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10 Ways to Keep Your Customers Happy…and Keep Them!

Customer-Retantion-StrategiesLet’s take a look at how to keep customers happy. In 2010, the television series Undercover Boss had a segment where the President and CEO of 7-Eleven, Joe DePinto, traveled to Shirley, New York.

He wanted to see why this store was the biggest seller of coffee in the 7-Eleven system with over 2,500 cups of coffee guzzled down every day.  He discovered that the manager of this high volume store was a sharp lady named Dolores who knew all of the customers by name.   WOW.  Can you imagine?   Some would say this is customer service at its most extreme, but it goes much deeper than that.  Certainly there must be other places to get a cup of joe in the morning, but something about Dolores and her personal attention kept the customers going back…they needed to see her when they stopped.

It wasn’t just about the coffee.  They wanted someone to ask how the job interview went…how it was going at home with the sick kids… In fact, eventually it wasn’t about the coffee at all.  It was about validation.

Some would argue that the example above is a little over the top… that it has a ring of “sucking up” to one’s clientele.  That isn’t true at all.  There’s an old saying, “Keep your customers happy or somebody else will.”  This is true today more than ever.

Competition

Competition is everywhere, and there are computer programs which allow people to do many of their own tasks if they have the time (and skills) to learn the software.  It comes down to how you want to spend your minutes and money, but who doesn’t like to feel appreciated and yes… a little bit special?  The goal is to keep your customers happy, and keep them coming back.  If you aren’t concerned about retention, marketing is a waste of time and resources.   These ten simple tips will remind your clients why they chose you, and will keep them coming back for more.

What are your client’s goals?

You need to know what your client really wants from you.  If you need clarification, ask.  Communication is key.  Keep asking until you really get it.  They will appreciate that you are trying to tailor what you do to meet their needs.

MEET DEADLINES.

If you promise something by a certain date be sure to deliver.  This tells your client that they are important.  If you bit off more than you can chew with a project be sure to communicate that the scope of this was much larger than you had anticipated.  See if they can get by with what you have done thus far and come up with a fair and doable completion date for the remainder.

WOW THEM.

Think of the presidential elections (Ughhhhhh!)  Do you ever notice the significant difference between how a candidate acts while campaigning compared to when elected?  Keep campaigning!   Remember the 3 E’s:  Excitement, Enthusiasm, Exuberance!  That’s how you won your client over.  Don’t lose that spark once you’ve gotten the job.

BE CONSISTENT.

People find comfort in knowing what to expect.

PROVIDE TOP NOTCH QUALITY.

This is right up there with “WOW THEM”.  Just because someone is a longstanding client does not mean you can shirk on doing a bang up job for them.

DON’T LEAVE THEM OUT OF SPECIAL PROMOTIONS.

Best example here is cable TV and telephone services.  They offer wonderful specials for new customers, and sometimes even better promotions trying to entice old customers back.   So who gets left in the dust?  YUP, you guessed it!

The loyal customers who have stuck around forever… and the only way to get the special deal is to leave.  Something is definitely wrong with this picture!   If you have a slick plan when marketing to new clientele make sure you have your existing ones covered.  You don’t want your client to jump ship and move on to somebody else because they are feeling neglected and unappreciated.Keep customers happy with those awesome promotions!

SHOW APPRECIATION FOR REFERRALS.

Word of mouth is always the best advertising, and if your clients love you they will sing your praises.  Remember to say thank you personally, and everybody loves a gift card to their favorite coffee place.

GET TO KNOW YOUR CLIENTS.

You don’t have to be best buddies or grab cocktails together, but show an interest in who they are.  What are their passions and what motivates them?

LOVE WHAT YOU DO.

We all have stress in our lives, but if you really love what customer-retention-strategiesyou do it will show.  Like 7-Eleven Dolores, this attitude will spill over into your daily work routine.  Your client will hear the smile in your voice when you answer their call.

ALWAYS TRY TO DO MORE.

Do your best, but always strive to do just a little bit extra.  Ask yourself what you could have done to make it better.  Ask your client… are you satisfied?  Did we leave anything out?  Think of yourself as the fantastic waiter who doesn’t hover, but keeps popping back to your table to ask, “Can I get you anything else?  Please let me know if you need anything.”

As a business owner or entrepreneur, retention is critical.  A client who feels appreciated and is well cared for by you will not consider moving on.   Do your best.  If you keep customers happy, the competition won’t get his foot in the door while campaigning.  You’ve already won the election!

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