I am always thinking about ways to grow my business. Mom always said that it’s easier to keep an existing customer than to find a new one. Funny, she has said that for over 40 years and now I read it sales books today. She has always been a smart business woman.
What promotes repeat business?
1. Good Products
2. Excellent Personal Service
3. Fast Shipping
4. Great Prices
For my company it’s all the above. It’s my great customer service. I have noticed that every company has something in their moto about great customers service. But do we really give that service?
I was cleaning my desk and I came across an old handout from 1996 that I was given at a sales seminar I attended by speaker Shep Hyken. He quoted Dr. Theodore Levitt, Senior Professor at Harvard Business School.
“The function of every business is to get and keep customers”.
If that’s our function, what do I do? How do we build customer loyalty?
1. Don’t forget to say THANK YOU! That sounds simple enough. A phone call, an e-mail, a personal note, a little candy. Everyone likes to be appreciated by a simple thank you!
2. Find out if you’re doing a good job, and if there are problems react quickly. It’s necessary to follow up after a sale to make sure their expectations were met. Shep noted that 96% of customers that have a compliant don’t tell you. I always say if I don’t know there is a problem, I can’t fix it.
3. Continue to educate the customer on the benefits of using your company. Reinforce why the customer made the right choice to do business with you. If you do something different than your competition make sure they know about it. It’s your opportunity to shine!
4. Guarantee your products and services. If there is a problem fix it. No one likes to give a refund or exchange and replece items but sometimes you need to do what is best for the sales situation. Your guarantee will make that customer want to continue to do business with you.
5. Make sure your talking to the decision maker. don’t forget that others might be involved in the buying process. Many times the buyer isn’t the only one in the decision making process. Sometimes the buying decision includes a committee, an assistant, a secretary or/and a spouse. Be inclusive and address each person with respect.
6. Spoil your customer with good service and excellent follow through. If your customer should go to a competing company to shop around, they would expect the save level of service that they got from you. Anything less from the competition reinforces that the customer made the right choice to do business with you. In other words you have spoiled your customer. What maybe your standard service is better than the competition.
I want to hear from you. What other ways do you know to build customer loyalty?