The following is a guest post by Ashley Kornee. Ashley is a blogger and freelance writer. She always tries to write about ordinary things in a creative way. She’s currently working as a writer for an academic help. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.
Customer loyalty is a long-debated subject that continues to evolve with each new trend. Companies have often struggled to maintain positive relations with their customers and clients for seemingly no concrete reason.
Appeasing the needs of a huge number of people that use your products or services can be difficult because you can’t really pinpoint the exact demographic you work for most of the time. However, there are several ways in which you can establish proper communication and relation with your customers which can lead to long-term loyalty and satisfaction.
Setting concrete goals
The most important question you need to ask yourself is: “What are we trying to accomplish?” Earning more money or having positive PR might not be a good goal if you are trying to build long-term relations with customers who might be skeptical of your product or practices. Simply wanting to take your customers’ money might not be the best course of action, so you should make sure that actionable steps are taken.
Set long-term goals with your board members and colleagues, focusing on objective, numeric data that can help you further develop new marketing and distribution strategies. Customers want to use your products and they do want to give you their money – but you should look beyond that and think about selling your mission and vision through the product as well.
Using polls and questionnaires
The most sure-fire way of getting to the bottom of your customers’ needs is by simply asking them yourselves. Create an online poll and conduct on-ground marketing with questionnaires that aim to get to the bottom of your customers’ habits and needs.
Questions can focus on their everyday activities, their knowledge of your brand and product as well as the situations in which they actively use your product. The results of these surveys will be essential in further developing long-term relationship strategies by having intimate insight into your customers’ everyday lives.
Providing extra value
Customers like to get free items without any strings attached. The proverbial “strings” come in the form of brand awareness and positive word of mouth – none of which cost your customers a single dime apart from what they already paid. Building long-term relations is a long-term commitment. You will have to dedicate several years of your company’s practice to ensure your customers are loyal and coming back for more each year.
The extra value you provide for your customers can be anything from free items, testimonial showcasing or even events to which users of your products are exclusively invited. These small tokens of appreciation go a long way in ensuring that people are happy with the way you treat them.
Implementing customer feedback
Customer feedback is important in making sure that every product satisfies the market’s needs. However, if the majority of your customers have something negative (or positive) to say about one of your products, you should definitely look into it.
Implementing customer feedback that aims to improve your product lineup goes to show that you really care about what people think about your company. Very few enterprises listen to their customers’ feedback in such a way, meaning that you can gain a lot of positive publicity in doing so.
Prizes and giveaways
Giving this away for free is a good way to attract new customers and retain the loyalty of existing ones. Giveaways can be hosted in a number of ways, the most popular of which involve social media platforms or email advertisement. On-ground giveaways in cities across the world are possible but the publicity that comes from those events might not be enough to nurture the relationship you have with your customer base.
Focus your efforts on prizes that are given away through the internet where you can easily track the number of people who came to participate in the event. This is also a good way to boost the long-term relationship you have with your clients and customers at very low costs, which are often far lower than the costs it would take to launch an actual marketing campaign.
Your customers are individuals who simply use your product in mass. This means that they are actual people with individual feelings, aspirations, and wishes – all of which can be used to your advantage through simple marketing tricks.
Addressing your customers with individualized messages that use their actual names or address them as friends or neighbors and not piggybanks waiting to be opened is a great way to grow on them. This is especially true when approaching new customers through email marketing or brochures that end up in the mail physically. Don’t treat your customers as a group of people who want to buy your product but as individual people, each of which is using your product for specific, personal purposes.
Loyalty programs give everyone an incentive to use your services for extended periods of time. These programs can be based on discounts, invites to special events or even prizes that come with milestone purchases. Loyalty programs have been around for a long time and businesses use them to retain customers over the course of several years.
The secret to creating a lucrative loyalty program lies in giving your customers real value for their repeated purchases, whether it comes in the form of free items or affiliated discount purchases with your partners. Make sure to include several tiers and milestone goals for your customers to chase in order to give them small rewards over the course of several months or years. This type of long-term relation is a great way not only to have a high retention rate but also to attract new customers through positive word of mouth that stem from it.
Long-term loyalty is a tricky subject to tackle for its fragility – it’s far too easy to lose the goodwill of your customers. Negative publicity can easily drop your stock market value or devalue your brand as a whole simply because you overreached in your wish to change something.
Make sure that your business stays true to the original vision and try to communicate the same to your customers. You won’t be able to attract those who are uninterested in the type of product you are selling. The right ones will always find their way to you should the existing customers be satisfied with what you have to offer.
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