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Five Tips to Increase Customer Loyalty

Successful businesses can receive up to 80% of their sales from only 20% of their customers. How do we take advantage of those numbers? Customer loyalty.

Here are five tips to keep your customers happy, and keep them coming back to spend. 

Tip #1: Make the sale, and your customer’s day, by letting employees offer free shipping or other small discounts.

First off, it’s crucial all of your employees are trained to interact properly with your customers. Is customer service going the extra mile to best meet your customer’s needs? Are they providing more value than the customer expects or the bare minimum to just skate by?

Empower your employees to make decisions that benefit the customer. When an employee has to run to a manager for answers, the customer will find the employee obsolete. Smart customers want to save time and bypass the employee altogether and speak directly to the manager every time.

Customers are impatient. When they have a question they want and answer, and don’t want to sit on hold while Jack asks Jill about free shipping.

Tip #2: Personalized messages keep your company and its products fresh in your customers’ minds.

Communicate with your customers. Use email, phone calls or a newsletter. Tell them about upcoming sales, new products, or just ask about their satisfaction on a previous purchase.

With the holidays sneaking up around the corner, a simple holiday card could do the trick. Be sure customers are thanked in writing for purchasing your service or product. Personalize the message and don’t just bulk blast them. Each customer needs to know they’re special.

I don’t know anyone who feels special as part of a 5000-person bulk mail.

Tip #3: Co-ordinate your emails with social media for a 1-2 punch of customer engagement.

Are you using social networks? They’re a fast and easy way to get a message out when you’re between newsletters. Use Twitter and Facebook to offer promotions to existing “VIP” customers. These can be done daily, weekly or monthly depending on your product set. It takes all of about 30 seconds to make a short post with a coupon code.

And don’t forget, communication with your customers is a two-way street. Ask your customers questions and listen to what they say. If someone asks a question get them an answer and reward their participation.

Best part? It’s FREE!!!

Tip #4: Be honest with your customers, even if it’s hard.

Never make false promises to make a customer happy in the now. You’ll regret it in the future.

If something can’t be done on short notice, tell the customer. Most of us can relate to being overloaded with work. Don’t you think the customers feel the same way? We are all human after all.

It is better to be upfront about a delayed response or delivery than to disappoint a customer with a promise you can’t keep. They may not remember all the good things you do for them, but they won’t forget the bad.

Tip #5: Enjoy Your Customers.

This can be hard, but try to truly enjoy the wide-range of characters we call customers. Take an interest in them beyond “the sale.” Have fun and make it fun for them!

Most of these tips seem obvious. But, maybe that’s why they’re so easily forgotten. Put in the extra effort and your customers will be happy. And a happy customer is a returning customers.

-Customer satisfaction is worthless. Customer loyalty is priceless.-Jeffrey Gitomer

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