Friday, July 29, 2011

How to make customers love you

Today's entry comes to us courtesy of Intern Jon and deals with a topic every business owner must take to heart: how to make customers love your business - and keep coming back!

How to Make Customers Love You

Whenever I hear the word “Starbucks,” I think of a cozy little nook at the corner of a street, filled to the brim with up-and-coming novelists and misunderstood artists.  The entire store is overcome with a soothing ambiance accompanied by a polite and friendly staff.  Only lastly do I think of Starbucks’ products – the coffee.  The point is: Starbucks, as well as many other businesses, has successfully positioned itself into providing not only a popular product but also a positive holistic experience for the consumer – a highly successful tactic into making customers not only needing you, but loving you.  One of the biggest problems that certain businesses face is a lack of personal love from its consumers, which separates the Wal-Marts from the Targets.  You may need to go to Wal-Mart but would instead love to go to Target.  That sense of love and devotion from the consumer is what ultimately drives people back time and time again.  Here are some tips from the Fox News Small Business Center to, as they say, “win the devotion that makes for loyal customers.”

1. Never Assume – Do not assume your customers want something when there is no actual demand for it.  Start small but strong and “build your product, service, or value proposition around the wants, needs and desires of your target customer.”
2. Always Deliver – Make sure to deliver the product time and time again.  If there is a problem, be honest to the consumer and straightforward as to how it will be dealt with.
3. Personalize Loyalty Programs – Personalizing deals for individual loyal customers instead of gravitating toward the masses ensures loyalty and is even more appealing to those customers to come back again and again.
4. Train Your Staff – The staff is likely the only faces consumers will directly have contact with, meaning that the staff can easily boost or destroy the company’s reputation.  A friendly and helpful staff goes just as far in the consumers’ memories as the product purchased.
5. Say “Thank You” – If nothing else, a simple periodic thank you to customers shows a genuine interest in the customers.
6. Stay Connected – A periodic newsletter or email bulletin extends the experience of your business to outside the physical store.
7. Play Favorites – As Fox Business Center keenly states, “new customers are critical to growth, but you must ensure that current or long-standing customers get VIP treatment as well.”  Long-term customers have likely already found an avenue of “love” with the business and it is more than important to keep or increase their love.

Tips gathered from: 

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