Businesses often seek to attract an influx of new customers, however it is just as –arguably more important to establish solid relationships with regulars. A steady customer base and regular clientele is key to a more stable and consistent influx of profit. The advantages don’t end there. Loyal customers usually develop a personal attachment to your business and tend to recommend and rave about your goods and/or services –so it also becomes a fabulous marketing strategy!
So how might you go about making sure customers keep coming back for more?
- Point out what it is you’re doing for them. This way they instantly visualise you going about carrying out a task for them. Customers often forget that what they ask of employees doesn’t just magically happen overnight. Kindly reassure them that what they are asking of you will done efficiently by laying out what it is you’re doing. For example, tell them that you’re going to double check for stock out the back and that’ll you then go make a call. This reassures them that you are earnestly trying, making them feel like valued customers. Make sure you always get back to them regardless. Consistently following up will give your business a reputation of being dependable and reliable.
- Ask for their name, and from that point on whenever you seem them –make sure to address them by it. Dale Carnegie, a rewound writer, stated that there is no sweeter sound to an individual than the sound of their own name. Whilst at face value this may sound wildly narcissistic, however the reason is that when another person says our name –we feel deeply valued. This is because, as Carnegie believed –there is nothing more personal and core to our identity than our name, as it validates our presence.
- Ever heard the incessantly regurgitated idiom ‘flattery gets you nowhere’? Fact. Flatter gets you everywhere when it comes to customer service and establishing customer loyalty. Don’t overdo it though, being transparently sappy is going to translate as desperate and corny. But sincere compliments and interest in a customer’s life has a profound effect. When you remember the name and intricacies of the lives of customers, they instantly feel closer to being a friend than a client. They then feel somewhat attached and obligated to commit to your business.
- But what is the greatest form of flattery you ask? You guessed it –imitation! Do this in the sense that you mimic, or interact in a manner that parallels with the customers language, mannerisms and gestures. In doing this, customers will act more favourably towards you, and by extension your business!
- Repeat after them. When they tell you something, repeat what they have just said. This leads to the customer feeling as though you are actively engaged, listening and internalising what they’re saying –making them feel valued. Keep in mind you shouldn’t be mindlessly nodding and explicitly copying them like a parrot… simply paraphrase and maintain focus on them when they are speaking.
- Give customers an incentive to return. It could be informing them of an upcoming sale, or giving them free rewards cards. Even something as simple as talking about the next time you’ll be seeing them. Although such plans aren’t concrete or organised, the assumption that they are will plant a seed in a client’s mind that they’ll be returning!
- Never leave a customer feeling helpless. Be flexible with policies. Do the most you can to establish your business as one that serves them instead of serving yourself. Throwing a monotonous ‘Sorry Ma’am, that’s our policy’ at a customer, is a sure way to ensure they don’t return. Never present yourself as uninterested or detached from a customer’s request or complaint. Always go above and beyond to achieve customer satisfaction!