It’s a question that burns in the mind of many an entrepreneur: How can I generate customer loyalty? Points programs and rewards, freebies and other ‘added-value’ may help. But it’s not enough. Think about it. Who are you loyal to? Why? Chances are the ‘Buy 7 Get the 8th Free’ promo won’t keep your business if your experience is tainted by poor product or service.
“No matter how delicious the food, no matter how safe the jet travel,
if it’s presented in a way that doesn’t show care for the customer,
it’s not going to be a hit.” –Forbes
3 Secrets to Boosting Customer Loyalty
1) Recruit the right kind of customer from the start
Know who your ideal customer is – their dreams, interests, personalities, lifestyles – and then work to attract them. My customer base is largely rural home owners for example, so I don’t focus on timeshares or high-rise condos. Knowing your customer is the first step to finding them.
2) Treat that ‘right customer’ like royalty once acquired. Once you’ve found your ideal client, cultivate that relationship. Go over the top to serve them. Make them feel like the most important customer –your only customer. Woo the daylights out of them until they’re so in love with you that to go anywhere else is unthinkable.
3) Devote yourself to high quality service. There is wooing and then there is marriage. This is the marriage part of customer service. This is where you commit to high quality service as a lifestyle – a part of who you are. The heart of your business. This is the difference between winning and keeping a client. “Excellent customer care is the most important method for improving customer loyalty.” – Data Base Marketing Institute
This stuff is so simple, and so effective. It’s also difficult because it’s not natural. It’s not what we learn in our marketing courses and sales seminars. We’re told buzz words and hanging a carrot on a stick is enough. Sales are the ultimate goal and we are trained to pursue it single-mindedly. But it’s not about arm twisting and manipulation. It’s about integrity. Relationship. It truly is a people thing.
“True customer loyalty means
making the relationship more important than making the sale.”
– Yes Sales Recruitment
What is one method you use to recruit the right customer, or keep your existing clients?
Or, what is one new method you would like to try soon?