Growing your business is not just about going for that one-time sale. It always has to be a long-term plan, something that would allow you to create not just paying customers, but brand ambassadors out of each of your followers.
And yes, this has actually been proven time and again by so many businesses that have been transformed from being small, unheard-of outfits into massive, well-known brands. Did you know that successful businesses find out that around 80% of the business coming in usually comes from only 20% of their customer pool? This 20%, the group of loyal ambassadors, will allow your business not only to grow, but to influence even more people to become buyers, loyal followers, and eventually, brand ambassadors as well.
Here are some of the ways where you can convert passive buyers into loyal customers.
When you see a person stepping into a restaurant where you are eating, and one of the servers call them by name, your first thought would probably be, “Wow, he must come here a lot!”
Of course, that reasoning makes so much sense. But try looking at it from a different perspective. What if that customer comes here because the people there call him by name? That makes even more sense now, doesn’t it?
Personalized service makes anybody feel important. And when a business makes a customer feel that they are important, that customer will start forgetting about the product or the service that they’re after. They will start seeing an even higher importance for the brand.
Try it. Design your website in a way where not only their name is everywhere, but their personality can be seen as well. Pattern your website to respond according to your customer’s habits. If they previously purchased an iPhone, don’t feature an iPhone on their homepage. Feature an iPhone case, or an accessory.
You can also make a customer feel special through the rewards that you give. If a customer who buys one of your specials twice a day sees another customer who only buys a small drink a few times a week getting the same discounts and the same rewards, then that would not make them feel special at all.
Create a tiered rewards program and give your customers coupons, discounts and freebies based on how huge a customer they are. This would not only make them even more loyal to your business, this would also encourage people to buy more and spend more at your stores.
Everybody hates waiting. No matter how patient a person is, they would always choose the business that does not make them wait. And yes, the most common advice that you would hear would be not to make your customers wait. Make sure that when you give a specific timeline, you follow it no matter what happens. But what if there is no other choice but to make your customer wait?
Circumstances change, and uncontrollable things happen. But no matter what happens, do not leave your customers hanging. Give them frequent updates about what’s happening with their order. Inform them about the processes followed and give them constant assurance that all the wait will be worth it. And when the time comes for you to deliver, make sure you follow through on your promises. The last thing you want to happen is making them wait for something that turns out to be really disappointing.
Just remember that there are so many times when a customer becomes loyal to a brand not because of the product delivered, but because of their experience the moment they step into that door until the moment that you hand them what you promised.
Ever been to a restaurant where the chef actually walks out of his kitchen and personally asks each of the customers how they are enjoying their meal? I have, and I have never stopped eating at that place ever since.
Introducing the key people in your organization to the people buying your products is a great way to humanize the brand. When they see pictures of your CEO and hear personal stories about them, this makes them more relatable. It shouldn’t just be an image of how successful your CEO is, or how hardworking they are. Add a bit of creativity and show pictures of your boss laughing his belly out, or the business owner chatting it up with an employee at the pantry. This would allow your customers to see that they are also human.
You would like to protect the tradition that the business has always followed generation after generation. We get that. However, there may not be a tradition or a business to pass onto the generation after you if you don’t go with the flow and keep up with the times.
Progress is good, but progress comes with change – a lot of it. So the moment social media became a big thing, it is ideal for you to also have a presence on social media. Because people are mostly on mobile now, optimize your services to make it accessible for mobile users. It’s all about adapting to what the rest of the world is doing, especially your target consumers. This way, as your customers evolve, you still remain as accessible to them as ever as you join in this evolution yourself.
And no, it shouldn’t be an automated response. One of the best ways for you to make your customer feel important is letting them feel that their opinions matter. Even if they have something negative to say, acknowledge their message and let them know that you will be using their feedback to provide better services next time. After all, you yourself would probably find it rude when you talk to someone and they do not even attempt to respond, right?
These are some of the secrets that would pull your business up from good to great. And more importantly, these are the ingredients that would make any customer feel that their loyalty will not be wasted when given to a brand like yours.
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