Statistics show that it costs up to five times more to acquire a new customer than to sell to an existing customer. But if you want to keep and retain your customers, you'll need to make them “loyal.” If there's a competitor who offers the same product or service, perhaps the customer will choose them instead. Creating loyal customers prevent this from happening by encouraging customers to choose your business.
There's nothing wrong with using email to correspond with customers and sales leads and prospects, but you shouldn't overlook the importance of real-time interactions. According to a study cited by SalesForce, 65% of customers expect companies to interact with them in real-time. Failure to provide this interaction could result in lower loyalty and fewer sales.
Seek feedback from customers on how to improve your business. Thanks to social media, this process is now easier than ever. Using LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or other social media networks, you can ask direct questions to your customers and followers. And once you've obtained this information, you can implement their feedback into your business model. If a customer recommends adding a new payment method, for instance, go ahead and add it.
Go the Extra Mile
What does it mean to “go the extra mile?” Well, it means over-delivering on customers' expectations. If they expect a product to be delivered in 7 days, perhaps you could deliver it in 3 days. Another idea is to include a product that would be complimentary to the sale, but low cost to your company. Maybe it's even a premium item to with both company logos to show partnership. Giving customers something for free (or low cost) is a great way to instill loyalty and commitment.
Beat Your Competitors
If you haven't done so already, check and see what your competitors are offering and for how much. The general idea is to beat your competitors so customers will stick with your business. Sometimes its sharing reviews or other customer experiences. This way they know they made a good decision and can feel great about it. Sometimes it can be that you package it with a complimentary product or a free service. Wherever possible, try to differentiate your business from its competitors. This way you'll reduce any struggle to retain customers.
Acknowledge Fans in Content
Another tactic used to increase customer loyalty is acknowledging fans in your content. Soda Stream is a prime example, as the company highlights their fans and followers on their Facebook Page and blog. When a fan sees his or her name displayed, they'll feel a stronger connection with the company; thus, increasing loyalty and retention rates. The same thing can be done with LinkedIn. Acknowledge internally those who've helped and the new customer (permission only).
Expand Your Horizons within the Customer
Once you've acquired a customer, keeping them loyal can also help you get into their other divisions, locations or sister companies. Do you know if you customer has any of those? The customer contact will act as a referral, recommendation and a positive review to the new departments or divisions once you get in there.
The Target Account Sales Intelligence database allows you to look up a particular company. It will give you some insights into the company, locations and contacts. Now that you know this great new information, take a look if SalesLeads has generated Project Reports in the past for this company. If so, you'll know a bit more about their growth and projects. To prove to your customer that you are up on what's going on internally, set yourself up with news feeds and the areas that are important to you. You'll find that using these 3 tools will allow you to expand your business within the customer because of their loyalty to you and you to them.
These are just a few ways to create more loyal customers.