Nurture Customers Into Lifelong Supporters Loki Ong January 10, 2016 Network Marketing Formula Nurture Customers Into Lifelong Supporters Customers are the lifeblood of any business therefore it is important to nurture customers into life long supporters. You can come up with the most innovative and the most competitively-priced product, but without customers to buy it, your business won’t last long. Thus, one of the secrets to building a strong brand from scratch is coming up with ways to nurture customers into lifelong supporters. Getting new customers is fairly easy. Each time someone introduces a fairly innovative product, the sheer novelty of it induces people to buy a few units for themselves. Over time, however, these same customers tend to move on to other competitors or to other products. What exactly drives a customer to remain loyal to a brand’s product and/or service? Surprisingly, it’s not all about product and/or service quality (though you shouldn’t neglect that either). A recent survey has discovered that nearly 70% of customers move on to a different competitor or provider when they perceive a business’ indifference to them. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the business owner is indeed indifferent, but rather, how the customer perceives such. Clearly, to convert lukewarm customers into the sort of devoted, lifelong fans that can bring your business into the next level, you really need to step up your customer care game. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy and inexpensive ways to nurture customers into lifelong supporters, and they are as follows: 1.) Start with creating a service-oriented culture. Screen your employees carefully. Hire only those who have a genuine desire to serve the customer as best they can. Experience is always a plus, but opts for attitude over skill when hiring if you need to choose between the two. You can always train your workers to improve their skills, but adjusting for attitude is more difficult. Conversely, don’t be afraid to let go of those who aren’t committed to servicing your customers well. It also helps to create incentives for employees who deliver exemplary service. You don’t necessarily have to give cash bonuses, at least not while your company is still finding its feet, but you can offer recognition. Naming an employee of the month regularly helps, and you can incentive this further by giving them a non-monetary benefit, such as an additional paid vacation day and so on. If you have employees who consistently perform well, you may also want to sign them up for training programs that will teach them how to nurture customers into lifelong supporters in new and inventive ways. 2.) Wow your customer from the very beginning. Make their first transaction with you as pleasant and as memorable as possible. You and your staff should always present them with a smile and a greeting, along with a listening ear and a ready mind to help them address whatever need or want they’ve come to satisfy. Some of the best businesses even go the extra mile by including handwritten thank you cards in a customer’s purchase. These things cost next to nothing, but go a long way towards ensuring that your customer will remember their transaction with you fondly and thus become a return client. 3.) Don’t forget to take care of your existing clients. One way to make a client feel special is to create a dossier on them. Keep their names, birthdays, and previous orders on file so that you can familiarize yourself with their tastes and preferences. This way, you can not only greet them by name when they come in, but you can also be more accurate in recommending products that they would like or use. Sending out small gifts (preferably those that have to do with your business’ product or service) on a client’s birthday or during the holidays is also a great way to make him or her feel special. Furthermore, the client will be reminded of your presence when you send them a little gift and they will be more likely to place another order as a result. 4.) Ask for feedback. If and when you have time to converse with your clients, probe them for constructive criticism. Ask them what they like best about your product and the sort of service they’ve received so far, and ask them about what they consider to be areas of improvement. Pay close attention to what they point out, and then come up with a plan to address all such areas. Clients who feel like they are valued and listened to are clients who will keep you in business for life, so make sure you don’t neglect this particular step. Also check out love marketing to improve your sales.