As a business owner, your clients are what keep your doors open. You’re proud of your business and the services you provide. But the key to the success of any business, whether it’s a home-based business or a traditional workplace, is developing a strong base of loyal clients, people who will keep coming back and tell all their friends how awesome your business is. Loyal customers are vital because let’s face it – it costs less to keep people coming back than win over new folks. So, we’ve got some tips for keeping your loyal customers lined up at your doors.
1. Step up your customer service game.
Everyone wants to be treated right. It’s nice to feel like the person assisting you genuinely wants to help you and has an interest. Think about what you can do to improve the customer or client experience. Treat clients with respect and kindness, and make that the business standard. Make sure your employees are greeting and bidding farewell to your clients with a smile and warmth. Even the little things make a difference.
Customer service is a must because it can lead to referrals and recommendations, which are worth their weight in gold.
2. Be genuine.
It’s important that the atmosphere of your business is friendly and welcoming. People like likable people, so if your employees are a good mix of upbeat, friendly, and professional, they’ll win over some customers. Make sure that your loyal clientele gets the treatment and attention they deserve. Develop a relationship with your clients.
3. Do some research.
Take a visit to a competitor (or, if you’re an online or service-oriented business, cruise through some websites.) Find out what worked and what didn’t in your overall customer experience. What could have improved your experience? What would have won you over (or what did win you over, despite this business being your archenemy?)
It’s helpful to take a step back and approach customer loyalty from the perspective of a customer, then bring your observations back to your own company.
4. Amp up your employee morale.
Grouchiness is contagious. If your employees aren’t happy, your clients will pick up on it. Upbeat, smiling employees will make your customers happy, and happy people buy more stuff. So, think of what you can do to help your employees be excited to come to work. Another benefit of improving morale at the workplace is lowering the chance of employee theft at your business.
5. Know how to handle unhappiness.
Unfortunately, the world is not perfect. Mistakes happen. Circumstances conspire against you to create an unpleasant experience for a customer. If that happens, you need to be prepared to handle the complaint professionally, calmly, and promptly. Don’t argue. Apologize, validate the concern, and explain what steps you’re going to take to correct the problem.
Sometimes a customer will be so impressed by the way you handle an adverse situation that you can win them back. So, make sure your employees are prepared to handle various scenarios in which a customer gets testy about something (whether the reasons for their grumpiness are valid or not.) Unhappy customers might not be on your business disaster response plan, but everyone should know how to handle that kind of situation.
6. Think ahead.
Learn to anticipate what your customer or client will need so that you can present it with a flourish when they come to realize the need for themselves. Going the extra mile to take care of a customer will never go amiss.
7. Don’t forget your loyal customers when you’re chasing new business.
Yes, chasing after new customers and trying to win people over is tough work, but it’s important that you don’t get so caught up in doting on potential customers that you forget about the customers you already have., Make sure to nurture the relationships your business has with your current customers so that no one feels like chopped liver.
8. Ask how you can help.
Greet people politely and ask how you can help them. Then, make a genuine effort to do so. Take the time to ask how their day is going and have an honest conversation with them. This will help people feel like you see them as human beings and not just money.
Keeping your valued customers coming back can pump life into your business. Maintaining and building a strong base of loyal clients will ensure that you never lack for people visiting your business and enlisting your services. Throw yourself into customer service. Treat people like human beings. Show that you genuinely care and want to help. Take pride in what you do and blow your customers’ expectations out of the water.
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