You have successfully moved a prospect to a customer. they are not clients until they have bought the second time.
Once that is accomplished how does one keep them keeping back? As I promised you last week, I will be providing some tips on not only keeping your customers but to also make them loyal and paying customers for life.
Today, I will be providing five of those, starting with:
- Be reliable. In other words, not only doing what you said you were going to do, but do it when you said you would. This blog is a perfect example of reliability. I stated last week that I would provide tips this week. Well, here we are. However, sometimes situations occur where it is impossible to do what you said in the time frame you stated. I have been asked what they should do at that point? Very simple, call the customer and request a little more time. Real life takes over sometimes and your customer is aware of that. They will gladly give you extra time, as long as it is not a habit, but what they will not tolerate, is being ignored.
- Credibility. If your customer feels peace of mind by dealing with you, not only will they keep coming back to you, but they will actually pay more for their peace of mind rather than pay less and be concerned and worried. Customers do not want hidden agendas, fine print, extra costs, or hard-sell techniques. They want to be free from risk, doubt, and challenges. That is what credibility is all about.
- Appearance. You are the representative of your organization even if you are solopreneur. Are you providing the right image? If you are offering a professional service are you showing up in jeans and an old wrinkled shirt/blouse? What are your prospects thinking? “If they don’t take the time to present themselves, does that mean that they will take my business the same way, casually?” Remember, you have seven seconds to make a first impression. What are you saying in those first seven seconds without opening your mouth?
- Responsive. A client will call you for two reasons. One, to place an order, or, they are having a challenge with what you provided them. Therefore, why are you ignoring them? I am not suggesting that you are at their beck and call 24/7, but unfortunately, I have heard too many times, that some calls go answered for days because people are afraid to of a difficult conversation. How more difficult is it now that they have been ignored for a couple of days? If they need something and have to wait days for you to get back to them to place an order; what are the chances the order is now in your competitor’s hands?
- Empathy. Every customer is special. They all have unique challenges. They all have their own unique personalities. Most importantly, they all have their own reason for buying. Please, take a minute and read the last sentence again. Why do so many treat every customer the same? Empathy means putting yourself in their shoes. Grasp their point of view, and feelings. It means listening to them, truly listening and not just hearing. Asking questions in their language and tailoring your offering to relieve their challenge. Do not treat them the way you want to be treated, but rather the way they want to be treated.
I can hear the masses saying: “Joe, this isn’t new. It’s common sense.” Yes, it is. However, why are so many not doing it? As I visit businesses be it for personal use or a potential client I look for the above and I find the majority of times, by a very large margin, it is not being used.
Shep Hyken said it best: “There is a big difference between a satisfied customer and a loyal customer. Never settle for satisfied.”