Did you know it can cost up to 30 times as much to get a new customer relationship going than it does to keeping an existing one?
But like most relationships operating in an age of digital shopping around, and quick comparisons, it’s never been easier for your customers to be tempted to go elsewhere. So how do you ensure customer loyalty?
According to Mike Johnston at the Chartered Institute of Marketing “It pays to stay very close to your customers so you know their exact needs today and tomorrow – your aim is to be irreplaceable as their supplier”.
So here are a few pointers as how to keep your customer relationship alive and your customers loyal to you.
1. Do it as often as you can (to keep your customer relationship in top top shape)
Out of sight can often keep you out of the mind of your customers, so stay in touch regularly. Social media and opt-in emails are perfect platforms to let your customers know what you’re up to. Just make sure you post regularly, encouraging a real two-way dialogue. And be realistic; schedule a frequency which is manageable. It’s a bad customer experience, for example, to subscribe to a newsletter only to receive it sporadically or not at all.
2. Show how attentive you are Post-Sale
Want your new customer relationship to have a chance past first base? Well, don’t just bask in the glory of having made a sale and concluding the Job Done. Showing how attentive you are with great after sales service and support is just as important. In addition to thinking how wonderful a business you are, it will have your new customer wanting to come back for more.
3. Remember special occasions
Don’t forget the important stages in your customer’s relationship with you. This could be timely campaigns around Valentine’s, Christmas, or Summer Break. Note also key customer touch points – from the first contact to the last. For example, sending a welcome email; or a reminder of a subscription which is about to expire; and even a sorry-you-are-leaving-us email. And the more personalised the message, the closer the relationship your customers will feel they are having with you.
4. Be spontaneous and experiment
Mix it up a little and surprise your customers every now and again. For example, have a flash sale or offer something exclusive to existing customers as a thank you for their loyalty. Or just give some useful free information, tips, and advice. Also show your adventurous side. Try out new digital tools and channels to keep your customer interested. Such as putting together a video of your service; a webinar; commissioning a case study that will interest them; or sponsoring an online PR event. sure fire ways to keep that customer relationship going.
5. Have a makeover
It’s easy to get complacent and let some things slide because you’re too busy focussing on other aspects of your business. Sometimes all that is required is a bit of a brand refresh. Perhaps your website content needs updating or could do with a fresh look and feel. Giving your brand a bit of a makeover will do wonders for your business confidence and make your customers sit up and notice you again.
6. Show you value their opinion
Whether it’s talking over the phone; noting comments posted on your Facebook page; or sending a SMS requesting a 1 to 5 rating on your service – ask your customers for feedback. This will not only make your customers feel valued; it will give you an idea of where to make any improvements to your service and what to do more of. And try not to let a disappointment with your service build up to a point of no return; act on any customer grievances or complaints as soon as you can.
7. Say I miss you
Haven’t heard from your customers for a while? Perhaps, they’re not opening up emails or clicking on links anymore. Have a plan in place and get in touch. For example, in your email subject line, say you’ve missed them or haven’t heard from them for a while. Then remind these estranged customers what they loved about you in the first place.
8. Keep your promises
Last but not least, deliver on the promises you make to your customers. For example, honour any guarantees or claims you make, and ensure the quality of your service or products meets their expectations. Stay true to your word and your customers will stay loyal to you.
Got any customer relationship tips of your own? Do share in the comment box below!