by Donovan Dillon Contributor
Posted on September 17, 2014 17:56 PM
One of the main goals of a marketing program is to encourage consumers to purchase your products or services over that of your competitor. Many times, businesses make the mistake of focusing solely on gaining new customers through their small business marketing. However, some reports explain it can cost five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. This alone should encourage business owners to focus their marketing attempts on not only adding to their customer base, but also to create loyalty among customers who have purchased from them in the past.
Customer Service is Critical
In 2013, 62 percent of customers globally switched to another company due to poor customer service, and 70 percent of buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are treated. These statistics indicate that customer service is a critical part of retaining loyal customers. One way to incorporate customer service into your marketing program is to provide feedback through social media. Respond immediately to questions, and address dissatisfied customers publicly rather than through private messages. If the exchange becomes heated, suggest it be taken privately, but continue to treat the customer with respect and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. The fact is that 82 percent of consumers say that having their issues resolved quickly is one factor that they use in determining customer service. By addressing customer service issues immediately, customers see that you are willing to work with them when a problem does arise.
Follow-Up after Every Purchase
Once a customer has purchased a product or service from your company, institute a follow-up process as part of your marketing program. The follow up can be an email asking how the service was or offering discounts on future purchases. For those in the service industry, a telephone call can often encourage loyalty among customers, especially when the service was for something personal, such as dog grooming or a doctor visit. By calling to check on the dog or the patient, consumers see that your staff is concerned about your well-being and are more likely to return in the future. Although some companies may simply consider this a courtesy, it should be part of your small business marketing program in order to encourage loyalty among your customers.
Customer Loyalty Programs
Customer loyalty programs are an excellent marketing program to keep customers returning. A customer loyalty program could be as simple as a punch-card that allows a customer to get a free meal after eating at a restaurant a defined number of times. There are grocery stores now offering discounts on gasoline rather than reduced prices within the grocery store, with the percentages based on how much the customer spends. Customers feel as if they are getting a bonus by simply remaining a loyal customer and your small business marketing efforts benefit through the additional items purchased by the customer.
To learn more about how MODsocket can help you plan a marketing program that not only attracts new customers, but also encourages customer loyalty, visit us at www.modsocket.com.