How do we earn repeat business and referrals?
Loyal clients - or at least highly satisfied clients - are the ones more likely to buy from us again, refer others to us, and spread good word of mouth about our business.
Implementing the three strategies below (or reviewing how you're already executing them to determine if there’s further fine-tuning required) will help you in this endeavor.
It’s so simple and yet so often overlooked. Beyond our most basic physiological needs such as food and water, human beings also crave emotional sustenance such as love and affirmation. Love can be described as a sense of connection, and affirmation includes respect and recognition. So, finding ways to communicate to your clients (both existing and prospective) that you appreciate them and celebrate their positive qualities goes a long way to meeting that psychological need we all possess.
Whether you demonstrate your appreciation with a thoughtful gift or kind words, you’ll be surprised just how much goodwill such a simple act can generate.
I’m sure you’re familiar with the axiom, “under-promise and over-deliver.” This is something we’ve taken to heart and have noticed the positive impact it inevitably creates. Whenever we’re able to do something extra for a client, we do. If we can add a small touch they aren’t expecting in order to surprise and delight them, their reaction is always priceless. It might take the form of an unexpected gift for no particular occasion or a surprise bonus thrown in on top of an order. It can be a small gesture, like a few cans of chicken noodle soup or a “Get Well” card sent to someone when you’ve learned they’re under the weather. Do more than is expected and it may earn you more loyalty than you initially thought possible.
Whenever answering a question via email or text, a useful tip which always elicits a positive response from clients is to ask yourself, “what is likely to be their next question?” Then, proactively answer that one as well.
For example, after we answer the question(s) our client initially posed, we follow up by adding, “By the way, something else we thought might also be helpful for you is…” This has helped us in two ways. First, it cuts down on the back and forth Q&A in that one email or text string. Second, we receive a lot of, “Thank you, that is helpful” or “Thanks, I hadn’t thought of that” responses. So, it increases both our efficiency and our customers’ satisfaction.
Customer loyalty isn’t a commodity that you can simply buy off the shelf, but it is attainable if you take the time and make the effort to express appreciation to your clients, anticipate their needs before they do, and go the extra mile to surprise and delight them when you deliver. Not only will putting into action these three simple strategies help to solidify your current clients’ loyalty, but the impressive word of mouth that your efforts will generate should result in an ever-expanding (and ever-satisfied) client base.
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Written and edited by Kinn Melby and Amiee Mueller
Photo by krakenimages