Acquiring customers is tough. Getting them to stick around for days, months, and even years to come is another beast. That said, improving your customer loyalty should be at the top of your list of priorities. If you don’t, the customers you spent so much time and money converting may vanish before you know it.
If you want to avoid that, use these 12 tips to earn customer loyalty.
Provide standout customer service.
This one sounds obvious right? While it’s definitely a no brainer, you’d be surprised how many companies fail to provide an adequate level of customer service. If your customer’s feel like their concerns are addressed in a timely manner, they’ll stick around even if your product or service has issues. They want to feel like their voices are heard, and more importantly that they can provide feedback.
A great strategy for young startups is to require every member of the company to answer support requests. Sure you can delegate the bulk of them to your dedicated support team, but everyone in your organization should answer a few. In addition, you should offer your customers multiple channels to get in touch. Phone, email, social media, live chat, the more you can provide the better. Just remember, don’t set unrealistic expectations. If you say you’re available 24/7 you need to make sure you are.
Leverage public responses.
Over the years, social media has become an increasingly popular channel for customer support. Companies will use their twitter account to address customer concerns and collect feedback. The best thing about this is that your responses are public.
If your followers can see you go above and beyond to help your customers, you’ll surely keep them around.
Choose the right customer success team.
Your employees are an integral part of maintaining customer loyalty. When it comes to your customer success team, you need to be smart about who you choose. It takes a certain type of personality to handle customer complaints on a daily basis. Choose people who are patient and most importantly, who can remove their ego from the situation.
Be flexible with policies.
In business, it’s important to set and stick to your policies. However, it’s also important to be flexible at times. You have to remember every customer has their own circumstances and issues. Let’s say you have a strict 30-day return policy and a customer wasn’t able to meet the deadline due to “family issues”. Sure you could stand firm or even question their excuse, or you can give them a break and let them return the item. Odds are, that customer will be shopping back at your store in the near future.
Rack up the reviews
Nowadays, reviews are as important as they’ll ever be when it comes to winning over customers. In fact, research shows that 72 percent of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more. Use services like Yelp and Consumer Affairs to rack up some positive reviews for your business.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to your customer base from time to time and ask for a review. Showcase your positive reviews, and really spend the time to analyze your negative ones. The more you collect, the more you’ll know about how your customers feel about your products.
At the end of the day, customer loyalty isn’t won overnight. That said, if you want to start building a strong and loyal customer base, make sure you use the five tips listed above.