Your customers should be considered your greatest assets. Many UK businesses are busily pursuing new target markets. However as a leader and manager, you want repeat customers. Loyal customers bring with them repeat sales leading to revenue and of course, promotion through word of mouth. This is why customer retention and loyalty should be an important issue for all businesses.
Businesses should not become consumed with appealing to new customers but also aim to keep their current and past customers happy. Happy customers tend to return. Returning customers mean a better bottom line for your business. A bonus point: Retaining customers is 5- 25 times cheaper than acquiring a new one. Sounds appealing? Read on to see three great ways to help your business’ customer loyalty.
Put Your Customer Service To The Forefront
Good customer service has never been more important. In 2016, Magnetic North’s report ‘Customer Experience to Revenue’ found that poor customer experience costs UK Brands over £234 million each year in lost sales. Additionally, almost half of the customers would switch to a competitor due to service related issues rather than price or product related problems. Take the time to perfect your customer service. It is the first and last point of contact for your customers. Tactics to achieve this includes adequate training of staff and the after sales team. You may be selling a product but shifting focus to the experience your customer gets when they shop can make all the difference.
Another strategy to employ is to go scouting. Take a look at what your competitors are offering customers in terms of customer service and after sales care. By doing this, you can formulate a competitive strategy and also lets you know what you are up against.
Be Proactive Not Reactive
Being able to predict what your customer needs before they actually voice it means you can stay ahead of the competitors. It pays to take the time to follow the upcoming trends and use it to forecast any changes in the market in the future. This can apply in a variety of forms ranging from product extension and personalised version offerings to addition of complementary products to the range.
Customer feedback plays a very important role in this process. Using regular feedback to spot what the customer is missing or may like in the future gives you an idea of what direction to go. This also applies to managing existing accounts. Courtesy calls to a customer after a lack of purchases can sometimes open the door for them to let you know where you went wrong. You can make moves to amend this and keep a valued customer.
Introduce Loyalty Programmes
Customer loyalty programmes are one of the more popular options for improving customer loyalty. Rewarding your customers are one of the best ways to keep them interested and returning. A mere 37 percent of UK customers believe companies reward them for loyalty. Customers on a loyalty program with attractive rewards tend to feel more valued; something you want them to be. Make it a point to show your customers how much you appreciate them choosing to shop with your business. Your loyalty program does not have to be boring either; feel free to explore the different options for customer loyalty programs and find the one that best suits your business and your customers.
Another option for your rewards scheme is adding a referral bonus. This pushes the promotion by word of mouth aspect. Customers who receive great service and quality products will happily spread the word to their family and friends if there’s an added incentive for them. Choosing programs like these are not only simpler to incorporate but also can be quite inexpensive.
For any business, retaining customers is vital. While it is important to employ strategies and resources on gaining new markets, businesses should not forget the value of their current ones.