- Posted by admin
- On July 19, 2016
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- customer loyalty
Business is a complex process. The single word ‘selling’ is multi-dimensional. The process of selling begins with advertising, creating leads, tracking customers, contacting them, negotiating, selling goods, providing after-sales services and maintenance and more dimensions are likely to be added to meet the growing competition. Even if you succeed in getting customers, it does not end there; it is more important to sustain and retain the customers in order to ensure future business and goodwill for your company. Sustaining customer loyalty is a difficult and challenging issue that must be handled delicately and carefully, by trained and professional personnel.
Loyal customers are those who come to you again and again. Once you establish customer loyalty, you do not have to spend time and efforts constantly seeking leads and tracking customers. Loyal customers will pay you higher prices although there are cheaper options.
Key factors in sustaining customer loyalty
- Developing loyalty information system: This intelligence system takes account of what a customer generally orders, what he complains about, what are his interests and what dates or months are relevant for contacting him. It also includes names and addresses of the customer’s friends and relatives. The information system must also note down birthdays and anniversary dates of customers.
- Keeping in touch: A customer may change his address and you will not be able to contact him. So keep in touch with the customer by making periodic informal calls just to ask whether there is any problem with the product. Tell the customer that you would be calling back in a specific period. He will inform you about any changes in location in case he is planning to move.
- Keeping the customers tied: If you do not build a strong relationship with the customers, they will go to your competitors. The moment you feel that a particular customer is disinterested and answers your phone calls in a detached manner or avoids them, asks if there is any problem. The customer must never get an impression that you do not care. Every customer must feel that he is special to you. In this way, you can secure the tie of customer loyalty.
- The customer’s perspective: A salesman who can view business from a customer’s perspective is bound to be successful. This would lead to an understanding of exact customer needs, the time expected by a customer to attend to him, what he expects from the company representatives, what changes or modifications he would like in the system and what kind of treatment he would prefer. All customers are not the same. Some expect too much attention and time, some would like to keep you at a distance, and some are purely professional and practical while some like to be pampered.
- Streamlining the process: This is all about smooth communication and coordination. From your side, there must be no gaps in communication and the coordination must be perfect. In case of a complaint from the customer, the service and maintenance team must be informed immediately and the problem must be handled to the customer’s satisfaction. If there is no coordination between the sales team and the technical team, customer problems cannot be handled and you are sure to lose the customer.
- B2B customer: If your customer is a business organization that does not directly utilize your products, then it is necessary to understand your customer’s customer. He is your indirect customer. The success of your customer depends upon what you provide to him; hence it is necessary to understand his customer as well.
- Offer value: This is the least minimum you can do to establish customer loyalty. Offer value in the form of your products and services. It will certainly prevent them from choosing other available options. Satisfied customers will give you more leads.
- Use of phones: Every customer is now present on the phone. Hence, be present on the device either through an app, a website or through messages and emails. Make maximum use of this facility to promote customer loyalty.
- Group customers: group customers according to their preferences and inclinations; this will save time in deciding which customers are to be targeted for specific products and when.
- Special occasions: Remember to mail greetings and wishes on festivals, birthdays and anniversaries.
- Empower your customers: Help your customers to make choices. If numerous models of mixer-grinders are manufactured by your company, give them details and specifications of each model and explain why it would be their best choice. They will acquire new knowledge about the product and will feel wiser when it comes to making a choice. Even after they purchase the product they will not regret; they know WHY they have chosen something and feel that it is a wise step.
- FAQs: Develop a self-service channel. Prepare a list of FAQs and answers and print it in the brochure and upload it on your website. It will save time answering the same questions again and again. As soon as a patient approaches one doctor in Pune for knee replacement, the doctor gives him a booklet “Everything you need to know about knees” and asks the patients to read it. In the next visit, the patient is wiser and well-informed.
- Free add-ons: Offer a cup of tea or coffee occasionally or gift a pen, key-chain, bookmark, calendar etc. Spending little on free add-ons can bring huge profits and business.
iTivia Technologies understands that customer loyalty implies building, fostering, nurturing and extending customer relationships. Long-term relationships spell long-term business. We help you to turn your customers into better customers. Remember, it costs double the amount of time and money to create new customers than to retain old customers. At the same time, do not neglect building new customers. You cannot take all existing customers for granted. Relying totally on existing customers does not increase your business. iTivia enables you to strike a balance between managing existing customers and creating new ones, thus making customer loyalty a prime concern