Loyal clients are better than repeat customers
It’s worth thinking about whether you’re really looking for repeat business. The big advantage of repeat business is that it costs less to sell to a repeat customer – you don’t have to do all that convincing and selling all over again.
But perhaps you should be aiming for loyal clients, rather than repeat business. Here are some good reasons why:
- Repeat customers take the decision to come back to you and buy again. Loyal clients don’t even have to make that decision – it’s a given.
- Loyal clients are your advocates – you don’t just sell them a product, you provide them with a great product and a great service to boot. Such that they are pretty enthusiastic when it comes to talking about you to their colleagues and contacts.
- Repeat customers will easily go elsewhere if something goes a bit pear-shaped. Loyal customers will sit it out – because they know that you’re there to sort it out for them, and it’s a genuine mistake (which you will have owned up to).
- Loyal clients are willing to pay a margin because they appreciate what you do. They know you know their business pretty well, and are willing to pay for the service you provide.
So how does one generate these lovely, loyal clients? It’s part art and part science, but here are a few pointers:
- Respect is earned – it’s not dished out on a plate. If you don’t provide a quality product backed by a high level of service, forget it.
- Personal contact – this is where it comes in so handy being a small business. Stay in touch with your clients, and they are far more likely to stay loyal. Few of us do this as much as we’d like, but it’s worth it when you do invest the time.
- Own up when things go wrong, and get them fixed as soon as possible. Sometimes these days it seems like it’s rare to get a genuine apology. If you’ve done something wrong, say so and apologise.
- Give something back. Take the time to answer queries – even if you do get the phone call in the middle of a complicated piece of work. Remember that every interaction with that client is an opportunity to build the relationship from a purely transactional one to something more genuine. You don’t have to become best buddies with all your clients, but show an interest, help people out.
So if you’re not already doing so, think about aiming a little higher than repeat customers.
Give us a call on 01865 881056 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if this strikes a chord with you.