How businesses can use customer service policies, improved communications and loyalty programs to build lasting customer relationships
Most businesses know that it costs a lot more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Yet many businesses overlook simple ways they can make sure their customers are happy and remain loyal to their company.
With marketing expenses associated with attracting customers – like advertising or direct mail – you need to invest a lot upfront to even get them in the door. The investment in attracting new customers is certainly worthwhile if they become long-term, repeat customers that continually give you more business (and even refer your business to others).
If you are lucky enough to have a customer try out your service or product, then you better do your best to earn their loyalty and keep it. Make them feel important, give them incentives to come back and reward them for being a loyal customer. These are many simple things that businesses can do to show customers they are valued and appreciated.
Customer Service and Communications
One of the number one things customers want from businesses they frequent is good customer service. And good communications with customers really goes hand in hand with good service.
Simple customer service actions and policies that tell the customer they are appreciated can go a long way in keeping them loyal to your business.
- Make it easy to reach you for help with email and phone options
- Send emails or make phone calls just to check in and make sure everything is or was OK with your product or service
- Make it a practice that the first person who speaks to customer should stay with them
- Monitor and respond to any customer service issues (via direct inquiry, social media or customer review sites) – quick resolution is key for your company reputation
- Use the latest communications tools to make it easy to contact you via 800#, VoIP or call forwarding when you are away from the office
In an increasingly digital world, many people now prefer to get information, help or service online. Sometimes it’s just easier to get the info you need on the go with your smartphone, or have a quick online chat with a customer service rep on your computer rather than your phone.
Make sure your company website is focused on your customer and serving their needs. The happier they are with your online experience they more likely they will be loyal to your business.
- Keep your website simple with one core message
- Keep navigation to your main products or services easy and consistent
- Offer a mobile-friendly website that makes it easy for customers to navigate on the go (including a “click to call” feature)
- Offer customer service and sales online chat functionality
- Maintain a thorough FAQ section for common questions or issues
Invest in Customer Loyalty Programs
Making an effort to introduce a customer loyalty program sends a big message that you care about keeping your customers happy.
- Make programs that keep customers coming back with incentives that matter
- Introduce reward programs for continued business and customer referrals
- Offer real choices with communications and offers (as opposed to just allowing them to opt out)
A continued focus on keeping your customers loyal has many benefits, including improved cash flow, lower customer acquisition costs and increased customer referrals.
What are your ideas for earning or keeping customers loyal? Please share in comments below!
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