Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Keeping Your Loyal Customers

They say better business is keeping your loyal customers than chasing after new customers. Attracting a new client costs twice as much as keeping an existing one. Did you know that loyal customers spend up to 33% more than new customers do? They would also more likely to refer your business to family, friends, etc. than the new clients. Here are some tips to generate repeat business in this age of ever shifting customer allegiances: 

1.Always ensure that your product or service lives up to it's marketing promise. Quality is the key.
2. Don't ever cheat your customers. Be honest and keep your word and follow customer's specifications. 
3. Prompt delivery is the easiest way to measure a business reliability. If there were hitches in the delivery, inform clients right away and compensate them for the inconveniences. Respond right away to questions, complaints and requests. Be on time for appointments and return phone calls immediately. Even if you can't solve a client's problem right away, at least let him know that you are working on it.
4. Ask feedback from customers whether they're satisfied with your product or service and find better ways to improve suggestions. This shows customers you care about them.
5. Send clients appreciation gifts like thank you card, token of appreciation or other small gifts.
6. Incentives such as discounts, rewards, special sales, rebates or limited-edition offers help encourage customers to stay with you for the long haul.
7. Go extra mile by exceeding client's expectations by offering value-added services. For instance, a burger-patties supplier lends freezers to her customers free of charge.
8. Stay in touch with your clients through email updates about your business products or services to keep them informed of what's happening with your business. Make phone calls; send letters, articles, holiday cards or give-aways. Make sure you periodically remind your clients that you're still around.
9. Finally, treat loyal customers as friends. Go beyond business relationship, and be willing to act as a friend and adviser-even as a loan guarantor :).