It’s never a bad idea to focus on bringing in new customers, but you need to make sure you won’t cycle through them. Retaining customers and inspiring their loyalty is what ultimately will make up a solid foundation for revenue. New customers aren’t as valuable as you may think if you don’t have a plan in place to hold onto them. A solid loyalty strategy isn’t something you can afford to do without, and the sooner you implement one, the faster your business will receive all of the benefits.
Keep Track of Buying Habits
You won’t know how to communicate with former customers if you don’t know what’s meaningful to them. What did they come to you for, and why did they need it? If you aren’t sure what products or services are relevant in their lives, you’ll be wasting any contact or marketing efforts you’re throwing in their direction.
Always Follow Up
A week or so after you’ve sealed the deal, give your client a call to ask them if they’re enjoying their product or service, and ask them if there’s anything else you can do for them. This is especially beneficial for large purchases. Never go directly to further marketing or upselling unless the client has suggested they will need something else, or you can provide the resolution to an issue. Inform them of anything going on within your business that may apply to their needs, and thank them genuinely for their patronage.
Memorable Gift Giving
A lot of businesses will send things to past customers on their birthdays. It’s a simple way to show you care. Some customers may perceive things like coupons to be tacky for the occasion, but you aren’t out of alternative options. A card that will make them laugh can easily do the trick, as long as your humor is within the standards of professionalism.
Send Personalized Emails
Everyone gets run-of-the-mill mass marketing email campaigns, and a lot of the time, they’re eager to follow the link and unsubscribe. Sending one communication en masse doesn’t show that you’re paying attention. Personalized emails will make an old customer feel important enough to consider coming back. It speaks a powerful testament to your customer service and expresses how much you appreciate your customers.
Never send excessive emails, as people are generally put off by anything that could be considered spam. Limit your emails to once a week for regular retail, monthly for common services, and bimonthly for large sales or services.
Incentivize Their Return
Every day, your past customers are bombarded with advertisement from other companies. Finding an excellent deal from a competitor can be all it takes to turn them in the opposite direction. Establishing a loyalty program or showing special treatment to individuals whose business you value will likely reward you in the long run. Offering exclusive deals or personalized services makes customers feel good, and it will also help you face the competition with your head held high.
Special events create an aura of sophistication. If you’re holding one of these events, make sure your past customers receive an invitation. While this may not be inexpensive to do, it will provide you with opportunities to generate larger profits, especially if everyone gets some one-on-one time. Try holding seasonal or semi-annual events to promote loyalty while showcasing your customer service skills.
How does your business maintain contact with past customers? What are your secrets for maintaining a loyal customer base? Feel free to share with others in the comments section.
About the Author
Kelly Smith is Content Manager at Career FAQs, Australia’s leading portal on online learning and career resources. She is interested in new tech solutions and self-improvement ideas.