Strictly defined, a customer is someone who buys goods or services from a store or business. The word “client” can also mean “customer,” according to the American Heritage Dictionary, but it has a separate definition as someone who receives professional services(occupations in the economy requiring special training).
Turning customers into loyal followers is quite a process that requires dedication to it let’s go through it bit by bit:
1. Communicate with Customers
Whether it’s an email newsletter, a monthly flier, a reminder card for a tuneup, or a holiday greeting card, set up a system for reaching out to the customers you already have. Dedicate time to creating and maintaining a database of contact information, including phone, email, and snail mail addresses. If there’s a social media element to your business, invite people to your page or website and keep that online element fresh.
Remember that all of your messages don’t need to be advertising — some can be useful information or can serve the community. In the long run, communication will pay off. This can be in the form of a newsletter mailed to existing customers, or it can be more informal, such as a phone call. Whatever method you use, the key is to dramatically point out to customers what excellent service you are giving them. If you never mention all the things you’re doing for them, customers may not notice. You are not being cocky when you talk to customers about all the work you have done to please them. Just make a phone call and let them know they don’t have to worry because you handled the paperwork, called the attorney or double-checked the shipment — one less thing they have to do.
2. Write long-time customers personal, handwritten notes frequently. “I was just sitting at my desk, and your name popped into my head. Are you still having a great time flying all over the country? Let me know if you need another set of luggage. I can stop by with our latest models anytime.” Or, if you run into an old customer at an event, follow up with a note: “It was great seeing you at the CDC Christmas party. I will call you early in the new year to schedule a lunch.”
3. Keep it personal. Voice mail and email make it easy to communicate, but the personal touch is lost. Don’t count these as a legitimate follow-up. If you’re having trouble getting through, leave a voice-mail message that you want to talk to the person directly or will stop by his or her office at a designated time.
4. Remember special occasions. Send regular customers birthday cards, anniversary cards, holiday cards — you name it. Gifts are excellent follow-up tools, too. You don’t have to spend a fortune to show you care. Use your creativity to come up with interesting gift ideas that tie into your business, the customer’s business or his or her recent purchase.
5. Pass on information. If you read an article, see a new book, or hear about an organization that a customer might be interested in, drop a note or make a quick call to let them know.
6. Consider follow-up calls business development calls. When you talk to or visit established clients or customers, you’ll often find they have referrals to give you, which can lead to new business.
Take the first step to been a tycoon and let it be known that you’re here for a reason and that is to win at every opportune moment.
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