Finding, getting and maintaining a loyal customer base is a top priority for every company, regardless of what they’re selling or what service they are offering. Forbes explains that having loyal customers is a testament to your company’s credibility. Some companies have a faithful following, while others struggle to maintain consistent sales – and although the road map to customer loyalty can be complicated, these six steps can help.
Know Your Audience
No matter what you’re offering, you have a target audience. Identify the clients or customers you are most likely to connect with and tailor your marketing, design and web presence with them in mind. Tailoring you approach will help to make your company easy to identify and also sets the stage for you to become associated more directly with a specific demographic.
Engage With Customers and Clients Directly
Activity on social media websites hase become an increasingly important way for companies to connect with customers while promoting themselves. As you post status updates, tweet, pin or engage in social media, be sure you’re keeping up with the conversation as well. When you post online invite customers and fans to comment by making your pages accessible. Reply to comments and address negative comments both publicly and through private messaging in order to show your commitment to customer service.
Ask for Feedback Regularly
Getting feedback from customers can invite some problems. Some people will always find something to complain about but this is where customer service and communication can help. By simply making yourself more available for communication by phone, email and other means, you’ll present an image of accessibility and will be perceived as welcoming and inclusive. Inc. brings up the point that customers are more of a “tough sell” than ever. By showing that you value their opinion, they’re more apt to stick around.
Being accessible means more than just having a Contact Us form on your website. Develop a reputation for keeping in touch with customers who reach out to you. Some company responses written with humor often go viral thanks to the popularity of sharing communications online. Those responses which do achieve internet fame can be powerful forms of advertising.
Know Your Stuff!
Any company that deals with the public must be able to answer questions about their products or services, no matter how strange the request may be. Being able to engage and communicate effectively with customers who already know a lot about your industry as well as those who are just discovering your area of expertise for the first time is incredibly important. Being able to talk about products of services on a basic level makes you more approachable to newcomers while being able to discuss their more intricate issues will establish you as the source of information and solutions.
Have a Spine
No matter what type of business you run, there are times when things will go wrong. Maybe a product will be released with parts that don’t work as they should. Perhaps a service you offer can be improved. Or maybe it’s simply a situation that wasn’t handled as it should have been. When things go wrong, companies that take responsibility and then move quickly to resolve the problem are seen as being strong and self-assured. Companies that attempt to cover up the problem or shift blame have a hard time regaining customer trust.
Need a hand building a strategy that will support your customers – and enable your loyalty base to grow? Get in touch with our marketing specialists and we’ll get the ball rolling!
Image Credit: [Flickr/Brent]