I am currently in Costa Coffee, having whipped out my Costa Loyalty card, feeling good about the fact that I am in a Costa and I absolutely adore it. If you ask me why, I love it more than Starbucks, I am not even sure I can answer that question but I am loyal to Costa Coffee. I feel good when I go in there. They sometimes have my lemon cake which I also adore. And ultimately, I go out of my way to find a Costa unless it is really inconvenient/impossible to find one.
That is the kind of loyalty you want from your customers.
Sometimes, we can get so caught up in trying to stay in business and we forget that we are dealing with people. We start to see everyone as a number rather than a person who wants us to solve a problem or concern that they have. Needless to say, when we treat customers like numbers, they do not feel too loyal to us.
And with all the effort you place on generating new leads and customers, doing whatever is necessary to keep the ones you have, is essential. Add onto that the fact that building relationships makes business more fun than just adding up the numbers.
Here are a few ways to build loyalty
- Be Your Best Self When proving your customer service, be the best version of yourself and determine to always show up as powerfully as you can. Let your customers feel they are dealing with a regular person, just like them but let the also know that they can trust you to do what is best by them. Let there be a quiet sense that you are an expert at what you do. You may be a regular person just like them but you know a little more than they do about getting results with your product or service. Go beyond the call of duty by providing extra training when people buy a product. Suggest other items that will enhance their use of the product or service. Go the extra mile (within reason) to show your customers that you care and you will develop a relationship with that customer for life.
- Choose to serve
The concept of going the extra mile has already been mentioned but even beyond the whole idea of being your best self, think of how you can astonish them even more.
Can you be the one entrepreneur that sends more than an obviously factory-sent birthday card? Could you write out birthday cards for each of your clients (if you are not dealing with a lot at a time)? Could you be the business owner who calls up personally to deal with an enquiry? Could you ensure your products get delivered one day earlier than the customer expected?
How can you give your customers the ‘wow’ factor, not because you have to but because you choose to? When you get to the point of having colleagues or staff, can you ensure it is something that is built into your standard operating procedures? But of course, you must make sure that it does not become standard. Train your staff to always think of the extra thing they can do.