For businesses of all sizes, but especially small businesses, it is critical to build client loyalty not only because of the additional potential revenue available, but because of the continuous word of mouth promotions loyal clients will conduct for your business. Client loyalty is also a crucial element in determining what it is you are doing right.
From the very beginning you need to be consistently evaluating your business. Keep your customer service skills and policies in check to make sure you are giving your clients what they need and are always meeting their expectations, or better yet – exceeding their expectations. If you are not keeping tabs on your client satisfaction levels, before you realize it your business can take a nosedive as dissatisfied clients find somewhere else to take their business.
Gaining client loyalty does not necessarily have to cost you a fortune. Excellent customer service is a key part of the plan but there are other things you can do to keep clients coming back to you time and time again. Here are a few tips to help you gain loyalty and return business:
Listen To Your Clients
Providing your clients an outlet to give you their feedback can bring invaluable information to you and your staff about their needs and wants. Leave comment cards with your invoices or if you have an email list, send regular surveys for them to complete confidentially. While not all of your feedback will be necessarily positive, it allows you the opportunity to start making the necessary changes to keep your clients happy.
Go The Extra Mile
While there can be a fine line between going the extra mile and being taken advantage of, you should be doing everything you can to solve problems that come up between you and your clients. This is especially important if you are in the wrong. Do what you can to make amends. People make mistakes, and are judged by how they correct these mistakes. What is not acceptable is doing nothing to make up for those errors.
Evaluate Your Team
If you have customer service representatives that cause complaints, get on top of the situation. Making sure you have the right players on your team can do a world of good for overall business. Make sure everyone is on the right page and ready to go that extra mile for your clients.
Offer Training and Acknowledgments
It is not a bad idea to offer staff refresher courses on your client policies and customer service soft skills. After periods of time, it may be necessary to refocus your team on the needs of your customers and the goals of your business. Incentives and recognition can be an excellent source of motivation. Acknowledge a job well-done and those employees that consistently go that extra mile.
Review Your Capabilities
Especially with technology companies, if you do not have the proper equipment and time management tools and skills to get the job done, you can end up inconveniencing your clients. Evaluate how you are handling client services and ensure you are staying organized and on top of things.