Now more than ever it is important to make your customers fall in love with your business and become your biggest fans. Gaining and retaining customer loyalty is one of the best ways to ensure your business not only survives but also thrives. Research shows that it is much easier to keep customers than it is to acquire brand new ones. In fact, studies show that 65% of your sales will come from existing customers according to Small Biz Trends.
There are many ways to win over customers if you have a product-based business or to win over clients if you have a service-based business. However, there are several tried and true ways that you can warm the hearts of your target audience, so they never think of leaving your business for the competition.
The list below is five of the most effective ways to make your customers love your business and keep coming back…forever!
- BUILD TRUST
When it comes to business, there is nothing that can replace trust. Trust breeds respect and loyalty. Loyalty breeds customer retention and many more positive outcomes. According to Stephen M.R. Covey in his NY Best Seller, The Speed of Trust, the one thing that impacts us 24/7, 365 days a year is trust. Covey says about trust: “it undergirds and affects the quality of every relationship, every communication, every work project, every business venture, every effort in which we are engaged. It changes the quality of every present moment of our lives – both personally and professionally.
When it comes to business, most people seem to value having a partner rather than just having a provider or supplier. Personally speaking, I prefer to build relationships with the people I do business with. I don’t want it to feel transactional as opposed to relational. To keep customers happy, you must build trust in everything you do.
Here are a few ways you can build trust.
- Communicate – Make sure the lines of communication are open between you and your customers. People should know your customer service hours and should receive prompt responses.
- Follow Up – Never leave your customers hanging. Get them the information they need to do business with you.
- Train your Staff/Team – Let your staff and team members know that the customers come first.
- Be Transparent – Notify your customers of any news that affects your business which in turn will affect them.
2. ASK FOR CUSTOMER FEEDBACK
It is no secret that people love giving their opinion about anything and everything. Asking customers their feedback when it comes to doing business is a great way to have your pulse on your target audience without spending a ton of money. More importantly, getting your customers to give you feedback can assist your company with research and development as well as being on the cutting edge of trends. Getting customer feedback doesn’t have to be complicated at all. There are many ways to gather this information in rather efficient and economical ways.
Here are 10 ways you can get customers to give you feedback.
- Live Chats
- Social Media Polls
- Focus Groups
- Point of Sale
- Customer Service Hotline
- Social Media
- Feedback Boxes
3. RESOLVE CUSTOMER COMPLAINTS QUICKLY
Having unhappy customers is risky business. Studies show that the average unhappy customer will tell an average of 10 people. We all know that when a customer is unhappy with your company’s product or service, they are likely to go on social media to voice their opinions with negative reviews. Let’s be honest, when a company has tons of negative reviews, it doesn’t paint a good picture that they are taking care of their customers.
There is no perfect company that gets it right when it comes to customer service 100% of the time. However, there are many companies that are known for making customer service a priority. If your company is known for resolving customer complaints in a timely fashion and keeping their customers happy, having that reputation will work in your favor should you ever get any negative reviews from any unhappy customers. Bottom line, if there is a customer issue, make sure your team or staff members resolve it respectfully and amicably so that the customer feels valued.
4. SHOW GRATITUDE
We live in a society where some people forget the value of two very common words: please and thank you. In business, forgetting to use these two words is an egregious practice. I believe thankful companies are the most successful companies. Showing customers that you care about them is an easy way to ensure they keep coming back. Quite simply, customer appreciation goes a long way. To demonstrate this point, think of how many times you have seen major retailers recognize, honor, and celebrate their customers. And if you happened to be one of those customers on the receiving end of that gratitude, I’m sure you enjoyed the demonstration of gratitude.
Here’s what you need to know about customers who feel appreciated, they spend more and keep coming back. According to RJMetrics, top customers spend 5x more per order, make 4x more purchases, and spend 30x more than the average customer. These numbers prove that it pays to appreciate your customers because, in the long run, they’ll be loyal to you.
Here are a few examples of companies that really go the extra mile to show gratitude to their customers.
Ritz Carlton – The brand signifies the most upscale and elite hotel customer service experience in the world. Raise your hand if you love the white glove touch with crisp white linen, terry cloth bathrobe, and plush slippers? Oh yeah, the concierge is top-notch!
Ben & Jerry’s – Who doesn’t like free ice cream? With Free Cone Day, Ben & Jerry’s makes customers feel valued and appreciated.
Chick-Fil-A – For the fast-food industry, they are winning with employee training that focuses on company, community, and competition. They clearly beat their competitors when it comes to quality service.
The bottom line is simply, people like doing business with people who make them feel appreciated. That’s why this famous quote from world-class, poet, author, and activist Dr. Maya Angelou is so fitting to me when it comes to customer service.
“People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
5. VALUE CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
Showing that your company values the relationship between your business and the customer simply means going beyond lip service. Although it is important to show gratitude in business, it is equally as important to demonstrate the value that customers hold in your business. Without customers, you don’t have a business. There is a saying that the customer is always right. Although technically this statement may not be true, in the mind of the customer, it usually is. Therefore, demonstrating to the customer that their value is paramount is synonymous with smart business. The question becomes, how do you show customers they are valued?
Below are a few ways you can establish a value-based customer service strategy within your company or organization.
- Refer to customers by name. Many companies rely on account numbers to identify customers. However, your staff should be trained to call customers by name as in Mr. Washington or Mrs. Washington. Simply adding the customer’s name to your communications demonstrates care and value.
- Use Social Media. The quickest way to communicate value to customers is to highlight them on social media. Whether you host a customer of the day, week, or month, giving customers an opportunity to get noticed online will go a long way in establishing value in your relationship.
- Be Friendly. Taking the time to simply ask someone how their day is going is a way to showcase the friendly nature of your customer care. Not only is it polite to simply greet someone with a smile, and proper salutation, but it is also overlooked by many businesses today.
In summary, I believe that customer service is the #1 business battlefield. In the war for the almighty dollar, businesses can acquire a competitive edge simply by going above and beyond when it comes to customer satisfaction. Now more than ever, small business owners can compete with large companies and corporations by simply going the extra mile when it comes to making their customers and clients fall in LOVE with them and want to stick around forever.
This article was written by Lori A. Manns, President of Quality Media Consultant Group.
Want to use this article for your blog or business website? Here’s the author’s box that you must include.
© 2022 Quality Media Consultant Group LLC – All Rights Reserved
This article was written by Lori A. Manns. President of Quality Media Consultant Group. Lori is a multi-award-winning marketing mentor, sales coach, and trailblazing business strategist who works with small business owners and entrepreneurs to help them grow and scale their businesses. She specializes in sales and marketing strategies that result in her clients attracting their target market, gaining brand visibility, and growing revenue. Lori is President of Quality Media Consultant Group, a consultancy firm specializing in media, advertising, marketing, and sales. She is the founder of the Trailblazer Business Academy. where advancing entrepreneurs go to learn growth strategies and how to run a profitable business the soulful way. Lori is also the creator of the Sponsorship Sales Secrets.