In these extremely competitive times, businesses need to keep their customers happy or when they walk out the door they’re gone forever! Remember, it costs ten times as much to attract new customers than keep loyal ones happy.

Here are some easy and low cost tips for keeping your customers happy!

  1. Get involved with a community cause – Promote a donation drive where customers bring in food, clothes or school supplies for the needy, and reward them with a discount.
  1. Stay in touch with your customers – Connect with them on Facebook or other social networks. Send them a loyalty coupon or send out an e-newsletter full of useful tips once a month.
  1. Follow up with your customers – Once they’ve purchased a product/service, follow with a phone call or email to see if they have any questions. Several months later, follow up to find out if they are still happy with the product/service. And in between, stay connected more casually using social networking tools.
  1. Ask for customer feedback – Ask your customers how you could improve your products or services. Show them you value them, and their comments, and then act on it.
  1. Start a rewards program for referrals – For loyal customers who refer your products/services to someone new who then purchases a product/service, give them a reward.
  1. Re-focus your products/services to help solve problems for customers – Ask yourself what kind of problems you solve for your customers. Then offer solutions that integrate your products/services to solve those problems. Help them feel they’re making an informed purchase decision. Make your customer needs the focus of your business.
  1. Continue to network locally – Help out in community events. Support a cause and connect with as many people as possible. Distribute useful and helpful literature. This is still a great way to get your business out there. Since each person knows about 200 other people, you can spread the word about your business effectively.
  1. Make it easy for people to do business with you – Make sure the check out process is quick and easy, make sure your business is able to take orders over the phone and online, and make returns and refunds easy. Make it a pleasure to do business with you.
  1. Highlight testimonials – Make your loyal customers the celebrities for your business. It makes your customer feel special and valued and generates great public relations for your business which attracts new customers.
  1. Focus on converting every customer into a lifetime valued customer – If you focus on making customers feel like part of your family and nurture your relationships with them they will become repeat, lifelong loyal customers.
  1. Create a customer database – Keep track of what they purchase, what they like, their birthdays and any special dates. Then send them coupons, cards or specials on those days. Again it’s about nurturing relationships so that your customers become repeat, lifelong loyal customers.
  1. Do more than what is expected to set yourself apart – Go beyond the simple transactions and take customer service a bit further.  Offer free delivery or send a card. Call them up to answer any questions they may have or to simply thank them for their purchase. This kind of treatment shows your customers they’re valued and takes your business from good to memorable.
  1. Be consistent and great every time – Consistently provide excellent customer service. Customers will get used to your level of service and will not go any place else.

Using these tips will help you keep your customers happy and convert new customers to loyal customers. Word of mouth will be that your business is the place to go for customer needs and great service! Implement these tips for success because chances are most businesses will not.