How to Keep Your Best Customers

October 4, 2012

Pawel Kolenda - Herbein + Company, Inc.

Loyal customers are a great asset for any business, and they can greatly contribute to maintaining business stability as well as provide solid growth. But what do you do to keep them happy? Does your company work as a team to make sure that your best clients are satisfied and won’t leave you for the competition? Getting additional business from already established customers is often easier and more cost-effective than finding new clients; therefore, it is essential for every organization to maintain an excellent relationship with your most valued clients.

The Basics
According to Frederick Reichheld author of The Loyalty Effect, customer spending tends to accelerate over time; longer-term customers are more efficient users of the products and services; they buy and have lower operational costs. Long-term satisfied customers provide more referrals, and longer-term customers are less price-sensitive than newer customers. Therefore, you should:

  • Maintain a database that includes information about your clients and their needs. Make sure that this database allows you to identify your most loyal and valuable regular customers.
  • Make sure to give your best buyers extra attention and exceed their expectations. Striving for consistency and excellence will make you hard to replace.
  • Maintain proper communication between you and your frontline employees. If you promise any deals or discounts, make sure to educate your team. In addition, train your workers to quickly resolve issues that your clients may run into, so if there is a simple problem, it can be fixed quickly and without having a lot of people being involved.

Follow Up
Although email blasts and direct mail follow ups are great tools, your most valuable customers deserve more. Make sure to offer more personalized attention, such as phone call or live appointment.

Ask for feedback
Asking clients for their input about your business can improve your relationship and possibly give you some new perspective on your operations. You can ask them about their experience and satisfaction, but you can also discuss new products that you are planning to introduce.

Go the extra mile
Keeping clients is actually simple in concept, but much more difficult in reallity: identify your most valued clients, and then go above and beyond to keep them happy. Start by taking advantage of your existing client database or set up a new one if necessary. Then determine who needs to get the extra attention in form of discounts, better credit terms, personal follow ups, etc. Also, don’t forget to ask for feedback!