The importance of customer retention is undeniable and not something to be taken for granted. It’s less costly than attracting a new customer and loyal customers can become your greatest online ambassadors, thanks to social media. Protect what you’ve already invested in the first time around and make sure to take good care of your customers once you have them!
According to Earl Sasser of Harvard Business School and Merry Neitlich of Extreme Marketing, the probability of selling service to a new customer is 1 in 16, while the probability of selling service to a current customer is 1 in 2. I’m sure you can agree that’s a cost that a business would be crazy to ignore, and a salesperson would be silly not to capitalise on!
Here’s a few ways to build customer loyalty and keep them coming back time and time again:
- Over deliver – It’s always a good idea to give a little extra. It could be a free sample or a discount on a future purchase. If you always give your customers something of value that makes them feel rewarded, they are more likely to return.
- Respond promptly – Let’s face it, no one is a fan of waiting in this world of high speed everything! If a customer needs to wait too long for you to get back to them, they may take their business elsewhere. That’s why quick response time is essential.
- Stay in touch – Once you have closed the sale, continue building the relationship. Regular communications either via social media or email are a great way to stay in touch. Just make sure you keep it short and sweet and to the point.
- Educate – Offer your customers free advice to educate them every now and then. They will generally appreciate the value of learning something new rather than feeling like you’re trying to gain something from them with each communication.
- Know when to apologise – Do what is necessary to correct your mistakes. It can mean the difference between ‘this company is the worst’ and ‘this company did everything they could to help me out’. A customer that feels heard and understood is one who is likely to return, even if you did make a mistake. Rectifying the situation could actually create one of your most loyal customers.
- Show appreciation – The simplest way to show your appreciation is to say thank you. As simple as it is, it’s often overlooked. You can always go a step further and offer them a thank you note or a special reward for a referral.
Building strong relationships with your customers can be time consuming, however the end result is definitely worth the effort. They are after all the lifeblood of your business and should be treated that way. Once you’re able to genuinely make them feel that, they are sure to come back for more and possibly even bring more potential customers with them!
Get in touch to see how we can help you improve your sales.