The 80/20 rule.
80% of company profits come from the top 20% of your existing customers. This is extremely relevant information for any company to consider when looking at strategies to increase profit and margins. This rule identifies that companies need to make strong movements in the direction of turning their existing customers into loyal and engaged customers.
Customers can grow sales faster than marketing can, which is why we are going to look at strategies to move our existing customers into loyal customers. What we know is that good experiences lead to greater loyalty, and greater loyalty leads to increased sales. What we also know is that people will often purchase from somewhere they’re recommended by a friend or colleague and so we can identify that word of mouth marketing is a powerful tool we can utilise from also if we can generate loyal customers.
Techniques for generating loyal customers
Following up in a way that is positive for the customer
After delivering your product or service to your customer it is extremely important to make a quick follow up. Simply by dropping them a line or a quick email. Its important to follow up with them in a way that has a positive effect on them, such as ensuring that the product has arrived on time and if there is anything else you can do to assist them. Offering additional services for them that would be useful is a great technique to show them how you will go out of your way to make their life’s easier. It is important to understand your customer and what they do in detail so you are able to offer solutions where suitable and relevant.
Gifts are excellent follow up tools, they don’t have to be expensive but creative and they must tie in with their business specifically.
Offering promotional merchandise can boost brand loyalty and appreciation. The gifts need to be specific to the customers and what they would appreciate. Gifts that will have a positive effect on their daily tasks are a great way to expose your brand and support your client. When customers receive gifts they will use in their daily tasks they will be motivated to continue supporting your business as well as exposing your brand to friends and colleagues.
It is a good idea to create a tier system for your customers, gifting different levels of gifts depending on where in the sales funnel they sit. The higher level of product you gift to your customer sends a clear message that they’re highly valued.
Pass on information to them you may see or hear about that would interest them.
Keep in regular contact with your customers so you’re seen to always be thinking about them and how you can help them out, this also allows you to stay at the forefront of their mind. Be sure to send through relevant blog posts, articles, products etc which they would benefit from. This will help build up the image you want to achieve of being highly helpful and an expert in your field.
Consider these follow ups as business developments. They will have referrals for you which may lead to more business.
These follow ups are an extremely important element in creating natural word of mouth marketing. If you look after your customers well they will only have positive things to say about you. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and in some cases more effective than spending money on other marketing activities. People typically trust referrals form their friends and family which is why word of mouth is such a powerful tool.