Many would argue that attracting new customers is the main priority for businesses but in fact looking after existing customers is equally important. Indeed, in these days of social media, where individuals have the platform to voice their opinions, word of mouth is fast becoming the best advertising any company can hope for. With this in mind, here are five ways to cultivate your existing customers.
Improve Your Feedback Channels
Most companies will take time to make sure their financial operations are in order, such as having the right business savings accounts
, but other areas deserve special attention too. While your company may have a customer service department, there are actually numerous alternative feedback channels which should not be overlooked.
For example, analysing the visitor activity on your website or taking a close look at return and cancellation forms can unearth a wealth of information with regard to what customers really need. In addition, taking time to survey these feedback channels will help cultivate customer loyalty and trust as they will be impressed by the fact that your company actually cares about what they think.
The vast majority of companies will have some form of 'thank-you' facilities in place, whether it is a special page on their website or emails which are automatically sent out. Whatever the method, this is an ideal way of thanking customers for their custom, which will complete the cycle of customer satisfaction.
However, doing a little work to maximise the benefits of this 'thank you' is something that many companies overlook, missing a huge chance to further promote the business. For example, adding some extra useful resources, surveys or other follow-up steps in addition to improving the visual presentation of the message will go a long way to improving the company's image.
Take Customer Loyalty to the Next Level
While customer feedback and loyalty-promoting methods should have their own dedicated advocate, there is more that can be done. In short, as far as customer loyalty is concerned, the whole of the company should be involved. This essentially means ensuring that the whole workforce is aware of the statistics relating to customer feedback.
Focus on the Positive Interactions
While the number of cancellations and returns can be a good indication of performance, this is essentially a reactive area and should not necessarily be prioritised. Attention should be given to other factors such as the frequency of customer-company interactions or the amount of time that passes between customer visits. This way you will obtain a far more rounded picture of customer loyalty.
Assign a Dedicated Team
Finally, there is no point in introducing all of these measures unless you have a dedicated team to deal with them. Furthermore, this team will need a leader, someone who can effectively manage the whole operation. The ideal candidate for this position will be able to work well with others but above all must have an understanding of the value of analysing both quantitative and qualitative data.