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10 Ways to Improve Customer Loyalty

Customer loyaltyThe cost of getting new customers is quite high and it is six to ten times higher for new customers than for repeat business. What can you do to increase customer retention? How can you increase the rate of customer retention?

The first thing that you have to do is to change customer dis-satisfaction to customer satisfaction, and the second stage would be to change customer satisfaction into customer loyalty. This is a difficult, but essential step. Your loyal customers can be your best marketing agents in town. Word-of-mouth publicity spread by loyal customers can transform a sinking or dormant business into an excellent and profitable venture. It cannot happen by itself, but it isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

We offer a list of ten items here that will help you focus on your customers. If you are like most companies, you would already have practiced some of these things earlier. Keep reminding yourself and every member of your company how important it is to do these things all the time. Whether your business is small or large, or sells products or services, these items can be adapted by your employees.

  1. Thank your customers, in writing, for doing business with you. The value of the product or service will determine what sort of ‘thank you’ note would appropriate. High cost service deals would warrant a handwritten note; and even smaller cost transaction companies can send out printed appreciation notes to customers on a regular basis.
  2. Stay in contact with existing and past clients on a continuous basis. One thing is for sure, if you do not forget them they will not forget you. Phone calls, note cards or postcards, newsletters, and emails are only some ideas. You can also think of other ideas to be in touch with them.
  3. Give your customer more than they expect. Anticipate their need and try to fulfill it. Answer a query before they ask it. Giving more than they expect is one of the most powerful ways to gain customer loyalty.
  4. Listen. Take time to truly listen to what your customers say, and if they do not come out with information —ask for it. Listen to their problems and think of a solution for their problems.
  5. Pay attention to your customers. Mind your manners and politeness does count. Use please and thank you. Be on time for meetings, and have the courtesy to return phone calls and e-mail messages.
  6. Make realistic promises—and be consistent. It is far better to promise something in a week and deliver it in three days, rather than the other way around.
  7. Share information. Send relevant articles or information that may be valuable or simply interesting to a client.
  8. Give referrals to clients. Send business back to a client whenever possible, and let them know you are doing it.
  9. Explain how things work. If you sell a product, show how to use it. If you sell a service, explain what the customer can do to maximize its value.
  10. Develop and enjoy the relationship with your customers, look upon them as your extended family. Occasionally, treat your customers to a show, or ask him out to lunch to show your appreciation. You could use your imagination to offer them what they like best.
  11. And, remember the cardinal rule – a little effort goes a long way in cementing your relationship with the customer. Any effort that you make to keep your customers happy is for the betterment, and each extra effort will increase your customer loyalty. Make it a habit to conscientiously view your clients as the most important asset you have.

    If you do not have customers, you will not have any business – it is as simple as that!

    Entrepreneurial learning

    The first thing that you have to do is to change customer dis-satisfaction to customer satisfaction, and the second stage would be to change customer satisfaction into customer loyalty. This is a difficult, but essential step. Your loyal customers can be your best marketing agents in town. Word-of-mouth publicity spread by loyal customers can transform a sinking or dormant business into an excellent and profitable venture. It cannot happen by itself, but it isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

Image courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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