Statistics show it takes 60% more effort, money, time, et al to create a new customer. It’s like making a new friend. You have to figure out what you like to do together and whether or not they’ll be dependable. You have to put in some serious effort to let them know that you care. Meanwhile, your friendships that you’ve had a while continue to be of great value by simply proving loyal on a regular basis. Building a business is the same way. Here are some ways that you can utilize a friendship strategy with your customers.
Invite them over for special events
What better way to enjoy the company of your friends and inspire loyalty than to host them? When I say host, I mean provide something at your place that allows them to socialize and enjoy the fact that you’re all connected. Business people would say provide some added value. You never know what kind of value one can derive from a small investment, so invest in the people that support you! In only makes logical sense.
To do this, you’ll have to put processes in place that allow you to track who is regularly visiting and purchasing. Try opt-in email and mobile strategies like rewards programs. Give customers the option to sign up in-store or online. I like Place Pop as a mobile and web loyalty/rewards application program. It provide great flexibility and convenience for the business and the customer.
Offer suggestions that will be useful
Ever see something and immediately think of a friend that something would “be perfect for”? I love cigars, and recently had a friend send me a text message about Romeo y Julieta’s on sale at the JR Cigar near my job. I was so thankful, that I’m sure to hook him up with a “stick” when I see him next.
Since you’re capturing purchases, utilize that information to make suggestions or let all purchasers of a certain product know when it goes on sale. The loyalty that can be created by this simple act can be more valuable than waterproof boots in a snowstorm.
Ask Customer Opinion
People have always utilized their friends for advice – from love and relationships to companies and products. Why not leverage this bonding experience based upon the art of pontification, to make a friend out of your customers? Plus, who doesn’t love to be on the inside? So, pull your customers in to the proverbial fold, or circle of trust if you will, by seeking advice about how to make their experience better. You might shock them into becoming extraordinarily loyal, and that’s all we want.
Adversarial relationships rarely work, so create some loyalty by forming friendly relationships with your best customers by using the help of a customer relationship management tool. Your customers will thank you, and so will your margins.