How to Create Customer Loyalty in 3 Easy Steps
By: Ellen Goodwright
If you are looking for a way to increase your profits in these difficult economic times, creating and keeping loyal customers is one thing you can do right now.
In order to do this there are three key steps to follow.
First we must get to know our customers and understand their needs.
Next we need to exceed their expectations and then we should think about developing a customer loyalty or incentive program.
In this article I will lead you through these steps in more detail.
Know Your Customers
Understanding what makes your customers tick is critical in your ability to create loyal customers. Finding out about customers needs and idiosyncrasies can be as easy as asking them. Other ways and possibly more revealing methods are available, such as conducting a customer feedback survey.
A robust system needs to be put in place which records this information and presents it your customer facing employees as and when you need it.
By getting inside the minds of your customers you will be able to anticipate their needs. You next mission in your quest for customer loyalty is to exceed those needs and expectations in the service that you deliver.
Exceed Customer Expectations
Once you understand what your customers want from you, you will be able to produce a plan to exceed their expectations. A word of warning here though; I my opinion it’s better to meet you customer's needs than exceed them, especially if you are unable to go the extra mile right now.
You will need the systems, resources and the customer-focused mindset of your employees to consistently over deliver and that’s no easy task. If you can do it, by all means go for it!
Customer Loyalty Programs
Usually something that large organizations such as supermarkets and discount store do for their customers, customer loyalty or incentives programs should be something that all businesses, large or small consider rolling out.
Customer loyalty programs can be as small as offering regular customers the odd discount or as complex as big as making as special members club where customers enjoy a raft of benefits such as gifts, store coupons, vacations or invites to dinners and events.
In fact, when it comes to rewarding loyal customers, reward programs are only limited by your imagination. Be sure to include the cost of the rewards in your bottom line and you will be soon be able to calculate the increase in sales revenue and return on your investment.
By following these three steps you will not only create loyal
customers that enjoy buying from again and again, you will be well on
your way to beating the recession and boosting your bottom line.