It costs between 5 and 25 times more to attract a new customer than it does to build existing customer loyalty. It’s an astonishing fact. Just think how much more energy businesses you know seem to put into finding new business and how much more focus and support there is for startup businesses compared to those that have been around for a while.
Whatever stage of business you are, it pays to have a plan to build customer loyalty. What more you can do now to better serve your most valuable customers; the ones you already have? Use our top tips as a starting point.
1. Keep in touch
Build a relationship between transactions by finding ways to keep in touch. Depending on the depth of relationships that suit your type of business it could be a customer newsletter and social media updates. If you have a more personalised business, perhaps you could send customers bespoke emails when information you think they’d find useful and by attending any business networks where you’re likely to meet them.
2. Ask for feedback
Customer feedback doesn’t need to be difficult. The single most valuable question you can ask customers is ‘how likely are you to recommend our product or service to a friend or colleague?’ Typeform have a simple NPS score survey tool that enables you measure customer loyalty by tracking and benchmarking your results to that question. It’s free and looks great on desktop or mobile.
3. Respect complaints
Less than 1 in 10 unhappy customers will take the time to complain. Be grateful to those people for giving you a golden opportunity to learn; their feedback is hugely valuable. If you listen and learn and make simple changes if necessary you will have a customer for life and one of your greatest advocates.
4. Give great customer service
Be outstanding in your customer service. Look at every point in your business and make sure that you are fully taking care of customers at each of those stages. From a prompt response to enquiries, to beautifully packaged products or services, find ways of showing customers that you care and respect them.
5. Find an X-factor
How can you go the extra mile in ways that don’t cost a fortune? Nothing is more powerful than a smile and good manners – and they’re free! How about a handwritten note when you send out products, or a chocolate on the pillow if you run a B&B? Staff at Pret A Manger are allowed to give a free coffee or cake to a random customer every day; and I can tell you, when I was having a tough day and the barrista said ‘it’s on us today’ that free treat made my day and secured my loyalty. A little thought goes a very long way.
6. Support your customers’ values
Support causes or charities that matter to your customers. It’s a sign that your business isn’t just about making money, it’s also about making a difference. It’s hard to feel loyal to a heartless money-making machine; that relationship will only ever be a transaction. When customers feel like they share a business’s values it is a much deeper and long-term relationship.
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