How good is your business at making customers smile and keeping them loyal for life? Loyal customers are the base of every successful business, but most businesses keep neglecting this wisdom.
Most small businesses lack the strategy of delighting their customers and keeping them loyal for life. This is one area most business should focus on if they must scale up. Any business that completely ignores this will go under quickly.
I have seen it too often. Businesses will spend their money and effort to attract new customers and build a large database of customers, but way too often they spend less to keep these customers delighted with their product or services.
While it is important to convert new customers, it is even more important to maintain strong relationships with the old ones, especially in today’s competitive market.
Loyal and satisfied customers will always return to buy more, and this is the key to a sustainable business.
Here are 10 ways to delight customers and keep them loyal for life so you can grow a successful business.
Welcome New Customers with a Gift
When customers come to patronize your products or services, they are coming with their hard-earned money. You will put a smile on their face if you can return the favor by offering them a small gift like a greeting card, coupon or discount. It is a cost-effective way to put smile on customer’s face.
Whatever gift you choose to give your new customers, just make sure it is desirable and entertaining. Use it to build deep relationship with new customers.
Listen to Your Customers
You must have heard it a thousand times. Never fail to give a listening ear to your customers if you want to delight them and keep them loyal to your business for life.
When customers complain, listen. When they are talking, do nothing but listen. Never say that they are wrong even when they are, it is very wrong. When they share worries or complains with you, say ‘thank you’ and apologize, then do something about it.
This way, customers will know that you are listening to them and you care about them.
Exceed their Expectation
Yes, do more than they expect. Do this repeatedly and you have gotten a loyal customer for life. With the competition in the marketplace, you can’t just be satisfied with just meeting your client needs and start thinking you are doing well. You should be thinking of exceeding their expectations.
One way to exceed customer’s expectation is to under promise and over deliver in order to keep them satisfied. Satisfied customers will always help your business attract new and loyal customers in greater numbers through word of mouth. Trust me, there’s nothing as powerful as word of mouth.
Encourage Easy Communication
Make it easy for customers to be able to reach you. Offer as many contact channels that you can because different customers have channels that suit them. Some prefer phone call to email, while others will prefer live chat to social media.
One common mistake most businesses make is having only one channel customers can use to contact them. I have seen businesses that the only way customers can reach them is through email. And it will take days for you to get a reply from them.
This is very bad!
Make easy communication a priority in your business and your customers will love you more. Accept live chat on your website, drop email address, phone number, links to your business social media pages so that customers can use a channel they are okay with to reach you.
Offer Excellent Customers Service
Sound obvious, right?
The quality of your customers’ support has a direct impact on your existing and potential customers. Ensure that you provide good quality customer service. Good customer service is one of the reasons why a customer will return to do transaction with a business again.
Listen to your customers and address their concern at timely manner. Another way to do that is to WOW then by doing more than they expect. Talk to your employees about this too. It should be a culture-thing.
Send Them Greeting Messages
When last did you send your customer a branded message like a short code SMS? Do you even do that in your business? Make it a culture in your business to always send your customers branded messages on occasional days like their birthdays, festive periods and general holidays.
This will surprise them to know that you don’t only have their contacts for selling to them but you still remember to say ‘hello’ to them.
Luckily enough, the message you sent them may be the only message they might receive for the whole day. No customer can ever forget that.
Another way to delight customers and keep them loyal for life is to always surprise them, and one best way to do this is through quick follow-up. It strengthens the relationship between you and your customers.
You can even choose to give them a call and ask if they are okay with the issue you help them with last time, and if they need any assistance this time. Some banks and investment house does this and it really help keep customers delighted and loyal for life.
I do experience this with a web hosting company in Nigeria. They send you a mail after 4 days to ask if you are still experiencing a problem with the issue you complained about last time you spoke with them.
Offer a Loyalty Program
Initiate a loyalty program in your business. Go beyond just rewarding your customers, offer exclusive discounts, reward customers with redeemable loyalty points, reward them with special anniversary offers.
Ask for Feedback
Reach out to customers to ask for feedback. The process of your customer writing you feedback allows them to reflect on the good experience they had with your business, which in turn makes your service more memorable.
Be Nice to Your Customers
This may sound simple, but the fact is that small things like this can make a big difference to the way your customers think about you. Always be polite to your customers even if they irate you.
Use the words ‘Please’, ‘Thank You’, and ‘You’re Welcome’. Should you make a mistake? Don’t be defensive. Quickly apologize and make it up to them in a big way.
These are just a few common sense practices you can employ into your business that can help increase sales and customer’s loyalty for life. They may look simple, but if you overlook them or don’t execute them the right way, it might lead to disaster in your business.
It is up to you!
Slide to the comment box and let me know if you apply any of these strategies in your business and what results you are getting.