Get to Know Your Customers and They Will Be Loyal to You
Sometimes a business will lose a customer, because the customer feels undervalued, unappreciated, and just not special. It’s not necessarily that this is true, and that they are of no value to the business. Rather, the customer simply feels as if they are no different to the business than any other customer. Statistics indicate that nearly two-thirds of customers will discontinue their relationship with a company when they feel unappreciated. Needless to say, you need to make it your business to get to know your customers, and to market specifically to each of them.
First, you need to capture your customer’s information. When a customer spends money with you, make sure you are gathering, if you have not already done so, their name, email, etc. Create incentives to get them to give you even more information—have them give you their contact information, so they can be entered in a drawing. There’s nothing like offering a free prize or gift, that will encourage someone to give you their information. Not only do you want to gather information on your customers, but on those who do not purchase from you, as well.
Now that you have confirmed that you have information for all of your customers and prospective customers, you need to begin to communicate with them. Your first communication should occur within the first 24 hours of a customer giving you their contact information, and should continue to occur on a regular basis after that. Not every correspondence with a customer will be a sales pitch, or a request for them to spend money with you. You simply want to keep your name in front of your customers, so some communication will be to offer free information.
For customers that remain loyal to you over time, you want to provide some means of reward for them. Perhaps it will be the opportunity to continue to be a part of a monthly membership at the initial price, while you are raising the price for new customers. Or whatever reward is most appropriate for your business, the products or services you provide, and the nature of your relationship with your customers; ensure that you are making it worth their while to continue to do business with you. The majority of your sales will come from a minority of your customers.
Don’t forget to ask your customers for referrals. You should approach this with caution, perhaps offering some perk or incentive to them if they refer someone to you. But not much beats word of mouth in gaining new customers. Let your customers know how much they mean to you, and they will be loyal to you for a long time.