February 6, 2014

Improve Sales by Winning Your Customers’ Loyalty

The concept behind loyalty programs is simple: Offer customers special benefits, rewards, and discounts for their continued patronage, and customers will reward your business with their loyalty. It is a fact that operating a loyalty program is a good idea for many different kinds of businesses. It is also a fact that many businesses get it wrong. In fact, every business should consider its marketing to attract new customers, and its continued marketing after the sale, to be their loyalty program – whether or not a card or membership number is involved. Here we will take a look at ways to improve your customer’s loyalty to your business. 

Personalize the Presentation

The key to winning your customer’s loyalty is personalized interaction between the customer and your business. After all, you are asking for them to choose you over the competition, though you may not have the lowest prices or largest selection of products or services. But your customer will choose you more often if you treat them as an individual. Ask their names, and then call them by their names for the duration of the encounter. Smile. Tell the customer that you appreciate their business. Ask them to come back soon. For sales over the internet, you can use their first name in all email correspondence, and even have a representative call customers who have made large or recurring orders. These seemingly trivial gestures will cause your customers to want to engage more with you and your business. In fact, these are the beginning steps to tuning a business into a brand. 

Engagement is the Key

According to a recent Gallup survey, which gauged people’s level of loyalty to various kinds of companies, businesses which more thoroughly engaged their customer base benefited from up to twice the rate of loyalty than less engaging businesses. This engagement covers everything from soliciting customer feedback to actually implementing popular and reasonable suggestions. Not only does customer engagement lead to higher loyalty to a particular business or brand, but it also correlates well with your customer’s overall satisfaction your company’s customer service. Engaged customers simply appreciate your product more than un-engaged customers.

Respect the Emotional Nature of Making a Purchase

One of the reasons the U.S. economy is based 70 percent on consumer spending is because Americans love to shop. Shopping is often an emotional experience. This point really follows the others, and completes the picture: Engage your customers’ emotions; help them have the times of their lives when purchasing your product. Many times people will decline to make a purchase because they think they will regret it later, or they don’t trust the company’s presentation. One way to win your customers’ loyalty is to acknowledge these emotions and help your customer through them. Help them see all the benefits of your product or service, but remember that they buy the feeling that having your product will give them.  Review your sales process. Is it fun? Is it comforting and reassuring? Is it alluring? If your sales processes and materials do not evoke strong positive emotions it will be very difficult to win your customers’ loyalty.