For most businesses, especially the startups, acquiring customers is one big concern. But while entrepreneurs must know how to gain new customers, they shouldn’t forget the importance of retaining the loyalty of their existing customers. This is definitely a bigger challenge, basically because it can be very costly on the side of business owners. Our goal here is to teach you some very inexpensive customer retention strategies.

How to Improve Customer Loyalty

1. Focus on your customers. As simple as it is, this advice easily gets ignored by many businesses. They think that offering quality goods and products is enough to keep customers coming. What they don’t realize is that consumers care much about how businesses make them feel as customers. If you want your customers to stick with you, you must meet all their expectations in terms of customer service. This means you have to maintain the quality of your delivery service, follow-up communication, and after-services. Doing this won’t cost you much, but can surely have a huge impact on your relationship with your customers.

2. Communicate with the right people. Keeping communication with your customers is an important aspect of marketing, of course, but not if you’re communicating to the wrong people. What we mean here is that you must know who your customers are and what their needs are. It won’t benefit your business much if you keep sending the same message to all your consumers. You have to understand that they also have different needs and reasons for patronizing your products or services. Thus, you have to deal with them according to their specific traits, needs, and expectations.

3. Urge your customers to make referrals. This is an old technique, but still a very effective one. By giving your existing customers good reasons to refer you to their friends or family, you are actually trying to spread the word about you without spending so much. You can offer discounts or gift items to those who could bring you more customers. The rewards you are going to give need not be very costly as well.

4. Take advantage of the social media. There’s no denying how powerful the social media is when it comes to marketing a business. Twitter and Facebook are just two of the many social networking sites you can use to connect with your audience and establish a friendly relationship with them. All you need to do is create an account and encourage your existing customers to follow or like your page. It would be a good idea also if you could then give them a chance to win some special rewards like discounts or vouchers. The proper use of the internet, particularly the social media, has been one of the main points always emphasized by business mentoring professionals when it comes to building customer relationship and loyalty.

Author's Bio: 

Cecile Peterkin is a certified career and retirement coach, and a registered member of the Career Professionals of Canada and the International Coach Federation. She is also the Founder and Senior Career Strategist at Cosmic Coaching Centre, provider of career and life management services for middle managers and mid-career professionals across Canada, United States and Europe.