When eager entrepreneurs launch their new company, they may understandably feel like they should attract as many new customers as they can.
While it is definitely good to grow a customer base by adding new clients, there is also a lot to be said for inspiring loyalty in your existing customers.
Take Good Care of Them, and They Will Return.
When the chips are down, it is probably better to have 25 regular customers who return time and again rather than 50 one-time clients who buy something and do not return. As All Business notes, a successful company will usually get 80 percent of its business from 20 percent of its customers. Your loyal clients are the ones who will help to grow your company by providing a regular source of revenue and perhaps giving you insight on how to add to your inventory or make improvements. Regulars who love your start up are also more likely to talk about you with their friends and family, which can help boost referrals and get you more business.
As for ways you can build customer loyalty and encourage your existing clients to stay with you, please consider the following tips:
Invest in a Customer Relationship Management System.
In a nutshell, a customer relationship management system, or CRM, is a type of tech that helps to manage your interactions with existing and potential customers. The goal of a CRM is to help you stay connected with clients and improve your company’s productivity. Once the CRM is in place, it is also crucial that you are aware of any updates in the technology and that you are using it to its fullest advantage.
For instance, if you are using the CRM system called Infor CRM, which is sold through Customer FX, it is a great idea to bookmark the ‘articles’ section on the Customer FX website, which offer updates on the CRM, advice on how to handle any issues and how to use it to its full advantage. For example, a recent article explains how to turn off SMB 2.0 caching if it has slowed down the Infor CRM program, which is highly useful to know.
Communicate with Your Clients.
You don’t necessarily have to pick up the phone and call your regulars to see how they are doing, but you should find ways to stay in touch. This can be through a regular email newsletter, a postcard that reminds them it’s time for their next service, or a birthday card. If you are on social media, invite your loyal fans to ‘like’ your pages and follow you. And when you see them posting or asking a question, respond to them as soon as you can with a friendly ‘Hey Joe, it’s great to hear from you!’ thrown in for good measure. Remember, not all of your communication has to be related to marketing—in the case of a birthday or holiday card, it’s just a way of reaching out and letting your regulars know they are important to you and your business.
Offer Outstanding Customer Service with Perks.
According to Inc., another effective way to boost customer loyalty is to recognize their repeat patronage with some attractive perks. For instance, when rolling out a new product or service, let them know about it first and give them the first crack at it, perhaps with a special price or free shipping as a bonus. Comp part or all of an order from time to time, telling them that you appreciate their loyalty and want to show it with a freebie. Reward them with ‘loyal customer’ cards that they can trade in for a discount. All of these options will show your customers that you value them and their business, which will likely inspire them to reply by sticking with your company and telling their friends how great you are.
You Have a Great Company; You Deserve Devoted Fans.
If you have a terrific business, and you definitely do, you will certainly get some regular customers. By taking great care of the ones you have and letting them handle some of the marketing for you by sharing their experiences with their friends and co-workers, you customer loyalty and your company are both sure to grow.