Keep Them Coming Back! 5 Easy Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty
When living into today’s age of technology, consumers have access to product information available 24/7. Whether it’s product selection and availability, pricing, customer reviews, or more, the internet has made it imperative to establish your place in the market. Customers are less likely to utilize your business if you haven’t earned their trust. And once you have earned it, it’s just as important to retain it. Once trust has been broken, it can be near impossible to repair it.
From the moment a customer is aware of your brand, you want them to think of you as reliable and dependable. Here are a few key ways to establish and maintain customer trust and loyalty:
Build Your Brand Awareness
Building your brand awareness is more than simply letting consumers know what products you offer. It’s important to tell your story! Sharing your company history, how you got started, key milestones, awards and accolades, mission statement and plans for the future helps demonstrate your level of commitment and expertise. It goes a long way to establish longevity and can reassure prospective customers.
It’s also important to educate them. Not only on the products you offer, but on the additional services you may offer. Do you offer multiple types of samples? Can you ship directly to their recipients? Do they have options regarding customization? Making them aware of simple things like this could have them knocking on your door, versus going to someone else who can take those extra steps for them.
Missteps and mistakes happen. Many customers can be both understanding and forgiving, but only if they are kept in the loop. Being open and honest with your customer when there is a problem or disruption to their order shows respect and acknowledges their importance to you. It shows integrity and scruples, and can mean the difference between them sticking with you (and returning for your product and services again in the future) and shopping elsewhere.
Taking transparency a step further, simply being respectful will gain their favor. Make your customers aware that you value both their time and opinions. Take the time to actively listen to their needs and requests, as well as their feedback. This allows you to be more pro-active when approaching the project, and get them what they need without starting over multiple times until you hit the mark.
Be upfront with the amount of time an inquiry or project will take. And if circumstances cause delays, reach out and keep them in the know. Most projects are completed through many steps, and each one takes time. If delays happen with one step, it can cause a domino-effect that can throw off more than just you and your customer’s timelines. Keeping everyone involved aware of the project or order status allows for adjustments to be made when necessary.
Focus on “Up-Serving” vs. “Up-Selling”
Trying to sell your customer something that they haven’t asked for or don’t need can result in distrust. It’s more important to go the extra distance to generate a memorable customer experience. A great blog article featured by Rosalie Marcus at PromoMarketing Magazine examines why upselling can often backfire. Making insightful recommendations is great and useful, but be aware that consumers have grown to recognize the upsell and can grow resentful of the push. So what does “upserving” mean? Go the extra step! Provide a level of service above and beyond what your customer is expecting.
Deliver on Your Promises
We’ve all heard the saying, “Don’t promise what you can’t deliver.” Your customers will run to the competition without hesitation if you fail to deliver what you promise in terms of product and services. The way you present yourself in the marketplace should give your customers a certain set of beliefs about what it means to do business with you. If you don’t live up to those expectations they will feel deceived and any gained trust will quickly dissolve, leaving them to take their business elsewhere.
Being honest about your abilities and trusting that you can provide a top-notch customer experience will keep your customers coming back for more time and again. Your customer’s trust and loyalty is one of your company’s most valuable assets!