Acquiring new customers can cost serious time and money. There are sales calls, marketing efforts, and yes, the occasional bribe. Which is why it makes sense to take care of the customers you've got. Because if they end the relationship, you'll be right back to prospecting. Are you doing everything in your power to inspire strong relationships with your clientele? Here are five tips to help you strengthen customer loyalty.
1. Embrace the sting. Sure, it's not pleasant to hear complaints. But it's an opportunity to make your customers feel heard. When a customer gives negative feedback, don't think of it as an obstacle, but as a chance to make things right, prove your integrity, and enhance your processes.
2. Grease the wheels of commerce. Every organization has a key individual who makes buying decisions. Figure out who it is, and send them a nice little gift. It doesn't have to be expensive, either. When you give a gift card or a bottle of wine, you create a give-and-take scenario that can open the door to sales. Be cautious with your generosity, though. You don't want to end up in a vicious cycle of "buying" your business with expensive, recurring gifts. And if your client doesn't allow gifts, a flattering email or card never hurts.
3. Focus on the customer. Customer service isn't some magical ideal that mysteriously vanished in the 1970s. If anything, it's more important than ever. Internet shoe retailer Zappo's is so focused on customer service, its clients have written letters asking it to start an airline. When your customers feel the same, they'll stay with you for life.
4. Incentives, incentives, incentives! This one is almost a no-brainer. Incentives create a financial reward for repeat business. By the time your customer is halfway to receiving an incentive, they feel invested in the sales process. They're unlikely to switch because they have a goal, and they can see the finish line.
5. Start a feedback loop. Soliciting feedback can help you identify emerging problems before they become a serious issue. It can also help you understand what you're doing right. Surveys are an excellent tool for gathering feedback. Just make sure they're anonymous, quick, and easy-to-access.
At TBS Capital Funding, we provide a robust suite of services to help you improve customer experiences. From credit checks to accounting to instant funding, we'll take care of the details so you can focus on building relationships. If you need funding or back office services, we're ready to help. Just know, we're fresh out of bribes.