Here is the September Practical Business Advice Newsletter. Hopefully you'll find the information informative and useful!
Please feel free to pass it on to colleagues and friends.
Tips to Increase Customer Loyalty and Super Charge Sales
There are really only three ways to grow a business: 1) get more new customers, 2) get current customers to buy more frequently or 3) get current customers to spend more money on each transaction. Businesses almost always gravitate towards the first way to grow a business – on getting more new customers – because it’s the most obvious. However, did you know that it is six times more expensive to get business from a new customer than it is from existing ones? So how can you make sure that your existing customers keep coming back and spending more?
Here are some tips on how to increase customer loyalty and super charge your repeat business.
Keep in touch regularly
Find reasons to contact your customers
Send a birthday or a “thank you for doing business” card. Collect email addresses and send out periodic updates or special offerings. The key is to continue to build a relationship and to be top of mind when they have a need for your products or services.
Give free information, tips and ideas via a monthly newsletter
People love free information and articles that promise to give a certain number of tips. The key is to provide relevant, useful information that will assist your customers as it relates to your industry.
Have consistent “categories” that you use each month. This way you will only need to source content versus deciding each month what the format will be. This will also create a consistent look and brand.
Make customers feel special
Don’t be afraid to build a genuine bond with your customers. Find out what their interests are, where they live, what they think. People do business with people.
Deliver consistently and reliably
One bad experience can ruin a good relationship. You need to deliver consistent and reliable products and services. If you consistently deliver what your customers expect, when they expect it, most customers will stick with you.
Find out what they think of your company
Conduct customer surveys
Formal customer surveys can ensure that you are delivering consistent and reliable products and services. They can also provide valuable insights about the changing needs of your customers. People love to give their opinions and it makes them feel like you genuinely care about their business. You are asking so that you can help serve them better.
Continuously monitor what they are saying
With all the social media platforms being used, it’s important that you also monitor what your customers may be saying about you online and address any concerns. One easy way to track this is set up a “Google alert” for your company. Create an alert with your business name in quotes (www.google.com/alerts) - it will automatically monitor what people are posting about you (mentions of your company) and send you an email with a link to it.
Offer complimentary products
Studies have shown that the more different types of products and services that a customer buys from you, the more likely they are to stay with you. Why? It’s simple. It just becomes more complicated for them to leave you. So, can you offer them a new product or service that compliments what they currently buy from you? This of course, assumes that they are satisfied with your current products and services.
Offer special discounts and promotions
Offer periodic discounts or special offers to your customers. Send them a 10% discount off their next purchase. Or partner with another company that serves the same market and offer a discount on their services. As an example, a homebuilder may offer a welcome kit of discounts to their new customers. They may partner with a local pizza place and get a pizza coupon for the welcome kit. It’s a win-win situation.
Implement a loyalty program
Companies need to find innovative ways to recognize their customers. A loyalty program is a way to do that. And now a days, in many industries it’s expected. Many customers now decide which merchants to frequent based on the features and benefits of their loyalty programs.
Reward your current customers for referrals. Studies show that referrals are one of the top sources for new business. It is estimated that between 80 and 95 percent of business today comes from referrals. These referrals are coming from people who like, trust and respect you. So by rewarding your customers, you not only make them feel more appreciated, but they are also helping you get more business.
These tips will not only help you increase customer loyalty, but will also help super charge your whole business! Now go call a customer and see how they are doing.
If you have any particular topics you'd like to hear about in upcoming issues, your feedback would be appreciated.
Strategic Business Advisor
Business Solutions Inc.
Calgary, AB T2T 4S1
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