25 Ways To Keep Your Customers For Life
What’s better than acquiring new customers?
It sounds like a trick question, but the answer isn’t “acquiring more customers.” It’s actually retaining an existing customer.
In fact, if you want to build a thriving Avon business, you need to take care of your biggest assets – your Customers.
In today’s fast-changing, competitive business environment, excellent customer service is essential for success.
Exceptional service may be the key to differentiating your business from the competition.
But how do you create a customer retention strategy that keeps your current customers engaged and happy?
Customer Retention Strategies
The following customer retention strategies apply for any business, large or small:
1 – Reward your customers.
Send them a gift, provide them with a lead; help them generate business.
Offer your customers free gifts and discounts when they aren’t expecting it.
This will definitely change the lens through which they see your business.
2 – Use your customers’ services and buy their products.
There is no better way to build loyalty.
3 – Send thank-you notes.
Make sure they are handwritten (or custom) and sent promptly.
Peter Drucker attributed much of his success to the fact that he sent out 12 thank-you cards every day.
A service like SendOutCards can give you a competitive edge. Use the service and make a goal to send out XX cards per day.
4 – Return phone calls promptly.
Since so many people don’t return calls, you automatically gain an advantage when you do.
5 – Do what you say you are going to do.
How you follow through on your commitments reflects how you run your business.
If you miss deadlines, postpone projects, reschedule meetings, arrive late, cancel at the last minute, or otherwise disrespect the other person, you are setting yourself up for failure.
Perception is reality. If people believe you won’t honor their time or respect them, they won’t believe you run your business that way and treat your customers that way.
6 – Do things when you say you’re going to do them.
If you say you can deliver a product by Monday, you’d better be able to deliver it by Monday.
If you set an appointment, you should be arriving on time for that meeting.
We get it, things happen. So, if you can’t do things when you promised, at least make that phone call. Don’t leave your customer wondering what happened to you.
7 – Under-promise and over-deliver.
A promise is like a debt. It’s dangerous promising what you can’t deliver.
When you follow this formula, you’re exceeding customer expectations. After all, you’re going beyond what you promised.
8 – Be accessible.
Show customers that you are available and willing to help them whenever there is a problem.
Your business should be open to meet the convenience needs of your customers.
9 – Be credible.
If you don’t establish trust right away, potential customers may jump to your competitors.
10 – Appearance counts.
Perception is reality, and the reality is that people do judge a book by its cover.
You don’t have to be all dressed up for business.
But comb your hair, make sure your clothes are clean.
11 – Stay in touch.
Remember the best customers are your current ones.
Don’t take them for granted. Keep on top of their wants and needs.
Make sure they get brochures for every campaign (either paper or digital). Follow-up every campaign to see if there’s anything you can help them with.
Our Simple System will help you stay on top of all of this while leaving you more time to build your business.
12 – Admit when you’ve made a mistake
Mistakes happen. The key is to admit it and make it right as quickly as possible.
Also, customers have many platforms to share their experiences with your company.
Don’t get defensive or sensitive if you get called out on something that was your fault.
Instead, use these platforms to take responsibility and resolve the issue.
13 – Have a “Goof Kit” to send to customers if you make a mistake.
Just saying, “I’m sorry” is not enough.
It could be a card with brownies. Or it could be an assortment of samples, or even a hand lotion or lipstick.
Sending a little gift helps your customer feel valued.
14 – Promote customers’ products and services.
By bringing business to your clients, you ensure you will have a customer for life.
15 – Make it as easy as possible for your customers to do business with you.
Do things for the customer’s convenience, not yours.
The easier you can make it for your customer to do business with you, the more business you will have.
Determine all the ways you can eliminate the “hassle factor.”
Keep in mind that your follow-ups are part of this “making it as easy as possible” for your customers.
16 – Periodically send customers an invoice stamped “no charge.”
This will help your customers remember you.
If it is unexpected, it will have a greater impact.
You will have to decide for yourself how you will do this.
I sometimes give the product for free if that customer has had to wait an exceptionally long time to get it due to out of stocks, etc. I feel it creates goodwill with my customer.
17 – Establish a customer advisory panel.
Only by knowing your customers’ wants and needs can you successfully grow your business and be totally customer-oriented.
A private Customer VIP Facebook group can serve this purpose.
In fact, a Facebook Group is a way to build a community and start a conversation with your customers and encourage user-generated content.
For example, you can ask customers to share pictures of them using your product or talk about which products are their favorites.
18 – Be a resource.
No matter what your customer needs, try to find it for him, even if it has nothing to do with your business.
19 – Shower customers with kindness.
Kindness turns strangers into family. It’s probably the single most powerful and world-improving trait in human nature.
And remember, with kindness… the more you give it away, the more it grows within you.
20 – Speak your customer’s language.
Don’t use jargon they can’t understand.
Break it down into simple words and phrases.
21 – Have a great attitude.
People like happy, friendly people.
No matter what direction the conversation takes, it’s important to maintain empathy and positivity at all times.
Your consideration, commitment, and confidence in issue resolution are what will keep customers calm and collected when they’re frustrated.
It also helps to keep a smile on your face – a simple tactic but it really does come across in your communication (even on the phone).
Smiling will automatically lift your mood too.
23 – Give your customers what they want, when they want it, the way they want it.
For starters, listen to customers and address their concerns in a timely manner.
You have to “wow” them by going above and beyond.
24 – Give back to your best customers.
If you run a special price or product offer for first-time customers, make sure to offer a promotion to your current customers.
It’s incredibly easy to forget your existing customers when you’re busy trying to reach new customers.
To avoid frustrating your loyal customers, make sure that you are taking care of them as well.
The Avon Promotion Tool is perfect for this!
Take advantage of that tool. Create a new promotion every campaign (or even every week) and include all of your customers.
25 – Make your customers feel important.
Don’t show an attitude of indifference to your customers.
In a recent study on why people give up on a company, 68 percent quit because of an attitude of indifference toward the customers by the owner, manager or employees – 68 percent!
A genuine connection serves as the best way to bolster customer loyalty, as customers who feel valued keep coming back to use your service.
Everyone loves to be acknowledged, even in small ways.
One thing you can do is make sure to treat your customers like real people, not just robots on the other side of a computer screen.
Find out when your customers are going to be celebrating their birthdays or anniversaries so you can help them celebrate.
If you can afford to do so, offer them a small discount.
Not only can this help to increase your sales, but it also makes them feel like you value them and their business.
Use a card service like SendOutCards and perform “Customer Espionage.”
This just means when you see them celebrating something on Facebook – like a birthday, graduation, new baby, etc. – copy their image and put it on the front of a card and send it to them in the mail along with your congratulations/support.
You’ll be amazed at how special it makes them feel. And how much they will appreciate your service.
Growing Your Business By Providing Great Customer Service
All of the ideas above combine to produce great customer service.
It’s great customer service that keeps your customers loyal to you and your business — and that earns you a reputation for being helpful and a pleasure to work with.
Customers want to be treated like people.
It really comes down to the fact that good communication and human relations skills equal good customer relations.
And remember, the more your customer feels that you appreciate them, the more loyal they will be to you.
Now It’s Your Turn
What Customer Service tips do you have that I haven’t listed?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear your stories.
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By Lynn Huber
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