23 Feb, 2017

Seven Ways to Build Customer Loyalty (Without Really Trying)

Build customer loyalty with these seven steps.
23 Feb, 2017

Building customer loyalty is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Your brand’s reputation and your employees’ customer service skills are both factors customers will often take into account when deciding where to spend their money.

1. Remember Names

One of the simplest and most effective ways to build customer loyalty is to remember a customer’s name. Customers need to know that they are important to you and your business. When you show customers that you and your employees perceive them as an individual, rather than another source of revenue, they’re left with a positive impression. This simple (yet personal) approach can be a powerful tool.

2. Remember a Customer’s Preferences

Cater to the preferences of your customers. Giving them a caliber of service that they can’t find anywhere else will give them a reason to keep coming back. Customers will naturally be faithful to a business that helps them feel remembered.

3. Hire Customer Service Fanatics

Never underestimate the impact your employees have on your brand image. Make a company-wide goal to provide the best customer service in your industry. Make sure all your employees (not just the customer-facing ones) understand your high expectations for customer service. Set these expectations early, from the very first step of the interview process. This will hopefully weed out applicants who are less than enthusiastic about customer service. Once you have a staff full of customer-centric employees, consistently offer them the guidance and incentives they need to deliver the necessary level of service.

4. The Experience

Strive to deliver a consistent experience to each customer. Often, just one negative interaction can cost your business a lifetime of patronage. If something goes wrong, try to fix it. Whether they’re a driver, manager, or salesperson, every employee needs to offer the same level of service. Your customer aren’t always aware who they are interacting with—they just know they’re a representative of your company. That is why every interaction must be consistently positive.

5. Hear (And Respond To) Feedback

Listen to your customers and employees. Do not take negative reviews personally—remember that it’s just business. If there are consistent complaints surrounding a particular issue, resolve it. Many of a company’s best ideas come from employees or customers themselves, so don’t dismiss feedback.

6. Shop Your Competition

How do you compare to your competition? Pretend you are a customer. How do you feel? What do you like that the competition is doing? Could you do it better? Take notes and review your findings with your employees. Better yet, review them with your customers.

7. Give Them Something Free

Reward your customers regularly—they will remember you for it. Waive a convenience fee or send them a thank-you gift every now and again. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s the thought that counts.

Your customers are what keeps you in business. Being open to feedback about yourself and your business is crucial to your success. Give your employees proper training and support so they can serve your customers well. Following these simple steps will help you build a loyal customer base for your business.

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