go to great lengths to prove just how much they love the company, with bumper stickers, tattoos, and vehement arguments in favor of all the products. Recently, neuro-scientist scanned the brains of Apple fans and learned that the same part of the brain that lights up when religious people think about their deity is activated when these customers think about their beloved products. This shows that if you offer a service or product that your customers think is the best in the world, they’ll be completely devoted with a passion that can’t be topped. In today’s business climate, it’s impossible to stress just how important customer loyalty is. These tips will help you create loyal customers who will be happy to frequent your business for many years to come.
Remember, it is always easier for your competitors to steal your market share rather than trying to find a new customer that have never purchased that type of product before.
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Dr. Dhirendra Gautam, a business doctor and leadership Coach; he empowers people to transform their Life, finance and business and introduce then to the world of financial freedom and fulfilment. For business owners & Cxo’s we offer specialized Business coaching Program Namely; Empower your Business (EYB), Empower your Life (EYL) and Empower your Carrier (EYC). Do visit our website www.dhirendragautam.com to find his wisdom he shares with mankind.