It has been said over and over again because it’s true: The best customer is an existing customer. Why? As Colin Shaw, writing for CustomerThink, puts it, “Returning customers often buy more than new customers and require fewer resources to attract.” It’s a win-win situation, as long as you hold up your end by continuously making them happy. How can you accomplish that? Here are a few tips from Shaw for creating a loyal customer.
Creating a Loyal Customer in 3 Steps
Ask Your Customer Why They’re Doing Business with You
Before they became your client, they were pursued by many of your competitors. And just because they’ve become your client doesn’t mean that your competitors will stop coming after their business. Creating a loyal customer means that you need to know what it is about you and your company that they like more than their other options. So, ask your client what made them choose you over your competition. When you find out what makes you stand out, you can make plans to continue to provide your client with what they value most. (And bonus points: You can use that knowledge to give your sales pitches to potential clients a boost as well.)
Have Internal Discussions
Now, you can’t always go to your existing clients to find out what you should be doing to retain their business. Direct contact is the best way to learn what your clients want from you. But at some point, depending on how often you’re reaching out, the calls and emails may get annoying. They have other things to do with their time, and you should have ideas of your own for how to satisfy your client so that you can start increasing their loyalty.
So, Shaw recommends discussing companies that you enjoy doing business with. Think about your favorite businesses. What is it about them that you love so much? Why do you keep going back and making purchases from them? Do they have the best selection of a product you covet? How is their customer service? Are their prices fair or do they at least have frequent sales or send out coupons for loyal customers?
All of that information can help inspire you to craft the perfect plan for creating a loyal customer out of your new client. Shaw also encourages sales reps to open up this discussion to coworkers and even family and friends. Learn the commonalities in what people expect from businesses, and you’ll be prepared to offer your clients the best service you possibly can.
Keep It Up!
Creating a loyal customer is a task that is never truly finished until the business relationship is over. You can’t just pop the champagne cork when you make another sale to an existing client and label them as loyal. Loyalty is something you have to earn and work to maintain. Also, just because you know what your client expects from you right now doesn’t mean that it will always be what they want from you. People and companies change course all the time. You need to be prepared to change your customer service to reflect those changes.
How can you do this? Keep up to date with their company’s news. If something big occurs, reach out to them to get more information. And, as always, make sure you’re reaching out to them regularly with useful content when you check in on them.
Is there anyone who inspires loyalty more than those who are credible? Download a free chapter of the Sales Cred book authored by our CEO, C. Lee Smith, to learn how you can better establish your credibility to inspire customer loyalty.
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