Boost Your Profits with Loyal Customers that Pay, Stay & Refer

You need loyal customers that pay, stay and refer to increase business and decrease busy-ness. Successful businesses that see sustained growth have a double-edged marketing strategy. They focus their efforts outward – on new potential customers and marketing – as well as inward – on existing customers and referral business. These successful businesses have leveraged their existing efforts to generate more revenue by ensuring their customers buy from them over and over again. Follow these customer loyalty strategies and provide outstanding customer service to dramatically increase your sales from existing customers.

Customer Service: Make them love buying from you

Every business – even those with excellent service standards can improve the service they provide their customers. To improve your company’s customer service standards, take a survey of your customers and brainstorm with your front-line employees, ways in which you can improve the experience for your customers. Successful customer service standards – those that make your customers buy are:

  • Consistent. The standards are up kept by every person in your organization. Expectations are clear and followed through. Customers know what to expect, and choose your business because of those expectations.
  • Convenient. It is nearly effortless for the customer to spend money at your place of business. Convenience can take many forms – location, product selection, value-added services like delivery – and it is also consistent.
  • Customer-driven.The service your customer receives is exactly how they would like to be treated when buying your product or service. It is reflective of your target market, and appropriate to their lifestyle.

Newsletters: Keep in touch with your customers

A regular newsletter is an easy, time-effective, and inexpensive marketing strategy to implement. Unfortunately, many small businesses think these are too time consuming and expensive to adopt as part of their marketing strategy. The most popular type of newsletter distribution is email. You could have one news letter for all your customers or one each for each customer segment. Be consistent on the frequency, type of content and format of the news letters. Choose what you are going to say, determine how you are going to say it and track your results.

Value Added Service: Give them happy surprises

Adding value to your customers is an effective way of getting them back. Impress your customer with great service, a product that meets their needs, and then wow them with something extra that they weren’t expecting. Get them to associate the experience of dealing with your business with happy surprises, and create a perception of higher value. The introduction of a new value- added service can be enough to convince a customer to buy from you again. Their initial purchase established a trust and knowledge of your business and its processes. They will want to “be included” in anything new you have to offer – especially if there is exclusivity. It is easier to attract clients that have purchased from you than potential clients who have not. Below are few ways to add value to your customers:

  • Feature your expertise.Use your knowledge to provide additional value to your customers. Offer a free guide or report with every purchase.
  • Add convenience services.Offer a service that makes their purchase easier, or more convenient. The best example of this is free shipping or delivery.
  • Package complementary services.Packaging like items together creates an increase in perceived value.
  • Offer new products or services.Feature top of the line or exclusive products, available only at your business. Offer a new service or profile a new staff member with niche expertise.

Customer Loyalty Programs: Give them incentives

Another simple way to keep in touch with existing customers and keep them coming back to you is to create a customer loyalty program. These programs do not have to be complicated or costly, and are relatively easy to maintain once they have been implemented. These programs help you gain more information on your customers and their purchasing habits.  Here are some examples of simple loyalty programs that you can implement:

  • Free product or service.Give them every 10th (or 6th) product or service free. Produce stamp cards with your logo and contact information on it.
  • Rewards dollars.Give them a certain percentage of their purchase back in money that can only be spent in-store. Produce “funny money” with your logo and brand.
  • Rewards points.Give them a certain number of points for every dollar they spend. These points can be spent in-store, or on special items you bring in for points only.
  • Membership amenities.Give members access to VIP amenities that are not available to other customers. Produce member cards or give out member numbers.
  • Referral Incentive. Make it is easy and lucrative for you customers to refer. Institute and communicate a referral program to thank and reward your customers for providing referrals.

For this strategy to be effective, you and your team have to understand and promote the program and the program in itself becomes a product that you sell.

Marketing strategies that focus on keeping your current customer base are easy and enjoyable to implement. They allow you to build real relationships with the people you do business with, instead of dealing with a revolving door of people on the other end of your sales process. Repeat customers create a community of people around your business that presumably share the same needs, desires and frustrations. The information you gain from these customers (market research) can help you strengthen your understanding of your target audience, and more accurately segment it. Remember that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. Always focus on these customers. They are ideal customers that you want to recruit, and hold on to boost your profits.

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