Customer loyalty is the single most important element to retain within the business relationship. A lot of positive elements can be derived from a well-established customer base. Large sums of money are spent on advertising, primarily to gain a greater market share of consumers, but with the availability of a dedicated customer base, these expenditures can be put into other uses that will be more beneficial to the business enterprise.
The Importance of Customer Loyalty
Companies that have a high loyal customer base have the advantage of putting their resources into a self-reinforcing system in which the company provides constantly evolving superior value and high quality products and services that will benefit their customers. This will likely further create the comfortable relationship desired to successfully keep the customers both happy and devoted. There is also the added advantage of the pre-existing customers who consciously help to introduce family and friends to the products and services predicated on personal testimonies and enthusiasm.
Another importance of retaining a high loyal customer base is that companies have the ability to provide good customer induction strategies that contribute to an increased customer base and thus give higher revenue by reducing the necessity to spend money attracting potential, but necessarily viable customers. However, such techniques should in no way take the place of good and exemplary customer service.
The element of trust is quite hard to achieve and even harder to nurture, but with the right process in place and use without deviation, it is possible to build the desired trust between the seller and the customers. This trust factor will then translate to converting the casual customer into a loyal one. Thus, any complaints or misgivings regarding the products or services should be dealt with swiftly and to the satisfaction of the customer. Companies that take the grievances of their customers seriously are usually the ones that have the best loyal customer base on record.
Know Where You Are in Customer Loyalty
Being able to discern one’s position with regards to the customer loyalty can be tough if not impossible sometimes. However, fortunately, there are some old methods you can use to achieve this goal. Being able to retain a loyal customer base has its merits and understanding the customer sentiment is pivotal to attaining this loyalty factor. As loyal customers are a good sign to a thriving and successful business enterprise, making the effort to concentrate on understanding the level of each customer’s loyalty is both prudent and beneficial in the long run.
This understanding can help predict, to a certain degree, the ratio between your potentially loyal customer and those who may not ever become the desired loyal customer needed to keep the business running. By making this discovery, the company may then take the desired action to prevent customers from being just one-time users.
Here are some things to consider in trying to understand the company’s position within the customer’s way of thinking:
- Making the effort to gather the necessary data to examine the customer’s reason for making the purchase or for displaying an interest in the goods and services offered.
- Learning if the customer would be willing or even happy to introduce the product or service to others.
- Getting feedback of the level of satisfaction derived from using the product or service or not having the said satisfaction.
Armed with this information, there should also be a proactive action to address any negative feedback received. With the feedback gathered from the customers, there must be a concerted effort to make the necessary improvements to the products or services to further encourage the commitment on the part of the customer to continue to stay loyal.
To a certain degree, perceptions are made based on the data garnered through specific means. However, these means and methods may not always be reliable thus creating the opportunity of ineffective handling of any problems or needs that may arise. For any product or service to become a success and preserve itself, there is a definite advantage to understanding the prospective audience and their needs.
The need for understanding this process is to effectively eliminate any wastage of work and resources on incorrect perceptions made. Understanding the difference between the actual needs of the target audience, and measuring it against the perceived needs that the seller has been given to understand, can help the seller to redefine the product or service to concentrate on the aforementioned fact.
Sometimes however, such information can be very difficult to process as the customers themselves may not really understand what their specific needs or wants are. This can be looked upon as an advantage on the part of the seller as it creates the opportunity for the seller to promote the product or service in a way that is attractive to the customer. Also when the customer’s needs are clearly understood, there can then be a clearer method used to garner the interest and possible successful sale. Advertising and information can be specifically made to catch the attention of the customer predicated on the information gathered.
Continuously adapting to the customer’s interests will allow for the success rates to be better in ensuring the loyalty factor. This in itself can contribute further in creating the customer’s faith in the product or service being offered; as it portrays the commitment levels the company is willing to take to ensure the customer stays happy.
Offer Exceptional Customer Service
Most businesses today offer virtually the products or services, so the main way a seller can have an advantage over their competitors is to provide exceptional customer service. Products today don’t really differ much in terms of functions and prices, so by taking the trouble to provide good customer service, the potential customer can be persuaded to make repeat purchases.
Below are a few recommendations a seller can follow in the quest to provide exceptional customer services:
- Because most initial inquiries are done over the telephone, making it a habit to return or respond to all telephone inquiries is very important and definitely advisable. Doing this in a prompt and courteous manner is also another way of making the customer feel important.
- Providing a follow-up service or inquiry into the satisfaction of the product or service helps both parties gain vital information and build a relationship of trust and commitment. This also gives the seller an insight to the expectations of the customer.
- Taking the customer’s concerns critically and implementing the necessary steps to address these concerns is also another beneficial trait of exceptional customer service. This not only relieves the customers’ concerns, it also establishes the seller’s commitment to guarantee customer satisfaction.
- It is very important to stay focused and view the problem from the customer’s perspective. When confronted with a problem, a customer can, more often than not, make unrealistic claims and remarks. Therefore, having a calm disposition would help to defuse any potentially unpleasant situation.