It’s a well known fact that it costs a lot more to acquire a new customer than it does to retaining your most loyal ones. For this reason alone, the best method of becoming profitable is having returning customers who’ll continue to patronize you. What this all develops into is effective relationship marketing.
In this world of instant gratification that we live in, it’s known that customers are no longer loyal as they once were. At one time, customers searched for to find a service such as yours, and then remained with you for years.
But today, consumers are now becoming increasingly fickle and distracted, and are more than likely to becoming easily tempted by your competition, who’s offer may be a tad better such as a lower price, better selection, or they may have superior seductive marketing.
So the art of customer loyalty management has become more of a method, a scientific technique more than its ever been, and it’s one that everyone now needs to adopt just to keep up.
Since the cost of customer acquisition and retention is so high, there are a few techniques which has been proven over time that needs to be applied.
Offering Discounts For Repeat Customers
What you’ll often see are certain businesses who’ll give their first time customers a discount for purchasing, this as a hook to get them through their door to sell them their product or service. This to relationship marketing experts is the wrong way of approaching discounts.
What businesses should be doing is concentrating on these reward loyalty programs by offering their existing customers, who happens to return back time and time again, by offering them some type of a loyalty discount each time that they purchase your product.
Over time, by you recognizing they coming back, it makes it difficult for them to make the shift to your competitor, making it look like a poor and unnecessary proposition for them. There’s no reason for them to leave you if you’re giving them a 20% discount just for they returning to you.
Collecting Data Information
It’s recommended that not only should you be compiling a mailing list, but you should be categorizing them into two different groups. The first who are your prospects, those who have in the past expressed interest that they may buy product from you, and the other which comprises of your current customers, those who have bought from you in the past.
You should be lavishing attention to both lists, but especially more towards your existing customer list, by making sure that you lay on the lather and charm to those who’s purchased from you more than once.
What you want to do is keep in contact with these regular customers as much as possible by always understand what their needs are, and what they might need from you.
The most effective way of keeping in direct contact with them is by email. The secret is always doing so without ever going overboard or becoming annoying, such as attempting to sell them more stuff.
Send your most cherished regular customers birthday and Christmas cards, invite them for the occasional lunch or company barbeques. Just make sure that you use avenues which you know that your competitors are neglecting.
If your service happens to be a product which your customer needs at regular or routine intervals, or at certain times of the year, make sure that you keep track of this, and then send them something personal at that time.
There’s nothing worse than losing out on a prospect or a customer just because you’ve neglected them, or somehow misplaced their contact information. So spend a bit of time to make sure that you remain on their minds and not the competitors.
Another good method is sending your email list a weekly or a monthly newsletter. Take a few hours each week to offer relevant useful information regarding your industry that your customers would find useful, and worth reading or sharing.
Make sure that you always place your logo and contact information on all the information that you send out, so they’ll be reminded of who you are whenever they see it.
Also make sure that you keep this information updated and archived on your site in a form of a blog, so that it can be readily found by those searching for related information.
Always Pay Attention To Feedback
One chore that you may want to do is phone or email your customer base and then request feedback or testimonials from them after they’ve purchased from you. Just make sure that they were satisfied with whatever it was you provided.
Offer to resolve anything that they’re not satisfied with by asking them if they can think of ways that you could improve. Customers will always appreciate this and enjoy offering their input, then at times actually implement the best suggestions.
Providing Personalized Service
Make sure that you always go that extra mile to make all of your customers feel like they’re your friend, and not just another tracking number that’s in your database.
Tailor everything that you do to fit their needs, and make everything that they need or think of easy for them. Never leave it up to them to do the legwork for you, something that you could and should be doing.
What customers will always appreciate at all times is something as simple as a personalized “Thank You” note, this when you’ve gained their business and received their payment. To make it even more personal, you could hand write it out.