Tuesday October 14, 2014
We are down to the final set of steps in our 10 Steps to Increase Customer Loyalty. If you haven’t seen the other articles covering the previous 7 steps please sign-up for our VIP mailing list and we will instantly grant you access to receive all of the extensions.
We are covering the final 3 topics of the 10 Steps to Increase Customer Loyalty. Everything you have learned so far has brought to you these last 3 steps and will complete how you can instantly increase your customer loyalty. The following three steps are may seem like the simplest measures to take but they are often the ones that are forgotten or overlooked. Please take the time to evaluate each step and gauge your current understanding and commitment to these steps and see that there is always room for improvement.
Remember important dates: We have said it many times throughout this series but we will say it again “your customers are human!”. We stress this statement because we can be so quick to forget when we are lost in the transaction of a sale, the operations of our business and the stresses of being a business owner, that we need to be reminded. A simple, immediately implementable strategy to keeping your customers top of mind and feeling appreciated as individuals, is to remember important dates. These dates could be their birthday, their business’ anniversary or even simply their anniversary of when they became a customer of yours.
You can couple several of our strategies to communicate to your customers’ that you recognize their special day. You can incorporate promotions tied to their birthday or anniversary, you can write a handwritten note, and you can create a feature for them in store or in your monthly communication. No matter which way you choose you must have a system to store AND remind you of these important dates. We are adamant about having a CRM (customer relationship management) system in place for many reasons but one in particular is to keep on top of our customers’ important dates. If you are interested in learning about the system we use we are happy to share just give us a call or an email.
Be exceptional: There is a lot to be said about making a good first impression however, there is even more to be said about maintaining and exceeding your first impression. We are huge advocates, and participants, of continued education and on-going training to improve upon sales practices, operations and processes and of course customer service. It is imperative that you provide access to books, articles, videos, blogs and classes for yourself and your staff to always be learning. Continue to strive for excellence and implement processes that create an exceptional experience for your customers every time they interact with you.
One of the best examples of providing exceptional service is to have the same experience for your customers no matter who they deal with during or after a transaction. If you have employees, introduce them to your customers so they get to know each person of your operation. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough because you never want to create a scenario where your customer only wants to deal with one person. If you create the culture of providing exceptional customer service and involving all of your staff even with simple introductions, you will see a significant change in how your customers interact with your company and you will see it by their increase in loyalty and comfort within your business.
Be Human: Yes, we said it again and we will continue to remind you. In our current culture we have seen a pretty drastic shift in how we interact with businesses as consumers. Not only have we shifted in our ways of consumerism but we have shifted in the way we interact socially. There is a great deal of human connectivity that has been lost over the past decade due to technology. These changes have made us more comfortable with sending a Facebook message rather than picking up the phone to call someone. With all of that being said there is a shift that is emerging to where people are craving the human interaction, they desire receiving physical mail versus email and most importantly people want to be heard and know they matter.
The impact you can make on the relationship you have with your customers and from that extend in to your community can directly influence how we interact as a culture. When you remember that your customers are human and that they have emotions, desires, fears and worries and that they just want to be heard, you can increase your customer loyalty and connect with your customers on a level that virtually exceeds any online interaction. You can implement any one or all 10 or anywhere in between, of the steps we have given you and your influence on showing your customers they matter will be instantaneous. You will know that you are having an effect on your customers when you see them smile, when you hear it in their voice and when you see them coming back to have that feeling again and again.
We know that all of this information and new processes can seem overwhelming however, if you are able to implement just one of them you are on your way to create more connected, longer-lasting and more loyal relationships with your customers.
This concludes our extensions of the 10 Steps of Customer Loyalty but no need to fret my friends there is so much more to come your way! If you haven’t already please be sure to add yourself to our VIP list please visit our sign-up page, or email us directly at [email protected] . Please submit your comments so we can help you with your questions, celebrate your successes and dance around the desk for your accomplishments!