Customers are not to be merely sought out, they must be cultivated and appreciated in order to ensure they keep coming back. Otherwise, you run the risk of losing them to your competitors forever. The good news is that there are lots of different ways you can keep your customers happy and coming back to your business. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Make Each Customer Feel Personally Appreciated
It’s easy to tell each customer that you appreciate their business as you close on a purchase with them. However, your words of thanks will be worth much more if you genuinely show appreciation. This means it’s important to get to know your customers. If possible, use their names when speaking to them. You can also send an email shortly after a purchase thanking them for business, and maybe include a coupon for their next visit. The idea is to establish a neutral relationship with the customer that goes beyond the typical salesperson-to-customer relationship.
Stay on Top of Your Equipment
If the equipment you’re using for your business is falling behind or breaking down, it could have repercussions on your customer loyalty. Keep your equipment up to date and operating efficiently. Keep your supplies stocked, like paper rolls for the credit card machine, printer ink and paper coupons, and perform a weekly audit on all of your business technology to ensure it’s working properly.
Immediately Respond to Problems
As soon as you become aware of a problem with a customer, you must immediately develop a plan of action for addressing it. The longer you wait, the more frustrated they will become over time. Offer flexible telephone and office hours, and be sure to employ email support for off hours.
It’s also extremely important to give your customers more than they initially expect. For example, you could offer a discount for a future purchase after you make a sale. You can really get creative with how you treat your customers for their loyalty and business.
Introduce a Loyalty System
Loyalty systems are great for customer retention and trust building. People also like to feel validated when spending money, and loyalty systems offer up a way for businesses to achieve that. Whether you use scan-able cards or the hole punch method, the loyalty system will keep your customers returning time and time again.
Grab Those Opinions
Lastly, you can find out exactly what your customers think about your business by simply asking them. Reward gifts or discounts for their opinions, and in the meantime, get valuable insight into how your business practices are perceived. It’s really a win-win situation for both parties.
Keeping your customers happy and excited about your business seems simple, but there should be a lot effort put into this single task for success. Your customers are what keep you in business, so it’s important to give them the time and attention they need.