When trying to establish loyal customers, put yourself in their shoes. Surely, you are a loyal customer of a business yourself. Perhaps you always get your hair cut and styled at the same salon, or maybe you grab your coffee from the same deli each day, even though you pass three other coffee shops on your way home. What is it about the business that keeps you coming back to only that place? When did you decide that you wouldn’t frequent any other competitor’s business? Asking yourself these questions and following our suggestions will help you create loyal customers.
- Focus on the individual. From the very first interaction you have with the customer, demonstrate your genuine interest in him or her as an individual with unique needs and concerns. In making conversation, remembering one or two details about the person will serve you well in the future. A customer interested in skin care products for her teenage daughter mentions that this purchase is part of her high school graduation gift. In subsequent meetings, the consultant usually starts off by asking how the daughter is enjoying college and how the mother is adjusting to an empty nest. These types of details shows people that they are more than just customers to you, and your interest in their lives will make them happy to bring you repeat and exclusive business.
- Make sure you have enough time for the person. Once your business really begins to grow, (this is a good thing!) you likely won’t have as much time to spend on each customer as you’d like. If this is the case, make sure that you make time for your potentially loyal customers. Make a personal delivery on your way to pick up your kids from soccer practice, send a quick text message asking how he/she likes the newest product, etc. If the person reaches out to you at a time when you can’t return the call right away, send an email to say you’ve gotten the message and are looking forward to returning the call; provide a specific date and time you’ll call back. In doing so, you are showing the customer that he or she is important to you and you appreciate the loyalty.
- Ask; then really listen. Asking the right questions is a smart way to engage a customer, but it doesn’t end there. Truly listen to the answers, and consider going so far as to jot down a summary of the conversation afterward. Refer to your notes regularly to keep the customer’s needs in mind and stay proactive in satisfying them.
Always remember that whatever product or service you are selling, you are in the business of people. Be kind, caring, and genuine, and you’ll already be one step closer to achieving a loyal customer base.
What would you add to our list? Please share your ideas below!