Customer acquisition is often the prime focus for businesses. It’s understandable as businesses aim to grow by bringing in new customers for more revenue. Although, with customer acquisition, it can be easy to neglect the significant role that existing customers play.
According to Forbes, 80% of a company’s future revenue will come from 20% of its existing customers. Thus, customer retention is just as vital to a business as customer acquisition is.
Customer retention, however, differs from customer loyalty. Loyal customers exclusively visit your business and avoid competitors. Plus, they’re willing to promote your businesses without being prompted.
If you’ve already won over your returning customer, don’t neglect them. Use this as a guide to properly maintain your customer’s loyalty.
The importance of loyal customers
A returning customer is not just a guaranteed sale. A customer’s devotion can mean everything to your business.
Investing in flashy marketing campaigns is pricey and time-consuming, but if you already have loyal returning customers, you’re good to go.
For instance, if a loyal customer lets their family and friends know about your business through casual conversation, you’ve immediately got free word-of-mouth marketing.
You’d be surprised how far a few words about your business can go! Even if a bi-monthly return customer shares one post raving about your services, you’re bound to draw in new customers.
Your customers are well-trusted by those close to them so don’t take that consistent business for granted.
6 Ways to Build and Maintain Customer Loyalty
1. Implement a loyalty program
A loyalty program is a fun and clever way to engage and maintain your loyal customers. These programs work to entice your valued customers to return for more business.
A loyalty program can be as simple as a punch card, or as complex as a digital point system. The kind of program you decide to implement will depend on your business type.
Loyalty programs for businesses that offer services include rewards for never missing an appointment, a discount after a certain number of visits, or more benefits for those who have been a client for a long time.
Start with a simple punch or stamp card. For example, a chiropractor’s office can offer a customer’s 7th adjustment for free. Since physical cards are easy to lose track of, a digital card will work best, or your office can keep count on your customer’s behalf.
2. Offer stellar customer service
Of course, greeting a customer with a smile on your face is always a solid place to start, but you can do more to ensure your customers leave with a great experience.
In certain industries, waiting can be a big part of your customer’s time. So why not make your space cozy and inviting? Provide bottled water and fun activities like activity books, magazines, mini puzzle games, and more!
Furthermore, customers value open and honest communication. If you’re running behind, be courteous by letting them know. People want to know they’re being thought of and taken care of.
Speaking of taking care of things, take care of that ringing telephone. Make a conscious effort to be prompt in getting back to calls when possible. An unanswered voicemail could lead to losing a potential loyal customer.
Most importantly, let your courteousness be the reason they come back. To give you an idea, kids who visit a dental practice can receive inexpensive incentives like pencils or stickers.
No matter what, go the extra mile to show you care about the customer’s experience.
3. Simplify billing
It may be hard to hear this, but it’s time to upgrade if you’re still sending invoices in the mail. Let’s talk about simplifying your billing options so your valued customers keep coming.
Collecting upfront payments is difficult to ask from a customer when costs for the service are high, and handling payments over the phone can be even more stressful.
Make your payment system digital so you can enhance your customer’s payment experience and make it accessible for both of you. It can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start, but you don’t even need to spend money on new equipment. In fact, Denefits can help.
Denefits’s all-in-one system automates the entire billing process for you so you can start accepting payments right away. That way, you and your customer can have better interactions and transactions!
4. Personalize your contact methods
The way you interact with your loyal customers matters, and everyone enjoys getting something personalized.
Send custom birthday or holiday messages to your most loyal customers. There’s no need to be old school and search for stamps or stationery, simply send a digital card or share a few celebratory words through email.
Your valued customer probably wants to be in the loop. If you have your customer’s permission, use their phone number to send text reminders about upcoming appointments. These can also be sent through email.
Don’t forget to sprinkle in that personal touch by addressing your messages to customers on a first-name basis. No worries if you want to go the formal route, their title and last name should work nicely too.
5. Offer manageable ways to pay
A hefty bill can be a big shock to customers. You don’t want to risk losing frequent customers or any additional business by being inflexible. Instead, offer different ways to pay!
Try financing. Financing reduces surprise in a patient or customer! It allows them to get everything they want or need at a manageable price, and payment plans are accessible to all kinds of patients.
Affordable financing is yet another way to promote customer loyalty. That word-of-mouth marketing will reach others looking for payment plans. Nonetheless, you’ll be giving all of your customers an enhanced experience by having different payment options.
Provide easy financing through Denefits, so your customers receive all the benefits of receiving quality service while remaining within their budget. Denefits’s flexible payment options bridge the gap between affordability and accessibility.
6. Get some feedback
Most of the time, your customers aren’t going to complain to your face. Confrontation is difficult so some will use their online personas to tell you what they think.
If you find online reviews about your business, positive or negative, make sure to reply. Address their concerns or thank them for taking the time to visit your business. You might be able to change or reassure some minds by showing you’re listening and engaging with your customers.
Start doing follow-ups if you’re not doing follow-ups already. Checking in after a customer’s appointment consists of asking how they’re doing and how they felt about the service. Feedback is effective so this can also be done digitally or through anonymous questionnaires.
Your willingness to receive and even reply to most feedback will show you appreciate and care about your customers’ overall satisfaction.
The bottom line
There’s no doubt loyal customers will remain by your side, but your urgency to show your appreciation will maintain your relationship. It is a two-way street, after all.
While applying these steps is crucial, ensuring your business is operating on a solid foundation is just as significant.
Operate by offering easy transactions and payment solutions. With Denefits, you can simplify payment processing for your business and its loyal customers.
Denefits provides easy payment solutions for customers. Their instant approval platform starts your customers on an affordable payment plan, so you don’t have to turn any one of them away.
Additionally, Denefits helps lessen the likelihood of chargebacks and disputes by enabling ACH payment processing for the security of your business!
Request a callback to learn more while your customers keep rushing through the door.