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Customer Loyalty: How to retain and delight your customers so they buy time and time again

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You’ve succeeded in getting lots of leads, converting as many as possible into clients, and maximising the price of the initial sale. So far, so good! But there’s one more key step which is maximising the lifetime value of these customers.

The name of the game here is retention. Keeping your existing customers happy so they buy from you time and time again is critical for increasing profitable sales in any business. In fact, existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, on average, than new customers. Those are stats* that are hard to ignore!

So let’s get right into some easy ways to keep your customers happy and coming back for more. Here’s how with our top 7 tactics:

  1. Understand what your customers like
  2. Feed your relationships
  3. Personalised communications
  4. Random acts of kindness
  5. Offer additional products and services
  6. Solicit customer feedback
  7. Encourage repeat business with loyalty programmes

1. Understand what your customers like

Think about the mechanisms you have in your business to capture valuable data about your customers, their purchases and their engagement with your business and brands.

Do a little in-house research - speak to your customers and ask them what they think. Some of the things they value might surprise you.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – Take a good hard look at all the points where your customers have contact with your business. What’s the good, bad and the ugly? Start by thinking about the best service you’ve ever experienced and consider how you can implement this in your business.

Use data to understand your customers - Your database and/or CRM and web-based customer analytics are a mine of useful information. What are your customers are buying? When and how often they are buying? What website pages do they visit? What is the most popular content on your website?

The goal is to find out what your customers really like and value. Then position your business around the things that matter most to your customers so they see you as the most attractive option.

2. Feed your relationships

Use your customer data to stay in touch and feed your relationships. Ways you can ignite your relationships with these people are to:

  • Phone them
  • Email them
  • Invite them for a coffee
  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • Acknowledge birthdays and/or other milestones (see tactic 3)
  • Keep them updated on new products and services (see tactic 5)
  • Check in to see if they are satisfied (see tactic 6)
  • Send a letter, some marketing collateral, testimonials, a newsletter or card (see tactic 3)

Bottom line, make putting time into your relationships a continuous thing and don’t let potential sales get away.

3. Personalised communications

Show your customers they matter through personalised communications. This can take many forms (phone, email, text message, direct mail, eNewsletters) but just contacting your customers is often more important than the delivery medium.

Think of all the possible reasons to contact them; be it a holiday, their birthday or your company’s anniversary. If it’s been a while since you’ve heard from a customer, reach out to say hello. If you’re featured in the news, send them a news clipping. If you wrote or have found an article that they may find helpful, send it to them.

Not all of your communications have to sell your customers anything. Rather use it to further cement your business and brand in their heads and stay top-of-mind with your customers.

4. Random acts of kindness

Random acts of kindness are thoughtful gestures that appear unplanned and create a positive impression and keep you front of mind.

Think of ways to surprise, delight and thank your customers for doing business with you. These do not need to be high-cost, but items that are of value to your client. It could be as simple as sending a card on their birthday or a gift that connects to your client’s business, interests and hobbies, a thank you for your business card… the options are endless.

Be sure to think outside the box, do the unexpected and be remembered for it.

5. Offer additional products and services

Do your customers know about everything you offer and all the ways you can help them? If you haven’t told them, then how would they know?

Remind your customers about the products and services they already use and tell them about the ones they don’t. A few ways to do this is face to face and through emails, newsletters, seminars, workshops, promotional offers and social media. Don’t let your customers buy from somewhere else just because they didn’t know they could have bought that product or service from you!

Use your customer data to tailor your communications, create offers to encourage repeat buying, or build a stronger online customer experience.

6. Solicit customer feedback

Customer feedback is a great way to find out what customers love and dislike about your business. It’s also a great way to find out why they stay and why they go.

Every time a customer buys from you or connects with your business, they are likely to have an opinion about it. So remember to ask them for a Facebook or Google review or use customer satisfaction or Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to collect feedback.

Their responses will help you build a better customer experience as well as ensure your customers feel valued.

7. Encourage repeat business with loyalty programmes

Customer loyalty programs are an effective way to encourage customers to keep coming back to you. Examples of loyalty programs include:

  • Buy 10 (or whatever number) and get one free (coffee shops use this a lot).
  • Reward dollars or points - give customers reward dollars or points that can only be redeemed or accumulated when they make future purchases from you.
  • Membership or Discount Cards - give VIP cards (free or paid) or discount cards that give customers discounts on certain products or special access that non-card holders don’t get.

Make sure you reward loyalty with something your customers want. An example of a local business doing this well is Deluxe Cinemas in Christchurch. Their movie club gives members first access to premier screenings and special events, as well as getting their 8th film free.

Using technology to drive your loyalty programmes will ensure these are easier to manage as well as provide you with quality customer data. See our blog Build customer loyalty with these techy tips for our top 2 loyalty apps for small business.

 

 


* Why your existing customers are your best customers

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Lee Retimana is the Chief Marketer and Brand Strategist at Muritai Group. With 25 plus years in sales and marketing across a diverse range of industries including IT, manufacturing, health and business services, Lee saw a huge gap in the market for providing small business owners with strong and actionable marketing advice. With a focus on fresh thinking; Lee challenges her team at Muritai Group to use their experience and expertise to challenge ineffective marketing with creative ideas, strategic thinking, and common sense to deliver marketing that works. Lee says "We are experts at finding customers and keeping them. We know how to craft the right messages to get you noticed, make you relevant, interesting and ultimately loved! Our whole business approach links every single marketing tactic to your business objectives and is how we develop a marketing strategy that works – so your business can thrive". Give Lee a call (021 321 747) or email (lee@muritai.com) to see where her fresh approach can take your business.

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