Customer loyalty is seldom discussed in the workplace. Most businesses focus on quantifiable factors, like sales, profits, inventories, etc. But taking a much closer look reveals that customer loyalty is actually at the core of every limb of your business. Without loyal patrons, your quarterly sales and profits will be volatile, earning projections will be way off, and, ultimately, your business suffers. If you want to succeed, you'll need to earn and build the loyalty of your customers. Here are five ways to do just that:
Align Your Values With Theirs
To build a strong connection with any person, you both need to share the same values. The Corporate Executive Board recently conducted a study involving 7,000 American consumers. Of that amount, more than 64 percent of the people interviewed said they shared values with the brands that they supported and was the primary reason why they chose to stay with the said brand. In fact, shared values are the unspoken champions of successful businesses. If you want customers to keep buying from you and advertise on your behalf, you need to uphold the values that they strongly stand for.
Streamline Customer Service
You'll find this being repeated more times than anyone can count, but it deserves to be mentioned every possible chance. Excellent customer service is what encourages repeat business and what prevents customers from spreading negative word of mouth that would repel future customers. Countless companies including Zappos have thrived using this strategy; but how do you streamline customer service? One way to do it is by listening to your customers and providing a solution as soon as possible. Make it simple for customers to reach you when they stumble on technical issues or account inquiries.
Be a Familiar Face
Billion-dollar corporations, like Procter and Gamble and Shell, have managed to make their brand's products and services a familiar and friendly face in their respective industries. It takes some time to build your brand into a trusted, household name but it's what can fill your coffers much faster. A great way to earn and build customer loyalty is to partner with a celebrity who people already trust. Putting a friendly and welcoming face, like the former president Obama's, can present your company as an ally to the masses.
Offer Something Better
If your business doesn't come up with something new and exciting, customers are bound to leave. Sure, your product or service might be selling for now, but as soon as a competitor with better pricing and quality comes along, your customers are going to be jumping ship. Customers can perceive this lack of improvement and adaptation as an indication that you do not value them enough for you to find ways to improve your business' offerings. Start by looking for ways to lower product pricing, increase shipping and delivery efficiency, or add new features to broaden its functionality. Next, you can target customers with special deals and discount offers.
Don't Forget Your Existing Customer Base
It's surprisingly easy to forget your current customer base as you try to reach new ones. Keep in mind that it is much cheaper to retain existing customers than it is to acquire new ones, at least six times cheaper to be exact. Even when a customer has purchased something or subscribed to your service, don't forget to say "HI" once in a while. Your existing customer base should receive the same level of attention and support that your new leads receive.
Earning and building customer loyalty takes time. It's a continuous process that must be maintained and protected. Of course, even the most loyal customer bases that takes years to develop can go crumbling down after just a single bad decision. Remember to be mindful of whatever you're releasing to the public. Get high profile individuals to support your cause and advertise the values that your brand stands for. When a person can relate to your brand, it becomes easier to influence their decisions, get to know them better, and convert them into loyal subjects.
About Al Davidson
Al Davidson founded Strategic Sales & Marketing, Inc. (SSM), where he helps deliver B2B lead generation services and appointment setting solutions for clients around the world. Under Al’s direction SSM has designed and implemented new business development plans for thousands of B2B companies which generated over 7 million new sales leads and millions of dollars to his clients.