Happy customers keep coming back. Here are some suggestions for keeping them that way.
It’s a question every business battles constantly, and it’s usually a part of your thinking as you develop sales and marketing strategies: How do you keep your customers happy with you?
There are obvious answers to that question that are just common sense. Provide good products and services. Respond to customers’ concerns, and quickly. Ship merchandise as fast as is possible, in sturdy packaging that isn’t too large or too small.
You can do more to encourage customer satisfaction, though, without looking like you’re soliciting their business. There’s certainly a time to pitch, but there’s also a time—lots of times, actually—when you can slowly and subtly build relationships and please your audience.
Will they guess at your motives? Maybe. But they may also appreciate that you took the time to communicate without asking for a sale.
Perhaps you’re already doing these things because, well, they’re good things to do. If not, consider these suggestions:
- Send a follow-up email about a recent interaction. This doesn’t have to be a sale. Maybe it was a return or a complaint or a product suggestion. Thank the customer for contacting you, ask for feedback, and offer suggestions. Don’t sell.
- Create a non-sales informational message. Not anything big like a white paper or PowerPoint presentation. Maybe an instructional video or a Q&A. Whatever it is, make it easy—and fast—to access. Help customers solve common problems with expert advice, but don’t include a sales pitch. The fact that this free guidance came from you is sales pitch enough.
- Offer an unexpected discount or rebate. Make this unique — and only for a specific list or group of customers or clients. For example, offer a discount on the next transaction, but avoid selling anything specific. If you do reduce the cost of specific products, this can be a good way to a). make customers feel special, b). move some inventory that isn’t selling particularly well, and c). highlight offerings that are deeper in the website than others and may not have been seen.
- Interact casually on customers’ social media networks. This is easier on Twitter than on Facebook or Instagram. The latter two are more personal, and it may creep people out if you try to friend or follow them. But if customers follow you on Twitter, it’s something of a compliment to be followed back.
- Start creating happy customers from the beginning. Enclose a handwritten thank-you note in your first sale to a customer. You might include an inexpensive company freebie or even upgrade the shipping method for this first transaction. Those second sales will come easier the more care you take with the first one.
These may seem like small things, but you never know what impact your words and actions will have on people. So make yours positive.
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