Customer loyalty creates business success, strengthens brands, lowers business costs, improves margins, and grows businesses bigger in less time.

Repeat buyers are the nexus of long-term business growth. Why? Well, we all know it’s easier to keep a customer or client than it is to find a new one. It’s also less expensive. A loyal customer base that keeps buying lessens the need to market your business, or to beat the bushes for new business.

You and your management team can then focus on growing the company instead of on finding new consumers, improving the likelihood of long-term company success.

How do you keep them coming back? How do you create and sustain customer loyalty? Here are some tips to keep clients and customers in place, ready to place another order.

Socialize with existing clients. Maintain a presence on Twitter®, Facebook®, LinkedIn®, and industry-specific social media websites. Contribute useful information. Answer questions posed by prospects.

Create reciprocity by giving something to clients, like a good solution to a problem, and consumers may feel the need to reciprocate for your generosity and buy something from you. So, keep social media activities helpful, not “hype-ful.” Stop selling, provide answers, and maintain that client base.

Learn what your customers or clients want. Use customer satisfaction surveys, online surveys, client reviews on social media pages – all of this customer input is solid gold. These metrics enable you to refine company protocols, or even the restaurant’s menu, because you listen to your customers and constantly refine company systems and procedures to benefit clients.

Ask for feedback after a sale and use it to make the next sale even bigger. Even better for your customer and for your company.

Communicate. Send your clients an email now and then just to say hello, or to provide a promotional incentive. Use traditional digital pathways like your company website to market goods or services, but don’t forget that the world is on the move. Send coupons and other incentives to customers that they can access on smartphones or tablets. Then, all your customer has to do is show his smartphone screen with your coupon to “Save 20% on your next purchase.”

Another way to communicate? Add a blog to your website and keep it updated with the latest news, buying tips, maintenance tips, and useful information to get more value from your products or services.

You can also create an off-site blog with links to the company web site. An off-site blog creates another way for prospects to find you, and can provide more good information for your existing customers.

Simplify everything. Simplify website navigation. Eliminate a redundant checkout page. Offer numerous payment gateways to make it downright simple to buy from you. Provide a toll-free customer care telephone line and give client care representatives the authority needed to keep all callers satisfied customers.

Add a product search preference module. If a website visitor only wants to see products under $25, enable a simple search using a check box. Only want products made by a particular manufacturer? Let the buyer find those products faster with a search preference module.

Read what your company sends out. As a small business owner or manager, review all sales letters, smartphone promos, anything that a customer may read. Know what you’re promising and keep your company’s promises – no questions asked.

Keep your employees in the loop. Communicate with all employees, not just managers or department heads. The best ideas for client retention may come from any source, so take the time to explain what’s going on, and always ask employees for suggestions.

Customer loyalty occurs when your customers know your business is trustworthy, reliable, and transparent. No hidden clauses in contracts, real-life money back guarantees with no unexpected “re-stocking fee,” and a genuine concern for each customer’s satisfaction.

Build a stable customer base. Keep that base of existing customers happy, stay in touch, offer incentives, and create loyal customers who actually enjoy doing business with you.

 


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC