The client acquisition process requires a considerable investment of resources. Once you have a customer, it costs much less to maintain that individual than it does to find, convince and convert a new customer. Maintaining client loyalty requires its own particular type of investment and must be cultivated and supported throughout your organization to be successful. Here are five simple ways to build customer loyalty and keep your clients coming back for more.
- Know what your customers want: Listen carefully to your clients’ needs and requests. Take customer complaints seriously and act on them promptly. Whenever possible, incorporate suggestions or requests received by sales staff or through unsolicited comments from clients. Do more of those things customers say they like. Find out what customers want and need by conducting client surveys or having sales and service personnel ask relevant questions.
- Don’t delay a response: If customers contact your company, respond quickly, courteously and with genuine concern. A 24- to 48-hour response window is usually adequate. This may require additional investment in personnel and training, but the payoff will be huge. Even customers with complaints will appreciate a fast response.
- Train your staff: Make sure your staff knows how to respond to customers when they have a complaint. Invest in training and education programs that improve staff response to problems and show them how to stay friendly and professional even when customers aren’t. Even a complaint can be turned into a positive experience for your clients.
- Work one-on-one: When possible, assign specific customer representatives to individual customers. Clients will appreciate knowing who to call if they have a request or problem. They will be more loyal to someone they know and trust and will be more likely tomake referrals and increase their business.
- Resolve problems no matter the source: Whether the problem originates with you, your staff, the customer or an unavoidable circumstance, fix it. Don’t shift responsibility even if someone else is at fault. Solve the problem respectfully and courteously. A “no-questions-asked” policy strengthens client loyalty like nothing else can.
What can you do right now to improve your customer service and increase client loyalty?
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