Appreciating the customer improves your customer relationships and facilitates customer loyalty – and execution doesn't cost much.
When customers feel valued, they are much more likely to stay with them and recommend them to a friend or colleague. By consistently applying a customer valuation strategy, you can significantly improve both customer retention and customer acquisition, and sustain business growth indefinitely.
Of course, customer appreciation appears to be a very simple concept, but to implement it effectively, you need to carefully consider your strategy.
These tips and strategies will help you design and implement a consistent customer rating strategy:
1. Think of the Pareto principle. The Pareto principle is an informal rule that says that you get about 80% of your results from about 20% of your efforts. For our purposes, we can estimate that 80% of your sales will come from 20% of your customers.
Even if your company doesn't follow this formula exactly, we can assume that some of your customers are inherently more valuable than others. Accordingly, your most valuable customers should be those who get the most appreciation. Appreciate all of your customers, including small ones, but go far beyond those you would most like to keep.
2. Be accurate in your messages. Be specific when writing thank you messages or doing something special for a customer. A generic thank you card doesn't mean nearly as much as a long thank you message for the experience of working together. A generic gift basket doesn't mean nearly as much as a gift basket that has been hand-selected for a particular customer. Know your audience and speak to individuals when possible.
3. Send handwritten notes or greeting cards. Email and other digital messages can be valuable, but few communications are as powerful as receiving physical email. Print greeting cards for your customers and / or send handwritten notes. The excitement of receiving a piece of physical mail that isn't garbage can instantly make someone feel valued – and handwriting feels more personal than written text.
4. Apply both group and individual appreciation. Your customer assessment strategy should include both individual and group tactics. At an individual level, you can send gifts, write notes and take customers to dinner. At group level, you can host customer recognition weeks and special events where your customers gather.
5. Use the holidays. Vacation is the perfect opportunity to show appreciation to all of your customers. On celebrated holidays such as Christmas or July 4th, send a gift basket (or at least a card by mail). The same applies to birthdays and celebrations of personal success.
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6. Offer discounts and freebies. Consider offering regular discounts and freebies to returning customers. Customers love to see surprise discounts on their orders, and they love to get free extras in the mail even more.
7. Take your time for personal communication. Even in this predominantly digital age, personal communication remains one of the best ways to connect with other people. Instead of just sending a card or email, try eating together or chatting over coffee. Regular personal visits can significantly strengthen your customer relationships.
8. Bend the rules (if applicable). There are likely to be some set rules in your company for customer interactions, procedures, and other business interactions. Be prepared to bend or even break these rules for your best customers. For example, if you normally offer a round of customer service, you should offer two or three – show your appreciation by doing everything you can to satisfy them.
9. Add small surprises. Surprise can make any positive gesture appear even better – and your customers are more likely to share surprises with other people they know. Make every effort to plan and execute small, positive surprises for your customers, e.g. B. Deliver projects earlier than expected or send a surprise gift.
10. Learn from your previous efforts. Notice how your customers react to different gestures. They may be relatively indifferent to one type of appreciation, but particularly susceptible to another. Learn from the past and update your customer assessment approach for the future.
Showing customer reviews is a strategy you should use consistently. You can only reap the results if you hold on to your customers' esteem. However, repeating exact processes can also be out of date. If you always send the same greeting card after completing a project, it means less and less. Accordingly, you should find a balance between consistency and novelty. Always show appreciation to your customers, but try to show them in new and different ways whenever possible.
CONNECTION: Customer loyalty: 6 techniques for maintaining and building a stronger customer base