8 easy solutions for building customer loyalty.
1. Be confidentMake sure your customers know they’re getting the best product or service out there. Don’t be afraid to show off a bit sometimes by demonstrating your abilities or expertise. This is the face you put on for marketing. Customers want to be impressed and reassured that you truly believe in what you sell. You’ll reinforce their confidence in you, which means they’ll click the “Buy” button more readily.
2. Bring positive energyEvery interaction with customers adds up. Your positive energy will come naturally if you’re happy to be in business. Share your pride through a friendly interaction, or even a little humour, and you’ll give your customers a good feeling that they’ll associate with you.
3. Respond promptlyNever forget your customers are just as busy as you are and, at the end of the day, they’re paying to keep your lights on. Adopt a service-orientated mindset and make sure your customers see it in action. Hold yourself accountable by establishing a response-time service level agreement (SLA), like 24 hours. When you respond in a timely manner, you start to establish trust. Your customers can see you’re reliable and available to them.
4. Meet customers in personFind ways to show your customers that you’re in business not because you need to be, but because you believe your products and services are the best out there. Meeting your customers in person – at farmers markets or craft fairs, for example – shows that you’re personally invested in your business. These markets are a great place for small business owners to gauge their products’ success and get direct feedback from customers.
5. Offer solutionsProblems will arise – that’s the nature of running a business. Some of those problems you can foresee. Others, not so much.
For common customer service issues, like needing to exchange for a different size, have a response and solution ready so you can reply to customers promptly. For more challenging problems, let your customers know you’ve heard them and are working on a resolution. And don’t forget to apologise for any trouble or inconvenience it’s caused them – empathy can be powerful.
After you’ve offered a solution, follow up with a call or email to make sure the customer is happy with the result.
6. Be transparentTransparency is part of developing a service-orientated mindset. Make sure customers know what product or service you’re providing, exactly how much it will cost, and when they’ll receive it. Nothing ruins a customer relationship like unpleasant surprises.
7. Listen to customersThe only way to understand what your customers need is to ask them – over and over again. Chances are, their needs will evolve over time. Remember, a good idea can come from anywhere (customers, employees, or friends and family). So when people give you feedback, accept it eagerly and with an open mind – and let them know you’re listening.
8. Get invested in your customersDon’t take your customers for granted, even if they seem secure. You’ll cement a connection with them if you show them you don’t just want a sale, you want to please them individually.
This is service with feeling.
Your customers have a lot of choices for which businesses they want to use and buy from. There’s likely plenty of competition within your own market niche. That’s why customer relationship building should be a daily focus in every part of your business – from merchandising to payment choices to prompt delivery and problem solving.
Don’t forget, customers choose to do business with people who respect their needs. Inspire happiness and you’ll inspire their loyalty.