All businesses, regardless of size, need customers. Keeping the customers you have is as important as initially attracting them because they help the business grow and prosper. Regulation and optimization of customer service management can greatly increase the chance that a one-time purchase will become a long-term client relationship. Customer service is about treating customers with respect and offering them services that cause them to make repeated transactions and about giving clients precisely what they want according to their personal preference. Good communication and human relations skills are requirements for good customer relations.
There are many ways to keep customers for life, they include:
- Deliver on your promises. If the business cannot deliver on the product or services offered any other efforts made are useless. This simply means be sure you can follow through on your promises or claims or do not bother making them. When the focus is on the customer instead of on the products or services, a business can lose customers due to not keeping the most basic promises on products and services offered. To keep customers loyal, it is necessary to nurture them first by making sure that you deliver what you promise.
- Treat your customers well. It is important that you treat customers with the respect they deserve from the start. Building strong customer relationships requires that businesses treat their customers as long-term prospects from the very first transaction. Treating customers respectfully from the beginning can engender long-term customer loyalty.
- Go beyond. An ideal way to keep a customer for life is by consistently exceeding expectations and providing services that are always above par. Establishing criteria for what your customers can expect from your business gives a base from which to start and enables the business to find ways to improve upon its customer service. Customers are attracted to businesses that have a great product or services and treats them like royalty.
- Pay more attention to your customers than your bottom line. Businesses need to pay less attention to profits and more to their clients’ needs. Of course profits are important, but clients are more so because without the customers there would be no profits. Remember to ask for customer feedback to make the customer feel like a valued part of your business.
- Nurture your employees. Treating your employees well is an effective strategy for winning long-term customers. A happy employee can generate customer loyalty as it results in a work environment that is both supportive and responsive to customers. Providing customers with a helpful employee makes customers feel confident that they will be taken care of and results in long-term client relationships.
- Make attractive offers. If you want customers to keep returning to your business, offer discounts and rebates for customers who return or make referrals that result in more business. This will keep customers coming back for better discounts over again, repeat business, which creates customers for life.
- Guarantee your products and services. Businesses that offer guarantees on their products and services attract customers who want to shop at a place that is reliable, dependable and trustworthy. By guaranteeing a product or service you assure the customer that what you are providing them with is your word, as well as your product.
- Reward your customers. Rewarding customers makes them feel special, which increases sales and boosts customer loyalty. It also shows a customer that you care about their business and creates a more personal relationship. Sending the customer a token of appreciation for their business encourages a customer to come back and makes the customer feel important.
- Thank customers and keep in touch. Something as simple as sending a thank you card and keeping in touch with your customers regularly (by email, direct mail or newsletters) shows your customers that you appreciate their business. This boosts customer loyalty and helps develop long-term relationships.
Some other quick tips that can help you keep customers for life include:
- Return phone calls promptly
- Be accessible to your clients
- Be credible and become an expert in your field
- Show empathy for customer problems
- Have helpful customer service and support systems
- Have a customer advisory panel for feedback
- Never show indifference to your customers