No customers, no sales. No sales, no business. Simple but very powerful statements. Customers are the lifeblood of a business hence the importance of looking for several ways to increase customer loyalty.
During the last years, corporations, small and medium sized enterprises have invested heavily into customer services and customer relationship management (CRM). Word-of-mouth remains the most effective marketing tool as clients continue to share their experience with brands and companies on different social media platforms.
Loyal customers are your greatest fans. They will defend your business online and offline. They will stick with you when the going gets tough. And if you’re honest and integer, they will even forgive your mistakes. Therefore the main goal of every business should be acquiring new customers and increasing loyalty of all those clients who are already ‘on board’.
4 Tips On How To Increase Customer Loyalty
What about start-ups and young entrepreneurs? Do they understand the crucial importance of generating customers right from the beginning?
Often entrepreneurs when they start their own business, make the mistake of focusing too much on technology (especially if they engage into Internet Marketing) and on different ways to distribute their products and services. Very little time do they spend on the customer, their needs and wants.
BusinessDay had this to say recently….
Understanding this very basic and profound principle of entrepreneurship and management must lead every business manager to focus with laser jet intensity on one issue above all others – customer.
My advice is that every entrepreneur and business manager (especially the new and younger ones) must focus on “making every client or customer a long-term partner to your business.” In fact, this is the corporate mission statement of the company I founded and I lead today. When my team members ask me about what is right and wrong decision and conduct in the business, my response is usually simple: – any decision or action that does not help us transform an individual or organisation we accept as a client into a long-term partner is wrong! The decisions and actions that do are right!
Now, I do not believe that everyone or every organisation you encounter, as an entrepreneur, is one you should seek to make a long-term partner. Some you should reject for ethical and similar reasons. The simple two-dimension matrix shown below could help other entrepreneurs to figure out how to deal with this all-important task of transforming clients into long-term partners, which is the ultimate goal in marketing, as far as I am concerned.
In esoteric language, it would be described as loyal customers. However, this goes beyond a customer being loyal, it is about them becoming your undeclared partners. They defend your business, products and services when you cannot be there, they market for you at no direct cost, they do so many other things that sometimes you cannot do for yourself as a business, because no one will believe or accept such coming from you. (…)
The main point is that all entrepreneurs and business managers should seek to transform or convert all forms of customers into long-term business partners. You need as many of your customers as possible in the green box – as long-term partners.
The blue box is where you have customers that do not contribute a lot of value to your business but are committed over time to its wellbeing and survival.
The amber box is where you have customers that could contribute a lot of value through one transaction alone but have not demonstrated they could keep this up over time for the simple reason that they are “beautiful brides” and everyone wants them, so they can take their money anywhere without really losing much.
Another way to look at customer loyalty is to consider your clients your most valuable JV partners. It all comes down to long lasting relationships and friendships. You customers are the ones who sustain your business, they are your raving fans and followers. Use this amazing power for your business, not against it.
What does your your client retention strategy look like? How do you increase customer loyalty?