Most of us have probably heard this marketing adage: it costs less to sell to existing customers than it does to sell to prospects.
It makes sense when you stop and think about it. After all, our existing customers already know what to expect from us.
f their experiences were good ones, these customers would probably be happy to buy from us again.
So how can you create better experiences that will make for happier customers? Consider these six smart strategies for building customer loyalty.
1. Say thank you and mean it. It’s easy to say, “thank you,” but it takes effort to make sure each “thank you” sounds genuine and heartfelt. You and your staff should be mindful of what these words sound like every time you utter them.
2. Abandon the generic script. While scripts are necessary to a certain extent—you need to start somewhere—it’s important to keep in mind that one size doesn’t fit all. The way you talk with one customer might be different from the way you talk with another, and that’s OK. Communicating effectively with customers is an art. Encourage your staff to use the script as a starting point only.
3. Do what you say you’re going to do. In other words, don’t make promises you can’t keep, whether it’s in advertising, social media, or what you say to a customer who is in your store. And if you offer to do something—such as research the answer to a customer’s question—then do it.
4. Create a meaningful customer loyalty program. Don’t create a customer loyalty program simply because everyone else is doing it and you think you should too. Put some thought into it. Ask your customers what they want. Talk to your employees about their ideas. Think through the steps, from implementation to how you’re going to measure results.
5. Make it easy for customers to communicate with you. Have you ever been in a situation where it was so hard to reach a live human at a company, you resorted to Twitter to complain about the company, just so you’d get a response? Many of us have probably been there or have known people who’ve been there. making it easy for customers to reach you means thinking through the different methods they use to communicate. So, if you offer three lines of communication (e.g., phone, email, and social), make sure someone is monitoring each channel.
6. Acknowledge customer milestones. Do you have a group of customers who’ve been with you since the beginning, through thick and thin? Acknowledge these folks with shout-outs on social media, special blog features, and/or a thoughtful gift.