How many times have you created or participated in promotions that
offered a free add on to an existing product or service, or a
“buy one get one" either free or at a reduced price. Probably
many times. But when was the last time you gave or received
something unprompted just to say thank you for your support or
loyalty? It’s not something that you need to do all the time,
but it’s good to do so occasionally to show you care.
Just like in a personal relationship, it’s the little things we
remember. It’s getting flowers for no reason or receiving a text
out of the blue that says, “thinking of you”. It’s the unexpected
gestures that endear us to people and create loyalty.
Loyal customers are your ultimate profit centre. You need to view
customer service and building a loyal customer base as an
investment in your business. An investment that won't spoil, nor go
out of style; it takes up no shelf space and there is no expiry
Give customers something unexpected that costs nothing. A free
refill of pop, an extra pickle, a free reusable shopping bag, a
free sample of their favorite product even offering to carry their
purchases to their car. Do something that they don’t expect and
they will remember that gesture forever. Relationships are crucial
to customers. There is a certain expectation and level of trust to
be developed and maintained in order to keep loyal customers
“loyal”. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver. Customers
take promises very seriously and they do remember. Trust is
paramount to building a loyal customer base. No matter how many
customers walk through your door, you won't retain them if they
can’t trust that you will deliver on what you offer.
Loyal customers are worth their weight in gold as they typically
outspend regular customers 10 to 1. These “brand” fans are your
best marketing tools. They spread the word about your business
because you have been able to connect with them. If these fans
outspend others 10 to 1 then even a small increase in your customer
loyalty could increase your bottom line dramatically.
You need to get inside your customer’s heads and know what they are
thinking. It is your responsibility to anticipate their needs and
deliver if you want to keep them feeling valued. But even
with your best efforts sometimes you will have a customer who is
dissatisfied. Try to resolve their complaint immediately. Listen to
them, acknowledge them and then do your best to resolve the issue
as quickly as possible. The average customer with an unresolved
complaint will tell 9 to 10 people, but if you can fix the problem
and make them feel that you care, they will likely become an even
stronger ambassador for your brand.
Offering a customer something free doesn’t have to be about a
traditional giveaway. It can be a simple gesture of goodwill;
remembering their name, offering to help them unprompted, or
just saying thank you personally for giving you their
business. Giving customers something unexpected that costs
nothing can really mean something to you and building your brand.