So you’re a small business, and so far so good. You’re doing a great job. You’re delivering a great product. You have clients and customers that are buying. Great start.
But whats next? How do you keep these clients happy? How do you retain them for the long haul? Check out these five tips for how to make lifetime customers.
1. Provide excellent interaction with your customers.
Recent studies show that the biggest reason customers will leave your business to seek another is because they disliked the attitude of the employees at said business. The attitude? Yes! Up to 68% leave to find an alternative for this reason alone even if they were satisfied with the quality, price, and delivery of what they purchased. People demand that they be treated well. Any of your employees who have face time with customers need to understand that they are the company in that situation.
Think about it, when I call Verizon because I have an issue with my phone the person on the other end is Verizon to me. If they take excellent care of me or solve my problem, I come away from that situation with a positive view of Verizon. On the other hand, if they roadblock me the entire time or if I feel like I’m a bother to them, I am ready to leave. Are your employees positive? Even excited to interact with your clientele? Do they get pumped up to solve issues that customers have?
2. Welcome feedback.
You want to know what you’re doing well for your customers? Do you need to know where to improve? Your clients will tell you! It is extremely important to have strategies in place to get feedback from your customers. Whether this be a suggestion box, a comment card, or an email follow-up, collect this data. Compile it, and implement changes. Give your customers a chance. Listen and work on the areas they point out for improvement. Encourage your teams with the praise you get back as well.
3. Take action steps with client feedback.
I have seen many companies do these first two points well, but completely botch this one. Often, companies have excellent employees who have awesome interactions with clients, and have strategies for getting customer feedback. But they do nothing with that information. They take the issues that customers bring up and sweep them under the rug, make excuses, justify them, or think “this is how we’ve always done it, so that’s the way it is.”
Companies like this will have a shorter life span or be in serious trouble until they change (General Motors anyone?). You have to be humble and willing to listen to your customer feedback and get onboard with the changes. If you don’t keep up with what your customers are asking, you will get left in the dust.
4. Problem solve for your clients.
Most people hate it when clients call in with issues or come back with a problem or complaint. I love it when this happens. Quite possibly my favorite part of my job is when I get a call from client XYZ and they have a big issue. Why do I love this? Because that’s when I get to perform and problem solve for them. I get to be their advocate.
They were in trouble, and who did they call? Me! And I am going to solve the problem so well, and so fast, and take care of them in their time of need. This, my friends, is huge. It is one of the best ways to keep your customers loyal. Those are the opportunities you have to show off and go well above and beyond for your clients and hook them for life.
Be excellent at this! Look forward to taking care of your customers problems. Listen to their issues, and I mean really listen. Apologize to them genuinely. Empathize and understand how they’re feeling and why they’re frustrated. Relate to what they’re saying. Solve their problem. Tell them what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and when their issue will be fixed.
Then thank the dickens out of them. Thank them for coming to you and telling you about the issue. Thank them for letting you try to resolve it and for trusting you to fix it. Thank them for the opportunity to resolve it.
5. Go above and beyond.
People expect good service. If you don’t give them good service, they know they can get it elsewhere. Therefore, your goal shouldn’t be to provide good service. It should be to provide the best service they will ever have in their lives—the kind of service they tell their friends about.
This is not hard to do. It comes down to being intentional and looking for little opportunities to go above and beyond. People remember those moments. And they will keep coming back because of them.
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About 212 Media Studios
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