According the 2012 customer experience study released by independent research house, Loudhouse, “81% of consumers surveyed are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience, with over half (56%) willing to pay a premium of more than 5%”.
Customer loyalty helps your business when times are good and supports your business when times are bad. It’s all about treating customers in a way that makes them feel special.
Here are 6 ways you can be personal and relevant with your customers, without being too pushy:
1. Listen carefully
There’s an old saying that “we have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak”. And that is particularly true for companies that want to engage in valuable customer relationships.
So finding ways to keep track of the information and requests you gather from your customers is crucial. Social media, e-mails, phone calls and meetings are great sources for gathering customer requests – but they only become truly valuable if you can keep track of them afterwards.
2. Give it a personal touch
If you want to stand out as a business that customers can relate to, try to find a way where they can experience the people behind the company.
As an example, an online B2B company that started as a small, enterprise began to include small handwritten, personal notes with every order they sent out. As they are now a much bigger operation, they have made the personal note one of their hallmarks. And the results speak for themselves: 80% of customers make a repeat purchase.
3. Build anticipation
Try to give your customers a peek into products or services that you will be releasing in a given time frame. It’s a great way to create buzz and conversation, and you may even receive input and feedback that can help you guide the final development.
You can also use this type of teaser activity to gather contact information and e-mail permissions, further strengthening your possibilities to build a relation with your customers.
4. Encourage customer feedback
Ask your customers to give you feedback and ideas – on your website, on Facebook and in your marketing material. Be very inviting and open to input and enable your customers to interact as well. When you do receive feedback, acknowledge and respond so customers know their input is being appreciated.
This type of openness is likely to give you valuable insight – and even if your customers are not flooding you with responses, they all experience that you are open for their input.
5. Be true to your promises
Being open to customers is being sincere. So if you decide to build a stronger presence, you have to stick with it – and you have to mean it. Much the same way that we can easily tell if a person is honest in a conversation, it’s quite easy for customers to spot, if you’re not devoted to your promise of being open.
So set time aside to build the initiatives that you believe will work for you. And if they don’t work after all, be open and frank about the fact that you will stop them.
6. Get the right tools
No wonder that this should come from us: But you need to have the right tools if you want to work systematically with building relationships with your customers. An effective CRM solution tracks every customer to assure their best service and treatment, based on their personal interests and spending history.
If you think that a business is just about products and not about how customers “feel” about their experience, consider this finding from the report, “Why Customer Satisfaction is not Good Enough”,“70% of respondents have stopped doing business with a brand following a poor customer experience. More importantly, 92% of this number have gone straight to a competing brand and made a purchase.” This reveals how easy it is to lose a customer and why so many businesses are investing in CRM to keep the loyalty of the buyers they have now.
Hopefully, these tips gave you some inspiration on how to work with your own business.
Please feel free to share some ways that you spice up customer loyalty in your business in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you.