Do you pat yourself on the back because you have so many satisfied customers? Well, having satisfied customers may not be good enough.
In today’s tough economic times true success will be measured by the number of “loyal” customers you have.
Sure, every company, salesman, and consultant wants satisfied customers, but can or should you do better than that? Should you have loyal customers?
What’s the difference? Satisfied customers are still willing to listen to your competitors, but loyal customers think you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Loyal customers see you are a partner not a vendor. You may even become their primary business adviser. As their adviser you are the first one called when a challenge must be overcome.
You develop loyal customers by continually asking your satisfied customers if there’s anything else you can do for them. And once you have a loyal customer, make them part of your team by asking them to refer you to their friends and colleagues.
Never stop courting your loyal customers. Repeat customers should make up 75% of your customer base.
How to dazzle your customer base:
1. Go out of your way for loyal customers. Do them a favor. Locate a hard to find item or, if your staff is tied up, do the work yourself.
2. Under promise and over deliver. Do they need it in two weeks? Give it to them in one.
3. Offer your best customers a benefit they didn’t even know existed. Did they miss a special offer? Give them a discount anyway.
4. Follow up, especially after a big order or a major project. Are they satisfied, or is there something else you can do for them?
5. Above all, be honest. Don’t oversell goods or services. Show them you have their best interests at heart, and you’ll have a customer for life.
Keeping Loyal Customers
Consider this, it costs six times more to sell something to a new customer than to an existing one. Follow these steps to keep your loyal customer base.
1. Within two days of making a sale, send your customers a thank you note.
2. Thirty days later, send another note or call to find out if the customer has any questions.
3. Within 90 days, send buyers another note telling them about related products or services.
4. After nine months, ask for the names of three people you can add to your mailing list.
5. On the one year anniversary of the sale, send a card, perhaps with a discount included.
About the Author
Dennis Sommer is a widely respected and world renowned authority on sales, business development and leadership performance improvement. He is a leading adviser, author, and speaker providing clients with practical strategies that improve personal and organization performance. He has held numerous consulting, sales, and leadership level positions with Accenture, Jo-Ann Stores, and CA, Inc.