Nurturing loyalty in your clients is the number one tool for building and stabilizing your business. A loyal following is worth more than any type of advertising because it creates a foundation from which to build upon. It’s much easier to increase sales if others are out talking you up then to find sales from scratch every single time. It’s also tons less expensive.
So how do you nurture loyalty in your clients? Consider the following tried and true methods:
1. Welcome Complaints Instead of Hiding From Them.
Sounds strange doesn’t it? I’m not suggesting that you nurture complaints. I’m suggesting that you maintain a free flow of communication with your clients so that if in fact, they have a complaint they will tell you about it. Better yet, ask them. Through the sales fulfillment process ask your clients if their needs are being met, and if not what can you do to improve the situation.
If you can make a disgruntled client happy and satisfied in the end, they will be twice as loyal as the customer that was happy from the beginning. Why? Because you’ve proven your worth your words in actions. Every unhappy clients wants one thing and one thing only. To have the situation fixed. If you can do that, they will sing your praises forever.
On the other hand if you hide from their complaints, they will tell everyone else about their troubles BUT you. Let your customers complaints work to your favor, not against.
2. Keep all of your customers contact information and stay in touch.
Of course with an Internet business staying in touch by email is easy, but staying in touch by snail mail may actually gain more loyalty. Utilize both methods, but always use the method least used by your competition. Use snail mail to offer a hard copy newsletter of useful information that your customers can use to make their lives or businesses better. Something that the customer is likely to keep rather than toss and of course always include your contact information and any new products or services that you are selling. If you have sold them everything in your line, ask for a referral.
3. Create a Loyal Workforce.
Loyalty starts in your business family. If those that work for you like their work place, feel safe and appreciated, that will shine through to the customer as well. Employees will always put their best attitude forward as long as it’s nurtured in them as well.
Loyalty, like any other part of your marketing plan, takes strategizing and preparation. If you can achieve it, your business will build on itself with very little additional effort on your part.
Recommended Books on Loyalty Marketing:
- Harvard Business Review on Increasing Customer Loyalty
- The Loyalty Leap: Turning Customer Information into Customer Intimacy
- Digital Engagement: Internet Marketing That Captures Customers and Builds Intense Brand Loyalty
- Customer Loyalty: How to Earn It, How to Keep It
- High-Tech, High-Touch Customer Service: Inspire Timeless Loyalty in the Demanding New World of Social Commerce
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