The Secret to Keeping Loyal Customers
Look at this geyser. Sorry, I mean this one. That's Old Faithful, It's one of the most famous sites at Yellowstone national park and do you know why it's called Old Faithful? It's because it's reliable. Other geological events are hard to predict, but this geyser has been erupting every 44 to 125 minutes. It's not an exact timetable, but still, you know you're going to get to see it when you come to the park because it's reliable. In business, these two ideas have often gone hand in hand. Reliability and faithfulness.
Reliability and Faithfulness
Look at the Old Faithful. It's one of the most famous sites at Yellowstone National Park. Do you know why it's called Old Faithful? It's because it's reliable. Other geological events are hard to predict, but this geyser has been erupting every 44 to 125 minutes. It's not an exact timetable, but still, you know you're going to get to see it when you come to the park because it's reliable.
In business, these two ideas often go hand in hand. Reliability and faithfulness. You're faithful to your customers when you offer consistent service. It's very easy to focus all of your energy on getting new customers, but it's almost always cheaper to keep a customer you have than get a new one. Make sure that you keep your current customers faithful. There are a few ways that you can do this, and the things that you should be considering to look at are these.
Stay in Touch
Make sure to stay in touch. This doesn't mean spamming your existing customers with newsletters or trying to sell them new products. Instead, just check in with them and see how you can help. Offering a bit of free advice or a good resource is a perfect way to achieve this relationship with your customers.
Make sure you're always rewarding loyalty. This is anything from a stamp card at the coffee shop to a free service after a number of years.
Here's a quick tip. It's an established piece of psychology that you should start your customers with a few steps into the loyalty program, not at zero. Always stamp the loyalty card a few times, in the beginning, to keep them motivated.
Help Them Solve Their Problems
Pay attention to their problems. Customer service is always vital, but if you can help them when they have a problem, this is one of the best ways to guarantee loyalty. I've seen businesses lose a customer they've had for decades over just one sure bad thing they've had. As a loose rule, one negative interaction should be forgiven, after seven great ones. So help them out on bad days and you'll be good for many, many more good days.
Show Your Flaws
Bring visibility to your flaws. Now, this is a big one. There's a great book that I've read: 'Flawsome' by Ryan McDonald-Smith. It's about embracing your flaws in business. You might have had some bad press over the years, but counteracting them by making it public knowledge and putting a positive twist on it goes to show that you're aware of it and not pushing it under the rugs.
Embracing your flaws is a powerful message that shows there are humans behind the scene that care for its family of clients and mistakes don't fall on deaf ears.