We spend so much time hustling to get leads and new customers, but often fail when it comes to the long-game. It’s important to put just as much energy into retaining your customers as you do in getting them in the first place. Loyalty marketing is all about building those critical long-term relationships with your customers and clients. Having customers that continue to come back month after month and year after year is a huge success factor for you and your business.
The Importance of Loyalty Marketing
Prior to starting Ellen Grace Marketing, I launched and ran a loyalty marketing program for a well-known, 900 store retail chain. I was fascinated by the data we collected and even more impressed by how it gave us the ability to be more relevant to our customers based on their needs. While running this loyalty program, I learned three important things to do to increase customer retention.
Tips For Retaining Clients:
Get To Know Your Customers
Creating a personal relationship will definitely help, but you should also look at the data to understand what they buy and don’t buy. How often do they need your products or services? When was the last time they shopped or worked with you? You should also find out what makes them tick, what they value, and what other brands they admire. By knowing who your customer is, you will be able to develop a strategy to keep them with you for many years to come.
Anticipate Their Needs Ahead of Time
This doesn’t mean that you have to be everything for everyone, but you do need to be flexible and grow as their needs evolve. You’ll always want to be one step ahead, anticipating what they may need or want, even before they do. Your ability to be proactive will not only help their business, but it will help yours too.
Do Great Work
This is may seem like a no-brainer, but after working with someone for a while, we tend to get comfortable. We forget to stay focused on how we are serving our clients and customers. The effort and energy you put into working with your clients in the beginning, should be the same a year down the road. By doing great work, consistently, you won’t find yourself getting lazy, and your clients will have no reason to look somewhere else for their business needs. When we do great work everyone wins.
Loyalty Marketing Can Increase Business
When someone finds a great product or service, they will typically want to talk about it. They will tell friends, family, and their business associates about what a great job you have done. If anyone happens to be looking for services that you offer, your name will be recommended first! I know that for our business and so many others, referrals are critical. In fact, more than 90% of our clients came from referrals from existing clients and business partners because of the level of service we are able to provide.
The more successful you can be at understanding your customers, anticipating their needs, and building relationships, the more business you will be able to generate. Your efforts will pay off in the long run, providing a consistency that both you and your customers can count on. While it’s great to focus your efforts on getting new customers in the door, you equally need to focus on keeping them.