A business is nothing without your clients. You can invest a large amount of time, money and resources into products, marketing and strategy. However, if you don’t have a great relationship with your customers, your business is very limited in where it can go.
For this reason, it is critical that you show your customers how much you value them. Here are 6 tips and tactics to do just that in order to build customer loyalty and help your business to thrive, no matter the external problems and struggles.
- Be Proactive when you Mess Up
We know that only 4% of customers will tell companies if they’re unhappy with a product or service, however many more will change to another company and usually tell their friends and family about their dissatisfaction. This means that if you only address customer dissatisfaction when they complain directly to you, you are missing out on a great many opportunities to fix the issue and hang on to your clients.
Instead, you should be proactively looking for problems in your products and processes, and reach out to the customers who may have been affected. Some businesses can be hesitant to do this, as they think they are highlighting their failures. However, this is an excellent way to build trust with your customers and improve customer retention rates. Surveys and feedback forms are other great ways to be proactive and shed light on problems and complaints that may not come to you directly.
- Keep in Contact with your Customers
You can’t assume that your customers will always come to you when they have a problem, or if they need something. And if you do assume this, you can be assured that your competitors will put themselves in front of your customers and potentially steal their business. Keeping in regular contact with your customers means that you stay at the forefront of their mind, gives you the opportunity to address any small complaints before they get out of control and live up to your customers’ expectations: 75% of customers expect consistent service from businesses.
There are many different ways to keep in contact with your client base – and getting creative will help to capture your customers’ attention. Sure, you can use a phone call or email. But why not try something a bit different? For example, you can design your own custom stickers to engage with your customers in a very personal and unique way.
- Listen, Listen, Listen
As part of keeping in contact with your customers, it is critical that you listen to what they have to say, and listen carefully. This means that you’ll be able to better understand your customers’ concerns and not only address issues facing individual customers, but make broader changes to your systems and processes. Furthermore, in showing that you are listening, you also show that you care.
In this way, it is important that your customer service representatives don’t simply give scripted, standard responses to every client question or concerns. Rather, they should provide unique responses to show that they are listening. Furthermore, it is essential that feedback from customers is passed up the line so it can be used to improve the business.
- Highlight your Best Customers
You can also show your appreciation in a very public way by highlighting your best customers and giving them a shout out on social media. You can use this to thank them for their business and their loyalty and tell the world why they’re great customers.
This could be a full profile of one of your top customers, or could be as simple as tagging a user who has shared one of your posts or participated in your online competition. You can film an interview with a long-standing customer and post it online. This will promote them, and is a great marketing asset for your business too!
- Host an Appreciation Event
Client appreciation tactics can often be focussed on the individual level, but you can also execute this on a larger scale by throwing a client appreciation event. This can be a drinks event, a dinner, virtually anything you can think of. The purpose is to bring your customers together and thank them for their business.
Additionally, events like this give your clients the opportunity to network amongst themselves, providing them with the chance to make useful connections. This shows your gratitude, adds extra value for your clients, and helps build stronger customer relationships.
- Surprise Your Customers by Exceeding their Expectations
Finally, one of the best ways to show your appreciation for your customers is to offer exceptional customer service by not just meeting, but exceeding their expectations. There are many ways to do this, but the most fundamental is through the products and services you offer. You want to make sure that your products shock and delight your clients with extra functions and features they may never have thought of.
Going the extra mile in your customer service is another excellent way to surpass your customers’ expectations. By taking extra steps and making extra efforts, you will impress your customers, show that you value them, and keep them for the long term.