First and foremost, if customer loyalty is not paramount at your company it should be. Businesses lose business 70 percent of the time it’s because customers feel taken for granted.
In this digital age with a heavy reliance on social media, the Internet is indeed important. But the No. 1 reason – 52 percent of the decision-making process – why people buy a product or service is what customers think of a company’s spokesperson and sales reps.
Yes, the quality of the product is important, but for customers to really feel like they’re making a smart buying decision, they want a good rapport and want to feel appreciated. That’s the best way to turn them into brand evangelists.
It’s true that sales, networking strategies to build strong relationships.
Here are more pointers:
- Like a marriage, to enhance any business relationship, it helps to listen during 80-90 percent of conversations. Women, especially, prefer salespeople who listen to their concerns. Typically, women make 80 percent of all household-buying decisions. (In my two decades of human resources training, the No. 1 complaint women have about men — “they don’t listen.”)
- Create an interactive dialogue and invite feedback.
- Provide the best service. For consultants and service firms, here are 60 ground rules for effective client service.
- Don’t get defensive in the face of criticism even when the customer is wrong – simply take notes and use basic assertive techniques.
- Be careful in all negotiations. Use the 22 dos and don’ts for successful negotiations.
- Upon receiving a compliment from a customer, ask for two referrals – the names and contact information of “two people just like you who this need great product, too.”
- Provide added value without hurting the bottom-line.
- Prevent buyer’s remorse by reminding the customer of the value of the purchase.
- Say and write the magic words, thank you, at every opportunity.
- Depending on the level of purchases, make personal contact a priority.
- Never assume customers are forever. Remind them in subtle ways why it’s beneficial to do business with you. (See the top 11 tips for a great elevator pitch and the seven steps to higher sales.)
So if you’re losing customers, improve your odds with excellent customer-retention and referral strategies.
“Quality in a service or product is not what you put into it. It is what the client or customer gets out of it.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.