We all know that companies invest a great deal in their marketing to attract customers, especially potential ones. But it is equally important that companies take good care of their existing customers as well. Businesses thrive because their client base grows and stays.
In a romantic commitment, people go exceeding heights and depths to woo their sweethearts to make them stay in the relationship. This depiction is similar with a business and its existing customer—well minus the romance, of course. But their love for your brand…that’s what you need to work on to last.
Being in the customer service industry this long, transcosmos understands how you can sustain that business relationship and make it blossom. Here are ways you can follow to make your existing customers love you more:
1. Establish partnership.
Treat your existing customers not merely as consumers but partners. Allow them to be involved in your business by collaborating in a product development or recommending process improvement, and really implementing them. Remember our post about how Julep found success by listening to their customers’ suggestions (that made this innovative cosmetic tool)?
Bringing your customer interaction to partnership level shows your existing customers that you see them as a vital part of your business growth. It will give them a sense of worth in your business. In turn, it will make them become loyal customers just because they have contributed something valuable to your company.
2. Empower them.
Most probably, your existing customers have stayed long enough to understand the ins and outs of the products and services you offer. So why not give something that will make them even more excited to get to know your business better?
A good example of this is Apple’s One to One program. For $99, Apple customers can learn more about their gadgets and how to maximize its functionalities. And as they undergo this program, they become proficient with the said device that they unconsciously become “evangelists” of it to another person. They also have a community where they can engage with other users and share what they are currently working on.
By empowering your existing customers, you gain brand ambassadors who will help you market your business without too much cost. And when customers see that you are in to them not only for their money, chances are they will stay with you because you empower them to be better.
3. Engage in a personal interaction with them.
We are talking about customers who have been with you for months (or even years), so it would be a good move if you provide an opportunity for them to finally meet the faces behind the brand they are patronizing.
Example, for small businesses, arrange a tea-time type of set-up where you can talk with your customers face to face; while bigger companies can organize thank-you dinners for your loyal customers or invite them to a social activity where company executives can work hand-in-hand with customers in helping out a community.
When customers experience this personal connection with you, they will embrace your business all the more and support you in everything. Give them more reasons why they made the right decision to stay with you by having a personal relationship with them—and really stay connected with them. You may check out some other ideas here on how you can engage your clients better.
4. Effective loyalty programs make them stay.
According to this research, you spend up to 6 times more to attract new customers than to keep an existing one. So instead of spending more for those new customers, why not use that portion instead to build customer loyalty programs that will help keep your existing customers happy to stay? Nurture your existing customers by creating incentives that they can enjoy. However, you need to implement one that is effective to your customers, otherwise it may do more harm to your business than good.
Take cue from Zappos who re-distributed their entire marketing budget to customer service, they would surprise their existing customers with an overnight shipping upgrade just because they are generous that way. Since they are an online retailer, shipping is one effective way to incentivize their customers.
There’s also Sephora’s Beauty Insider where loyal customers have an opportunity to earn points from their purchases and redeem them not only for products but also limited-edition sample sets, in-store beauty classes and other products that are not available to public. They also offer birthday gifts and seasonal promotions that are sure treats for their faithful customers.
Identify your existing client base and be creative in shaping up loyalty incentives that will add value to your patrons. Aside from a point-system reward program, you may throw in exclusive offers, priority service benefits, or simply sending them a thank-you gift for being a wonderful customer and for doing business with you.
5. Emphasize customer satisfaction through feedback.
You will never know how good your customers service is or what you need to improve on if you do not carefully review what they say about your business. Encourage your customers to participate in surveys or allow an open evaluation by inviting long-term customers to do a check and balance on your customer service practices.
The effectiveness of drawing out meaningful responses from any customer, whether new or existing, relies on how smartly your feedback program is constructed. For surveys, you can get hints here on how you can come up with feasible questions that will help gauge your customer service. Make online polls fun. Build more user-friendly email feedback. Stress that you want to see how you fare in serving their needs and concerns so you can improve more or continue what works.
Though you do not have to act upon every suggestion or be swayed by a negative comment, you can get the general thrust of your customers’ feedback and return to them with actionable points. This way they will see that their time giving you feedback was not wasted and that you are serious in ensuring customer satisfaction.
Make your existing customers a partner, a better person, a friend, a fan and a soundboard so you can steer your business to a quality customer service. Simply put, the more you connect with your existing customers, the more you will know what makes their hearts beat—and following these 5 ways can definitely make them love you more.