Five ways you can keep your clients happy

A little appreciation goes a long way in life, wouldn’t you agree? Your customers feel the same way!

As a small business owner, you know that your most important asset – by far – is your customers. But how often do you take the time to say thank you and reward them for everything they do for you?

Small steps to show appreciation to your customers and reward their loyalty can go a long way in building and sustaining these fruitful relationships. Here are a few simple, inexpensive ways to help you develop and extend customer loyalty…

Give them the recognition they deserve:

Everyone likes to be recognized for their contributions and your customers are no different.

Feature a customer of the week or month — someone who has truly helped you to grow your business — on your website, social media or in your next email. Put a sign up in your office highlighting that customer.

The recognition will go a long way towards encouraging other customers who love your business to get more involved in your success as well.

VIP CustomerProvide them with VIP event treatment:

Similar to giving customers early access to a new product, inviting customers to a special event can be a great way to spread some positive goodwill and get people talking about your business.

Encourage your customers to bring friends and family too — this could introduce a whole new audience to your business.

With an online registration tool, customers can sign up to attend in advance and also provide information about other guests that will be joining them.

Create a rewards program:

One way to reward loyal customers is to give them something exclusive.

It could be access to a new product that hasn’t officially launched to anyone else, or offering them some new service that’s not yet open to the general public.

Many tech companies, such as Google, offer consumers the opportunity to be part of a beta release of a product. Consider setting up a similar program where loyal customers can sign up to be the first to hear about new products and services.

The simple act of making customers feel like they are part of something exclusive can be a big help in building trust and loyalty with your audience.

Offer a referral bonus or reward for recruiting new customers:

You don’t have to give a huge bonus to make a positive impact and increase referrals.

Try providing a small discount or some company swag to show your appreciation. Depending on how extensive your referral program is, you could create a more structured loyalty program to reward customers on an ongoing basis.

Make sure the rules and guidelines for your program are clear, by the way.

Request feedback:

Everyone appreciates being asked for their opinion. As fans of your business, your customers will provide you with informed opinions that could be helpful in determining a new service to release, a product to introduce or a marketing tactic to try.Customer FeedbackSend a survey  to your loyal customers to ask their opinions. Make it clear that you’re asking them because they are such valued followers.

Whichever way you ask for feedback, make sure you take their input seriously. If they take the time to provide you with feedback, it’s your responsibility to take their advice to heart.

Inspiring long-term loyalty starts with a smart plan. As you think about growing your customer base in the year ahead, remember that keeping your current customers happy plays a big role in growing your customer base.

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