Keeping your customers

Increasing sales through brand customer loyalty

Key points in this article

  • Finding ways to retain customer loyalty
  • Showing customers that they matter
  • Enhancing the total customer experience

How do I keep my customers coming back?

People today are inundated with options and can compare online in a flash – it’s never been easier to shop around. It can sometimes feel like the days of long-term customers are over, but here’s how you can bring some good old-fashioned loyalty back.

If you're keen to ensure your business thrives, you'll do well to consider any opportunities to increase customer loyalty. Work on getting them to trust you and your business and you'll find that your level of repeat custom increases.

The bottom line is extra sales, which can only mean good things for your business.

Brainstorm with your staff some ideas about how to retain your customers

Discounts and loyalty programmes

You can edge ahead of the pack by providing tangible incentives for repeat custom.

Ask customers to subscribe to a mailing list so you can keep them regularly informed of special deals for valued customers. Not only will selective promotions be difficult to resist, the regular updates act as reminders about your business too.

Building trust

People need to know there's an actual person behind the anonymity of a website. They care about information that genuinely helps to understand your products and your business, instead of screaming 'sales hype'.

Show customers they matter

Part of building loyalty with customers is showing that their opinion is important, particularly if they’re unhappy about anything.

  • If there’s a problem, are you easy to get hold of and helpful?
  • If your customer has a complaint, do you deal with it properly?

If customers feel your business didn’t treat them well when things went wrong, they’ll just shop somewhere else next time.

Attention to detail will go a long way to showing your customers that they’re your number one priority

Improve the customer experience

When customers research products online they look mainly for price and specification, depending on the type of product. What’s more difficult to tell online is how good the customer experience will be. You’ve only got one shot to make a good impression and help to ensure they come back next time.

Do everything you can to make the customer experience really positive. Work on improving your delivery times and make your service friendly and attentive.

Improve your business’s communication

No matter how customers contact you, be prompt in replying. If you can’t answer their query there and then, it’s a good idea to say something like ‘thanks for getting in touch – we’re looking into your query and we’ll get back to you later on today.' It has a much better effect than just staying quiet until you can reply properly and it only takes two minutes.

Use a range of online tools to keep in contact with your customers, from the comments section on blogs and forums, to emails and social media. Only commit to blogs and social networking if you can keep up regular contact though – an unused account always looks bad.

Improving your external communication and your customers’ experiences go hand-in-hand. Look at how you can enhance their experience each time they contact your business

Fred Schebesta

Fred Schebesta

Fred Schebesta is a co-founder of Hive Empire, the parent company of finder.com.au –  a 2014 Telstra business award nominee and one of Australian Anthill’s 2013 Top 50 Coolest Companies. Along the way he’s set up and sold Freestyle Media, won the ADMA Australian Young Direct Marketer of the Year, judged the Startup Smart Awards, and been named one of Anthill’s 30 under 30. www.finder.com.au

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