Well, February 14th is Valentine’s Day. Have you gotten your special someone a gift? Maybe you bought him or her chocolate or flowers.
I remember as a kid that we had these “parties” where we decorated a shoebox to make a little postbox. Then we would go to the store and buy these little Valentine cards that we would give to our classmates.
Maybe your office will exchange Valentine Cards and chocolate. In spite of what some of you may believe, Hershey didn’t invite Valentine’s Day. At least, that’s what Wikipedia tells us.
Truth is, we all like to think about love. We also don’t reserve it for one day. The same is true with our customers.
Customer love leads to customer loyalty. Customer loyalty leads to better retention and that makes business sense.
“Consider this. A mere 5% improvement in customer retention rates will yield between a 25% to 100% increase in profits across a wide range of industries.≠ To sum it up – Happy customers spend more money more often!” Ellis, Partners in Management Solutions
Today we are mentioning four ways to woo your client’s love and help create customer loyalty.
Don’t ignore your customers.
It seems like common sense, but let me just say, you can’t ignore your customers. There are a couple of critical areas where you need to respond.
The first critical area of response is responding to inquiries and support tickets. This comes squarely on customer support. You will be amazed at how many people “ghost” on customers and fail to respond.
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There is no substitute for responding as soon as possible but within a reasonable timeframe. JJ Ramberg says at the Duct Tape Marketing blog,
“While this seems like an obvious choice for companies who want to go above and beyond in customer service, a lot of businesses still get it wrong. That’s because “right away” often gets misconstrued as “within 24 hours.” A business day’s time might still be a timely response, but it won’t come as a pleasant surprise to anyone.”
The same is true with sales. We live in a software world and want to rely on automation as much as possible, but I can say that the people I have seen be the most successful are the ones willing to engage with other human beings.
Each customer represents a human being.
Another way to show your customer you care is to listen to their feedback. Often, they will give you invaluable info that will change the trajectory of your business.
Stephanie French writes,
“Asking for feedback shows you care by wanting to improve the product and experience for the customer. They will feel included and that their opinions and ideas are important to you. Understanding your customers’ feedback will help your business thrive by meeting their needs.”
You will get both positive and negative feedback and French reminds us that it is important to respond to both.
A friend of mine tweaked his business idea after receiving feedback from potential customers while he was researching the product/ fit for his idea. The result was one of the fastest growing educational startups in the South (U.S.).
Help your client feel valued
We are often concerned about the user experience of website visitors for our client’s websites, and rightly so. It helps the client feel as if they are receiving a personalized experience.
Our own clients can also feel if they are receiving a personalized experience.
As Lili Török says,
“Flawless customer service is very important, but not enough. Rather, it should be the basis of all your client relationships. To make your clients feel valued, you need to go the extra mile.”
Create a personalized experience by making the effort to go the extra mile to help their experience be much better.
You can also show customers they are valued by solving their problems. The best way to create content for customers is by creating assets that solve their problems.
Indeed, you may need to ask and listen (see above) to hear what their problems in business are. Once you identify these problems, create content to help.
Listen closely to identify problems in the project initiation stage. You may find their problems are different than what they are telling you.
Make them the hero of the story
If you have read the book Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller, you know that marketing works better when you create a story in which your customer is the protagonist.
It is way too easy to make our copy and our marketing all about us, but something changes when we make this shift. The customer, after all, is the one who is on the journey for a better reality. We are the Obi-Wan Kenobi (or the mentor) to their Luke Skywalker.
Your customer is learning the ways of the Jedi so they can complete their mission. This reframing of our relationship with the customer changes everything.
When we make them the hero, we are supporting THEM in their journey. Our product or service is the missing piece to help them be more successful.
Reward them for their loyalty
Have you ever gotten a gift from a company, just because? No reason at all, just because you are a loyal customer? Unfortunately, we don’t see that too much anymore.
Rewarding someone who has been with you for years and is a good customer is a great way to show them your appreciation.
The week of my birthday, I got an email from the local coffee shop. It was for a free latte. They rewarded my loyalty to their brand.
Even though these types of programs are used more for brick and mortar and other types of retail businesses, you can also implement them in your WordPress business.
Sophia Bernazzani lays out some good reasons for having a loyalty program as well as some ways to implement at Hubspot.
Sometimes, however, it is good just to appreciate our customers, just because.
Wrapping it up
Maybe Valentine’s Day is a great time to evaluate our customer loyalty. Are our customers satisfied with our service?
Even more, are they thrilled with the service and products we offer? Are they willing to tell their friends? Is there something we need to do to make changes?
Maybe we can add a new service or product to our relationship that helps them solve a new problem. What can you do to increase customer loyalty?