All relationships change over time. They require work and nurturing on both ends to strengthen and grow.
The following tips will help solidify ongoing relationships and build customer loyalty:
1. Ask For Negative Feedback: What? Yes. Negative feedback is the kind that helps us improve. Complaining customers can be your best friends. Without their expressing problems we could never know how to do things better. Without improvement our businesses would remain stagnate and eventually fail.
The best way to get customers to open up to you is to let them know that you really want their honest opinions; good or bad. You can provide them with questions like, “What else can I do for you?” or “How else can we be of help?”
2. Exceed Customer Expectations With Added Value: Value is the quality of product relative to its cost. If a product performs better, lasts longer, or costs are less than expected, customers become raving fans. Stand behind your products or services. Offer long-term or lifetime guarantees if possible. In most cases, a lifetime guarantee will result in no more product returns than a 30-60 day guarantee, but the perceived value is much greater.
Value brings customers reassurance and comfort. When we exceed customer expectations regarding value received, we create some obligation of loyalty.
3. Exceed Customer Expectation With Better Information: Every product or service has an informational component. These informational aspects provide an opportunity to exceed customer expectations. Explain things clearly.
Solidify your customers by ensuring that they will have no problems with the products they bought. Take a moment to explain how things work and what to look out for in using them. If your product is a service, show customers how to maintain results or continue getting benefits from it.
4. Exceed Customer Expectations With Add-Ons: Think about small, tangible items you can give away to your customers. This opportunity area ties in closely with its marketing counterpart, add-on sales.
Marketers have long recognized the value of selling current customers something else so long as they are here. This can backfire it its too pushy, but most customers will not resent low-key inquiries about other products.
5. Look for Ways to Improve Timing and Follow-Up: Nothing impresses so significantly as immediate follow-up with customers to see if the product or service is satisfactory. The most successful sales people do this regularly at scheduled times.
The best customer-oriented people make commitments to customers and always follow up.
6. Make the last part of the Transaction Positive: Recent studies of customer service using behavioral science principles conclude that the last moments of a service encounter are especially important in creating customer loyalty.
Many people believe that both the first impressions and the last contact are equally important. Not true. The end is far more important because it is what people remember the most. In fact, if the opening moments weren’t so good, you can make up for it with an exceptional ending.
7. Reassure the Customers’ Decision to Do Business with You: Buyer’s remorse can come very quickly when people are spending a lot of money. A powerful tool for reassuring and expressing appreciation is the phone. Just calling your customer and thanking them for their business can go a long way especially if it comes from the top of an organization.
The customer will be surprised that you didn’t even try to sell them something. Contact your customers at the end of a sale to confirm that they are satisfied and getting the most value that they expected. They will be your customers for the long term.
Simply put, make your customers the priority.
Brad Sugars founded the brand Action International in 1993 when he realized there was a disconnect between business advice and implementation. The answer was Action! Brad Sugars created a business coaching company so that business owners throughout the world can realize their goals in business. Today the company is known as ActionCOACH. To learn more about business, visit Brad Sugars Review blog