The Importance Of Customer Loyalty & Client Retention
Keep the clients coming back again and again.
I’ve worked in a variety of businesses from small start-ups to large corporations and I have always been struck at how differently they view the importance of retaining their customer base. I believe this always lies at the integrity of the company. Those that value the thoughts and feelings of those that use their products and services will unquestionably hold onto their place in the market.
Having worked in other businesses that have a low regard for customer loyalty, I have subsequently built a company that uses nothing other than feedback and industry knowledge to craft the quality of products my clients demand. There is no limit to what can be achieved and no measurement or weight that can’t be taken to satisfy a critical audience. Here are my top tips for ensuring your clients never want or need to go anywhere else.
1. Get To Know Your Customers Personally
While this may not be applicable to every business on a face-to-face level, there should always be an element of customisation in all your communication to your wider consumer community. Understand the desires of your clients and group them accordingly. You need to know the profiles of your audience to speak the same language. Learn their likes, dislikes and understand the differences between your groups. Then understand what has brought them to be a client to you. Chances are there are one or a few common denominators which are important to all your clients despite their differences.
2. Address Their Concerns & Take Action
Few businesses are lucky enough to get everything right the first time around. If your business has already been around for a few years, chances are your products have shed their skin a few times. Success means listening to the ones that use your products most. Constructive criticism is just that; constructive. It helps iron out all the wrinkles, use better suppliers and speed up your production line. Listening is one of the greatest attributes you can have if you hope to grow a business.
3. Credit Where Credit Is Due
We can all name a few customers who’ve never left our side. The ones who started with us. They are the ones which have grown with us and at times even carried us. Loyalty should be rewarded and everyone appreciates being appreciated. Whatever you do to reward them. Whether it’s an occasional gift, money off or some preferential treatment; make sure you do it. It’s easy to get caught up with new clients when the revenue is rising. But longevity is loyalty in the long term.
4. Tell Your Story
Even your most loyal base will need to be reminded of what’s going on. People like to be in the know and it’s up to you to keep them in it. If they are subscribed to you as a customer then they should hear news before anyone else. They should always be put first before your new clients. Accept them into your club and make it as exclusive as you can. So much so that everyone else will be dying to get in.
There is of course no sure-fire way to get those customers in and keep them there. Sometimes attracting new customers can be the easy bit. It’s no surprise when clients walk in the door with an introductory offer or a promise of a gratuity. What are you then doing to make sure they don’t float away to a competitor? You can’t retain everyone of course. Some people just won’t fit your profile. The important thing is to recognise when they do and you don’t lose them for something as silly as not paying attention.