A business without customers is simply dead. The survival of any venture depends on how many customers will remain loyal to the services or products the enterprise offers regardless of the ups and downs natural with the world of commerce. If customers are the blood of a business, the loyal customers are the soul of such a business. How can you build long-term customers who will always be there for you? It is not easy but the following points can help you gradually create loyalty among your regular customers and turn them into long-term clients.
- Know and respect your customers.
Many businesses that offer high quality products or helpful services naturally die if their customer service is poor or deteriorates. If your customer feels unappreciated or taken advantage of, they will definitely look for an alternative product or service offered by your competitor. On the other hand, a customer who is served well will even make honest suggestions on how you can improve on certain areas of your business to do even better.
It is also important to know your customer’s feelings by observing how they relate to your staff and their general behaviour while doing business with you or through the comments they make through your social media presence. This will alert you to any signs of dissatisfaction. Proactive action will help you retain a customer who was on his way out of your business life.
Are there any specific concerns that a customer has raised? Know which ones need immediate attention and apply corrective action. It is true that some customers are perpetual complainants who will never be satisfied regardless of what you do. Identify this and know how to deal with them. If their complaints are through social media, you might have to post a detailed answer and show how you have done all that is possible to address the issues the customer is complaining about. When other customers see your honest answer, they will see the complainant as a hard to please person and in this way many will not be swayed by the complainant’s views. They will remain loyal.
Take every available opportunity to let your clients know how grateful you are and how much you appreciate them. Never make your clients have a feeling that they need you more than you need them.
- Find your match
This means that you narrow the selection of the people you want to work with. Look for those who you share the same ideals and if possible, work ethics. This service provider-customer resonance will benefit both of you. The harmony it will create will make your working relationship better and long-term.
- Prove to be valuable
This means being helpful by making suggestions that you suspect could be useful to your client. This may be as per project or as a more comprehensive approach to your clients business. However, avoid making suggestions that you know your client may not be interested in or may not be in congruence with their overall business structure. You must also learn to respect your client if they ignore your suggestions with or without giving you a reason.
- Make it clear on what you offer
Never create the wrong impression about what is on offer. Your terms of service should be so clear that your clients are not taken by surprise when their expectations are dashed. A customer who is sure of what he is getting is more likely to become a long-lasting client because there are no gray areas in your business relationship. Communication is key to avoid misunderstanding that is bound to occur in any human interaction. Do it as clearly as possible. Encourage your clients to tell you their feelings and see how you can incorporate their ideas where possible.
- Make their buying experience as hassle free as possible
The easier your customers can transact business with you, the more likely they are to become long-term client. Minimize waiting time in all aspects of doing business with you. This includes fast call attention to those who call to place orders, ask questions or lodge a complaint. It also means using the fastest delivery means of your product or services possible.
Building up long-lasting business clients is simple but not easy. It needs multiple approaches and continued effort to retain existing customers and benefit from new customers referred by your existing ones because of your superior services.