Customer relationship & loyalty

No matter if your company sells products or services, if it sells online or offline, you have to meet your customer expectations to strengthen your relationship with them. Here are some elements not to neglect.

Communicate with your customers

You need to open communication channels to exchange with your customers. It can be through a newsletter, social medias or a phone call: what’s important is that your customers keep your brand in mind and come back to you. Advertising, blog posts, social media campaign, it all depends on your strategy. Although, make sure to have channels that allow two-way communication between you and your customers.

Train your employees

A good customer service sometimes is the key toward customers’ retention. Your employees are frontline; they are the first ambassadors of your brand. In order to meet your customers’ expectations, these employees must be well trained and must understand your company’s interests and values.

Ensure an amazing customer service

Don’t scare an unsatisfied customer, instead give him the means to share with you the source of his unpleaseantness in order to improve your product or service. Set up communication channels (emails, phone lines, etc.) that allow these customers to express themselves while ensuring you a better control over their insatisfaction. You will get to know your weaknesses and will be able to turn the tide in your favor. Make sure to no comments or questions remain unanswered. However, don’t hide behind technology: a human interaction is often worth much more than an automated response.
If you can keep with your brand an unsatisfied customer through your customer service, you probably end up with a loyal customer whom even often become a great ambassador of your brand.

Encourage your clients in coming back

Set up mechanisms that will encourage your customers to come back. They can be promotional offers, loyalty programs, discounts or additional free services. The more there are advantages and elements that tie customers to your brand, better are your chances of retaining them. All these initiatives must be in line with your other marketing efforts in order to target the right people at the right time.

Preserve your reputation

Your company’s reputation is closely linked to your products and services’ reliability. Thus, you must be a trustful partner for your clients. If you can predict that something could disrupt your relation with them, be proactive: communicate this risk and undertake the situation that might cause them trouble. Don’t wait a crisis to react!

Be flexible with your politics

Of course you set up politics to frame your relation with your customers. Though, you need to have a little flexibility when it comes to apply them. Your clients are unique, so try to understand each of their problems in order to find the best solution. By showing your customers that you are listening to them, you maximize your chances that they return to you, even if you don’t completely solve their problem.

Come up with a loyalty program

Customers are more likely to return to a merchant that has a loyalty program. Indeed, it is an excellent way to build a strong relation between your customers and your brand…and to collect data that will help you understand their consumption habits and better respond to these.

Leave your mark in customers’ minds

Find how to stand out in your industry. It can be through your innovative website or an inviting store, but you need to create an appeal that will make your customers want to give you some of their time to discover your offer. It the appeal is strong enough they will be more encouraged to share their experience with their family and friends. Every detail counts in the impact you create, don’t forget anything: cleanliness, attractiveness, products’ disposal, inventory, etc. Every thing has to remind your clients that your company perfectly meet their lifestyle and consumption habits.

 

Keep in mind that retaining a customer that already knows you is most of the time less expensive than to gain the love of a customer who has no idea who you are.

 

Author

Jean-Maximilien Voisine, Business Intelligence Analyst