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Your job as an entrepreneur does not end the second a customer hits the checkout button. In fact, a great product is no longer enough for most businesses. Modern customers demand more from brands because these days, buying a product is just a part of the entire purchase experience.
Research shows 58% of customers won’t think twice about ending a business relationship with a brand due to poor customer service. By giving your customers what they want, you’ll build one of the most powerful relationships in business: life-long customer loyalty.
There are two types of customers, transactional and emotional customers. A transactional customer only makes a purchase to a business without a deep, emotional connection. If a better offer comes along, a transactional customer will take his business elsewhere at any given time. For example, even on the verge of checking out, a transactional customer won’t think twice about abandoning their cart if a competitor suddenly offers a lower price.
On the other hand, an emotional customer makes a purchase while also forming an emotional connection with the business. Even with so many competitors, an emotional customer will remain loyal to a company he’s been buying from for years. Despite the external factors, loyal customers would go out of their way to buy from you. Apart from always choosing your business from others, a loyal customer will also recommend your products to others.
An example would be a loyal restaurant customer. Your products could be pricier than the resto-bar next door, or the other place may have a more extensive menu/better interiors, and yet, a loyal customer keeps choosing you over the other.
How to turn a casual user into a lifelong customer? Try these tips:
Even the smallest act of kindness can turn a casual customer into a loyal client. A small discount, a handwritten thank-you note, or a personalised birthday gift will go a long way when making a deeper connection with a client. Even something as simple as a two-day heads-up for a flash sale is enough to convert customers into loyal clients. You can use a CRM platform like Flodesk or Dubsado to check for client data and base the information to surprise your clients – like their birthday or sign-up anniversary!
Honesty is something all customers look for in a business. Keeping information from people will only dishearten and infuriate them once they have uncovered the truth. Being transparent prevents the spread of misinformation and the risk of confusion among your clients.
Start by being completely honest about your business and the benefits and limitations of your products. Do not promise the sun and moon if you cannot deliver results. When a customer is unhappy with his experience, be honest and make amends to make the situation right. Being transparent shows customers that your business is 100% committed to providing the best customer service. This will endear your business to them even more.
You can foster loyalty to repeat customers, giving them a bonus for all the wonderful years of patronage. Clearly, these customers have trusted your brand all these years and deserve a reward! Introduce a rewards or referral program and offer exclusive incentives such as small discounts, gifts, exclusive content, and other perks. You can create a program where customers can earn points or present tiered programs to join. You can also offer a pay-to-join program if you’re running a sizable business.
Automation is a thing of beauty, and AI has been fantastic in giving a human element to every workflow. But nothing beats human connection when it comes to dealing with clients. The goal should always be to foster a meaningful relationship with your clients. And while canned messages work in many situations, there are times when you have to engage with your clients on your own.
For example, if a client is having issues with something on your website and is asking for your help, shoot them an assuring message and address them by name. Create a short clip as a welcome message when onboarding new clients. Give your followers a peek at what’s happening in the background on your social media. On your website, post a portrait picture of yourself or a fun photo of your team to give a face to your brand.
Creating an online tribe gives loyal customers a place to share their love for your brand and interact with fellow customers! It’s perfect for brands that have a decent online following. An online community allows you to interact with your customers, answer questions, and discuss shared passions. This is an excellent idea for businesses that plan to monetise their email list down the line.
Most brands focus on providing products to sell and great customer service during a transaction – not so much for after-sale service. Customer feedback is valuable but is only available if your customer is happy with their experience.
Apart from providing excellent customer service, strive to provide better after-sale service. So once you ask for customer feedback, you know people are raving about your business. Every happy purchase leads to strong customer loyalty. Showing customer feedback on your website, social media, and e-market profile shows that you value your customers’ insights.
Businesses need to nurture emotional loyalty because the love for the brand is not dependent on external factors like convenience or price. We could all use an army of loyal customers in this volatile business landscape. A customer committed to your brand will always choose you no matter how great the other brands are!
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