Can you believe that the Holidays are already here? We've already survived the chaos that is Black Friday and while some of us are smiling following another successful customer stampede, others are left guessing what went wrong. Are the Holidays making your balance sheets smile or are you trying to figure out where you went wrong?
Customer loyalty is crucial necessity of the business world, however, what works one year might not work the next. Throughout the year we try maintain the attention of our customers rewarding their loyalty and offering special pricing. However, the Holidays roll around and we watch those once thought as loyal customers walk across the street to your competitor because they edged you out barely on price. So what is it that you can do to keep those shoppers on your side?
Here are a few simple things you can do to dig yourself out of the hole that you've found yourself in. Easy, cost effective, and might make your customers spend a bit more for a company that they know and are emotionally invested in. It might even help you with improving customer service.
- Take your rewards program to the next level - Just about every company these days has a rewards program of some kind, even the Mom & Pop coffee shop has some sort of punch card. It's not enough to just have a program anymore, you have to set yourself apart from the rest of the white noise. Try reward experiences instead of points, take your loyal customers to see their widget being made or to a sporting event they otherwise wouldn't be able to attend.
- Surprise those customers that may have complained - No matter what you are doing there will always be that customer or employee that is having a bad day that results in a complaint. Rather than turning a bad experience into something strictly negative, turn it around and take the opportunity to show your customers that you are listening. Next time a customer complains, have your employee collect their contact information and then ask your CEO or President to personally call them and find out how you can do better. Don't forget according to US Office of Consumer Affairs 91% of unhappy customers will never buy from you again.
- Remember the small things - As your speaking with your customers remember the small things. Things like birthdays, family members, and even your customers pain points. Knowing these things allows you to reach your customer in a way that no competitor can and help you with improving customer service. Sending a small widget or token of gratitude to your customers once in a while keep you front of mind. It might not be the perfect time to purchase what your selling but when it is, they have that reminder from you.
- Ask them what you can do better for them - Regardless of if you think you are doing a great job servicing your customers might have a different opinion. Ask them how you're doing and if there is anything they need customized to make their experience that much better. If you aren't asking your customers how they are feeling you could watch them walk across the street not knowing what went wrong. Complete a customer satisfaction measurement survey and find out before its too late. It might even help you with benchmarking yourself against the competitor across the street.
Don't let your customers walk across the street just because they can save a little money. Remind them why they bought from you in the first place and give them an experience they don't want to miss out on. Call personally once in a while, send some swag, and take them out for an amazing night once in a while, and that walk they might have taken across the street might not be so attractive to them anymore.