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Creating Customer Loyalty

Lily O'Halloran

Customers are a necessary aspect of business. Not only do you need to attract new customers, you must keep your existing ones to maintain healthy sales. The secret to keeping your customers is creating customer loyalty. A loyal customer will choose to shop at your store even when she has a multitude of options available. In this article, I will reveal surefire methods that you can use to create customer loyalty. Get ready to watch your sales increase!

More Than a Good Price

In this day and age customers want more than a good price. Sure price is important, but that is not the only factor customers look at when choosing where to shop. Other factors include: customer service, frequent shopper rewards, favorable impression, trustworthiness, product knowledge, shipping methods, product availability, and a feeling of luxury. By addressing all of your customers needs, you will gain loyal customers that will prefer your store over others.

Provide superior customer service. This seems so obvious, doesn’t it? Although providing excellent customer service sounds like an obvious thing to do, it is often overlooked. Think of negative experiences that you have had with customer service. Perhaps there was a time when you just had a simple question, yet no employee could answer your question. Maybe you tried to call customer service, but you could never get in touch with a real person. You might have experienced receiving an order with the wrong product; of course that was the product that you had planned to give as a gift that weekend. Maybe you called customer service, but the customer service representative (CSR) didn’t really care about your problem. Unfortunately these scenarios are all too common.

What can you do to make sure these scenarios don’t happen in your business? First of all, when you are interacting with a customer – whether by phone or email – offer them all of your attention. Treat them with respect by fully engaging your attention to their issue. If you are listening to your customer while mentally working out product inventory strategies, your customer will know. Even if they do not notice, the quality of service you offer will be subpar. Your customers are an integral part of your business; treat them with the respect they deserve.

After you have listened to the customer’s concern, validate the concern by acknowledging the problem. The next step involves coming up with a solution to the problem, which should be done by both of you. Ask the customer what they would like done. Accommodate their request if the solution is reasonable. If their solution is unreasonable, explain what you can do for them. Follow up with the concern at a later date to ensure customer satisfaction. Every time you communicate with a customer, you have an opportunity to create a better impression of your company and increase customer satisfaction. Satisfied customers become loyal customers.

So Much More

Frequent shopper rewards reward customers for making multiple purchases. Incentives might include free shipping, discounts, or small gifts. The more times a customer shops at your store, the more likely they will be to shop at your store again. Most sales come from existing customers. Reward repeat customers to show them that you value their business.

A store that leaves a favorable impression is much more likely to be successful than a store that is easily forgotten. A great impression creates enthusiasm, which leads customers to tell others about their experience. Word of mouth marketing is free and can reap huge benefits. Think about what impression your store has on a customer. To do this, you may need to enlist the help of someone else. It can be hard to view your website or product listings with an open mind, if you created them. Browse and shop your store. What did you like? What could be better? Use the feedback to incorporate positive changes into your store. Your goal is to create a pleasant shopping experience that accommodates both customers who are pressed for time and those who enjoy browsing a while. The checkout process should be quick and easy.

Both trustworthiness and product knowledge are needed to create loyal customers. Customers need to trust that your business is reliable and that you will keep their private information secure. Security is one of the most common factors that keep people from ordering online. Your product knowledge shows customers that you are a reliable source of information. Most customers would rather buy a product from someone who knows about the product than someone who doesn’t know anything about it. Share your knowledge to increase your sales.

Shipping methods and product availability are both important aspects of a successful business. Customers like choices. One size does not fit all. Some customers are willing to wait a while to receive their package if they can save a few dollars, while others are willing to pay more to receive their order right away. Choices are great; they allow you to keep all types of customers happy and satisfied. Product availability means selling products that are in-stock. Selling out-of-stock products should be avoided as much as possible. Fortunately Drop Ship Access updates inventory quantities frequently, thus decreasing the chance of selling out-of-stock items. Handle out-of-stock sales professionally by offering to substitute products, adding an extra gift, or discounting a future sale. By providing excellent customer service, you can turn this sticky situation into a chance to impress your customer.

Create a feeling of luxury. People love buying name brands. They are buying more than just a pair of jeans or a sweater; they are buying the feeling that comes with owning a brand name. Create a brand name for your store. Be more than a face in the crowd. Branding your store enables you to stand out. Would customers rather shop at Abercrombie & Fitch or that store across town? A luxurious store doesn’t have to be filled with insanely priced products; but it should offer the customer a feeling of luxury, importance, and quality.

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