Once a loyal customer always a loyal customer. Right?
Wake up Sparky. How many of those phantom loyal customers have walked out of your bank account?
It’s not easy to face it. Especially when you learn (too late) they fell under the spell of your competition because of neglect.
In this article, you’ll learn how to keep those loyal customers, loyal and happy. After all, you worked darn hard to get them. So shouldn’t you learn a few new tips on how to keep them?
Brad from Michigan sent me a recent email asking my opinion about how to cultivate customers into loyal customers. Brad just lost another one after working almost 8 months to win the business.
Has this happened to you?
What do your Loyal Customers Say about You?
Shep Hyken recently posted a good article on LinkedIn around this very issue. It’s been my experience as Shep points out, that many people confuse “happy” customers as “loyal” customers.
This is why Brad from Michigan is losing customers. It only takes one disappointment, one hiccup for a happy customer to turn into a dismayed customer.
I know you know this…BUT discovering the unhappiness may happen after it’s too late. Because you know how it works. It’s not the happy customers you hear from…it’s the unhappy ones that call with a problem that needs to be fixed.
or worse…they don’t call at all and simply leave to the competitor.
Tip #1 Loyalty is a Priority
If your company or boss doesn’t make customer loyalty a priority…you should. Check in on your top 5 customers monthly; your next top 10 customers every other month and the next 10 customers once a quarter. Depending on your product it may be more frequent, but you get the idea. It should be a part of your sales plan.
Don’t fall into the false thinking that no news is good news. It’s not a sufficient customer service strategy to just send the token handwritten Christmas card at the end of the year or an annual birthday card.
Tip #2 Ask for Feedback
If you’re losing customers like Brad, pick up the phone and humble yourself to find out why. I get those calls aren’t pleasant, but wouldn’t you rather know so you can correct whatever is happening. It may be another department that’s dropping the ball or some other situation that’s out of your control. What IS in your control is finding out and reporting the issues.
Next, call the customers that are loyal to you and ask them why they love you and/or your company. It’s just as important to understand why they love you as to why they left you.
It’s like a marriage in a sense. When someone tells me they have no idea why their spouse divorced them…I never buy into that. Of course, they know. They may choose to live in denial, but deep down…they know. OR they’ve been so neglectful thinking everything is just fine, they stopped checking in with their spouse about the state of their relationship.
Brad..I bet given some thought, you know too why your customers are leaving you. Confirm it by asking. Then fix it so you don’t lose more.
Tip #3 Be Authentic
People can smell a fake. So many times in my coaching practice, I give people permission to be themselves. Stop the corporate BS. Be real. Be who you are. I always say look professional in your dress and in using appropriate language but be friendly. People are drawn to friendly, authentic people because we WANT an emotional connection. If you’ve lived the corporate gig so long, you’ve lost yourself, then as the meme says…Rediscover who you are. Children live Authenticity! And children always try to make an emotional connection..even with their GI Joes and Barbie Dolls!
As Shep Hyken said
Practice a mentality of hospitality: “We all know how to make people feel warm and welcome in our homes,” Rogers says. “But can we bring that hospitality mentality over the phone, online, and in person?…That level of engagement drives the emotional connection that, in turn, drives loyalty.”
I’ve been involved in many “customer appreciation” roundtable discussions throughout my insurance carrier. It’s a ruse. An entire day is spent on a dog and pony show, with breakout discussions promising to implement the ideas that were shared by the Top Customers invited. I can’t remember one idea that was ever implemented. Instead, my goal was to get to know my customer on a deeper level and for my customer to know me as well. At least their day wasn’t a complete waste! Of course, the food was excellent and cocktails were served afterward. But that’s window dressing and not why a customer will be loyal.
However, I am interested in learning from you if you’ve done customer appreciation days that were worthwhile, will you let me know in the comments below what worked or what didn’t work?
Treat your customers better than that once “best friend” who moved out of state and now you occasionally “chat” with them on Facebook posts! You worked hard to sell them. Work even harder to keep them.
If you need more coaching around cultivating loyal customers maybe it’s time to schedule a 30-minute complimentary coaching session by completing the form below.
Does this sound like you?
- Do you have difficulty spotting red flags, gaps and understanding decision makers?
- Do you find yourself glancing around looking for answers because you’re in a sales slump and have no idea how to move forward?
- Do you experience difficulty in finding the right words to use when speaking to a prospect?
- Is your focus a challenge with difficulty completing tasks with weeks of unproductive selling?
The good news is, I can help.
Simply fill out the form below. In the message section, ask to schedule a 30-minute complimentary Introductory call. We can fix this and other pressing issues you need help with!