4 Factors for Building a Loyal Customer Base
Do you have a specific plan for building customer loyalty? When you consider the high cost of landing new customers versus the high profitability of a loyal customer base, you might want to reflect upon your current business strategy. Streetwise Business Tips offers the following advice along with the four factors that will greatly affect your ability to build a loyal customer base:

1. Products that are highly differentiated from those of the competition.
2. Higher-end products where price is not the primary buying factor.
3. Products with a high service component.
4. Multiple products for the same customer.

Market To Your Own Customers!
Are there additional products or services you can sell your customers? Keep all the information you can on your customers and don't hesitate to ask for the next sale. When you buy a new car, many dealers will within minutes try to sell you an extended warranty or an alarm system. It's often a very easy sale and costs the dealer almost nothing to make.

Use Complaints To Build Business!
When customers aren't happy with your business they usually won't complain to you - instead, they'll probably complain to just about everyone else they know - and take their business to your competition next time. That's why an increasing number of businesses are making follow-up calls or mailing satisfaction questionnaires after the sale is made. They find that if they promptly follow up and resolve a customer's complaint, the customer might be even more likely to do business than the average customer who didn't have a complaint.

In many business situations, the customer will have many more interactions after the sale with technical, service, or customer support people than they did with the sales people. So if you're serious about retaining customers or getting referrals, these interactions are the ones that are really going to matter. They should be handled with the same attention and focus that sales calls get because in a way they are sales calls for repeat business.

Reach Out To Your Customers!
Contact with current customers is a good way to build their loyalty. The more the customer sees someone from your firm, the more likely you'll get the next order. Send holiday greeting cards, see them at trade shows, call or stop by to make sure everything's okay.

Send a simple newsletter to your customers-tell them about the great things that are happening at your firm and include some useful information for them. Send them copies of any media clippings about your firm. Invite them to free seminars. The more they know about you, the more they see you as someone out to help them, the more they know about your accomplishments-the more loyal a customer they will be.


Melissa Data

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