Everyone wants new clients—and every company should be marketing to new clients. But if you don’t show your current customers just as much love (if not more), your business will suffer. Once you’ve won a customer, it costs much less to keep him than to acquire a new one, so encouraging customer loyalty should be a significant part of your marketing strategy.
A recent survey showed that 71% of clients who ended a business relationship did so because of poor customer service. Obviously taking good care of your customers is top priority in fostering customer loyalty. If your customer service is lacking, you’ll not only lose business, but you run the risk of disgruntled customers spreading negative sentiment about your company. In this day of Yelp reviews and social media, that can hurt you quickly.
There are several ways to keep your current clients coming back for more. Here are just a few of them.
Make it easy for people to work with you. Can your clients place new orders, make payments and send files online? With Customer Portals, or customer storefronts, clients can log in to password-protected areas on your site that are customized specifically for each of them. Their logos, regular documents for reordering, a proofing center and more are located in their Portals, which makes repeat business a cinch.
Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. The best way to know how to treat a client is to act like one. Take a moment to peruse a competitor’s website. What about their site do you like? What turns you off? Take notes and make the necessary adjustments to your own website.
Start a customer loyalty program. Frequent flyer miles are not just for airlines anymore. There is a reason that every type of business from fast food to clothing stores offers loyalty programs. They work. Identify what incentives your loyal customers would appreciate. A club card that offers a discount with every purchase? A points program that lets them cash in their loyalty for rewards? Hint: Physical prizes or earned bonuses typically resonate more.
Engage with your customers when you get the chance. Don’t let your business be that place where people feel like they’re interrupting when they walk through the front door. Always greet your clients promptly with a smile and at least a “hello.” And don’t forget about the “thanks for stopping, have a great day” when they leave. Even with all of the business done online nowadays, it’s still true that the attitude and atmosphere a consumer experiences offline can be either a deal maker or a deal breaker.
Mind your manners. Never forget to say thank you. After a first-time order, send a letter to your client thanking them for their business. Include a coupon for their next order or a discount if they refer others. If you send a physical letter, make sure to include your website address and a catalog for them to either pass on or use at a future date. Referrals build loyalty around loyalty. How can you beat that?