All You Have Is One Chance: Don’t Miss These Six Expert Tips for Cultivating Loyal Customers for a Lifetime
Do you have your own service business? Do you work with customers daily? Are you worried about customer retention over time?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you should be concerned. In an increasingly tech-savvy world where customer service isn’t always upheld, it’s more important than ever to show your clients that you truly care about their best interests, well-being and questions.
Read on to get our six expert tips for cultivating customer loyalty — and watch your consumers return year after year to see you:
Tip #1: Never Underestimate the Power of Best Practices
Every industry has best practices, and customers come to understand and expect them. Whatever protocols your company has put into place, make sure your employees are following them. This can be everything from the way you answer the phone and take appointments to the way you interact with your consumer.
Make sure you are being the ultimate customer service representative for your industry at every step along the chain of command.
Tip #2: Don’t Push Your Customers To Do Something They Don’t Want to Do
You can recommend. You can strongly recommend. But at the end of the session, your customer is his or her own person. You have to take a step back and let the client decide. Never push a consumer into making a decision they are not sure about or to purchase something they don’t want or need. Do your job as the expert in your field, and then step away and let the consumer come back to you.
Tip #3: Follow up and Get Feedback
Part of the growing process of any business is to hear feedback. You need to ask your consumer what they are pleased with, what they don’t like, whether your products or services met their expectations and what your company can do to improve.
One way you can do this is to offer a survey after every visit. You will be able to track how your consumer is feeling about your business and the interactions he or she is making with you and your staff. From there, you have evidence to use to improve your work and to strengthen your best practices.
Finally, don’t underestimate the power of talking to your customers. Many people really appreciate being able to talk to someone in power and they appreciate when they are listened to. You don’t have to take all of their advice. It’s really about interacting with and hearing the consumer.
Tip #4: Incentivize Your Company
Many companies tout a money-back guarantee, and that is something that easily applies to any business or practice to some level. You might think about holding a monthly drawing or surprising one of your consumers with a swag bag or gift. If you can afford it, you might offer a money-back guarantee to incentivize a sale or service.
Market research shows that consumers who heard hearing aids, for example, had money-back guarantees were more likely to try them and to adopt them at the end of the trial period. Now that’s something to think about and to consider for application in your own business!
Tip #5: Understand There is a Price to Pay
We all need money and have to spend it for things we need. But for most people, money is a limited resource from month to month. You have to consider price as a variable when cultivating your most loyal customer base. If your product or service is out of the price range of your consumer, then good luck.
It doesn’t matter if they think you are a great company. If it means deciding between a lower-priced but adequate similar company, they are more likely to go with that brand. Adjust pricing based upon what you know about what your target audience is willing to pay for your products and services.
Tip #6: Re-imagine Success
What will consumer loyalty mean to you? Is it just sales? Or could it be a dramatic increase in how your clients view your company? Could it be in your referral rates? If you take time to define what success means in cultivating your consumer base, you’ll be more motivated to continue your campaign and to make changes that will boost sales and morale. Sales are important, but they are not the only factor in defining success and client loyalty.
It’s Never Too Late To Start Caring for Your Customers in a New Way
In conclusion, if customer loyalty is on your mind — and you know your tactics could use some improvement — then keep these tips in mind as you work on your customer service best practices going forward.
At the end of the day, consumer loyalty is really about letting the consumer be heard and then tweaking your services and approach based upon their feedback. You can’t take everyone’s advice and you can’t fix all of the issues or make everyone happy. But you can work on a plan that will please 90 percent of the people most of the time. So keep these six expert tips handy as you take your next steps in your consumer loyalty plan!