We all have that one business that we can’t imagine life without, the one with the knockout product and 5-star service. Well, yours could be that business for someone out there.
Devoted customers aren’t just a source of pride, they’re good for business too. Did you know it costs 5 times as much to create a new customer as it does to keep a previous one? It’s in your interest as much as your clientele’s to forge lasting bonds, so here are some practical principles for making customers fall in love with your business.
When we hear the phrase ‘expectation management’, we brace ourselves to be let down. But what if you could pleasantly surprise your customers with a speedier, better turnaround than they expected?
It’s always a small delight when, for instance, you take your laptop in for a repair, and get it back within 2 days when you’d originally been quoted 4. If you do a little better than what you’ve promised, your customers will notice and thank you for it.
Don’t take this too far though! You don’t want to put people off with a weak initial promise - but going over and above your goals is a useful rule of thumb.
Providing customers with useful, informative content like blogs, videos or infographics is a cornerstone of great marketing. Did you know that 68% of consumers say that they feel more positive about a business that offers them content to check out?
Take stock of what you know about who your customers are, create content that you think they’d enjoy reading or watching. A cheap and simple way to do this is by maintaining a blog section on your website, or even a YouTube channel, and your social media channels are the perfect place to share what you’ve created.
Who doesn’t love a good bargain? There’s probably a bar or restaurant near you that’s buzzing with people taking advantage of great happy hour deals, or weekly discounts on certain dishes.
Whatever you sell, running regular promotions helps drive new business while keeping your loyal customers coming back for more. It raises your standing in people’s minds, while adding to that all-important word of mouth buzz about your business.
People like hearing from businesses that offer consistently high-quality products, deals and service, and they particularly like being made to feel like valued customers.
If you sell products over the internet, make sure that each purchase generates an email sent to the customer, thanking them for buying from you - this is even better if you can personalise it with their name
If you don’t, start asking your customers for their email addresses by installing a contact form on your website, and put together a mailing list for a regular newsletter that presents details of new products, deals and content.
Whatever you write, make sure it comes across as grateful and concerned for the customer’s satisfaction. Remember, charm is the art of getting something without asking for it - a helpful, appreciative tone will motivate people to buy more from you!
Having some kind of loyalty scheme - whether it’s a card to fill up with stamps, or an exclusive offer sent out to customers who’ve completed a certain number of purchases - is a tried and tested way of building confidence in your business.
If you implement something like this, you’ll hit 2 customer sweet spots: a sense of acknowledgement and awareness of an incentive to keep buying.
It’s always good to get your customers’ perspectives on your business - not only does it show them that you care, it alerts you to the things you should fix to become even better.
Don’t just wait for the online reviews to roll in; be proactive and ask your customers to contribute their experiences of doing business with you. Send a survey or questionnaire round to your mailing list, or leave a guestbook in your store.
Remember to always make them feel like there’s a real person on the other end, and take care over how questions are worded.
So you’ve had a complaint from an unhappy customer. Don’t worry, it happens. What matters most now is that you take the customer seriously and respond to the complaint as quickly as possible.
Given that 82% of customers have stopped buying from a company because of shoddy customer service, you can’t afford to dawdle. Be personable, be quick and above all, be apologetic, and your customer should be happy again in no time.
To win your customers’ hearts, you’ve got to show them love too. Keep the twin principles of great marketing and attentive, human customer service in mind and you’re set to have customers swooning for years over your business.
Enjoyed this article? Check out these from our vaults