Some of the ways of retaining long-term customers are: 1. Market the Existing Customers 2. Consistency in Approach and Interactions 3. Follow Commitments 4. Connect with Customers 5. Keep Promises 6. Position Company as a Resource for Life 7. Asking for Feedback and Input 8. Rewards for Staying on 9. Keep Learning. 10. Customer Visits 11. Personalized Email and Other Few.
Way # 1. Market the Existing Customers:
The current customers are already doing business with the organization and are more likely to buy from it again. So organization should focus most of its time, efforts, and resources on better serving its current customers.
Way # 2. Consistency in Approach and Interactions:
The existing customers should be treated with honesty, humour, and respect and this be maintained over time. If the organization is consistent with them over time, the customers will see the organization as dependable, credible, and trustworthy.
Way # 3. Follow Commitments:
If company promises to send information or to follow up, it must do it. The company will gain loyalty and trust by always doing what they have said.
Way # 4. Connect with Customers:
The companies should try to connect with its customers by finding out about their lives, their hopes, goals, and desired outcomes. Ask questions that encourage a deeper sense of shared understanding. The greater the level of connection, the greater the mutual satisfaction.
Way # 5. Keep Promises:
When customers buy products and services, they feel that they are investing in company’s promises about its products and services. The companies must make sure that their customers get nothing less than what was promised. Through strict quality control, make sure that the company always comes up to fulfill the promises given to its customers.
Way # 6. Position Company as a Resource for Life:
The company would let its customers know that it will be with them even after sale. Let them know they can come back whenever they need. This can help differentiate the company from its competitors, who may just be in it for the short term.
Way # 7. Asking for Feedback and Input:
The organizations at some point in the working relationship, should ask for feedback. The customers should be asked about how they feel about working with them and if they have any suggestions for improving the working relationships.
Way # 8. Rewards for Staying on:
The organization should consider implementing a loyalty program, where long-term customers are rewarded for staying on. The organizations might offer them gifts, products, or services for a certain level of on-going participation with the business.
Way # 9. Keep Learning:
The more the company focuses on gaining new knowledge, new skills, and new experiences, the more it will be having to offer its customers. The more it offers, the more they will benefit. The more they benefit, the longer they stay. The company should keep focus on professional growth and learning.
Way # 10. Customer Visits:
Personal face-to-face interaction with customers is essential in maintaining a long-term relationship. The companies should find reasons to visit its customers as often as possible. These may include demonstration of new products and services, to follow up on a direct customer query, to drop off marketing material, personal greeting cards or customer gifts etc.
Way # 11. Personalized Email:
Email is a fantastic tool for retaining customers and encouraging repeat interaction with company’s website. It is faster, cheaper and more interactive than other. The use of email is a great way to reach and communicate with customers.
Way # 12. Personalized Letters and Greeting Cards:
The customers can be retained for lifetime by sending personalized letters and greeting cards. These remind the customers about company’s products and services. The best ways to thank a customer for showing interest in company’s product is by sending a business thank you card, a birthday card, or by sending congratulations, anniversary or sympathy cards etc. These cards can make all the difference to impress the customers and ensure that they remember the company the next time they are in the market for a product or service.
Way # 13. Evaluation of Salespeople:
The companies should evaluate their salesman on regular basis. The evaluation helps the companies know if salespeople are selling the wrong product or service, by which the existing customers can get angry. The evaluation can be done by calling customers and asking them about the product or service.
Way # 14. Make after Sales Contact:
Contacting a customer after the sale is a powerful way to make a lifelong customer. It builds repeat business, rapport and goodwill. It’s also a very easy and inexpensive way to find out what’s potentially wrong with company’s product or service.
Way # 15. Surprising the Customers:
Another method of retaining customers is to surprise them. The surprise can be in the form of upgrading their product to the next one for the same price, by giving them extra service, improved quality, free delivery etc.