12 ways to crank up your clients' loyalty

1. Learn as much as possible about what your customers want;
encourage them to provide feedback and make it easy for them to do so.

2. Demonstrate that you understand your customers: for example, by
only offering them products which suit their needs.

3. Design systems which suit your customers, such as easy ordering
and fast delivery.

4. Set clear service standards that your customers can expect.

5. Keep your promises and exceed expectations; provide advance
warning of any problems or changes.

6. Regularly contact customers; personalise letters, provide
information useful to them and express your appreciation for their business.

7. Make it easy for customers to contact you by providing a named
contact. Also answer phone calls and reply to letters promptly.

8. Handle complaints promptly and effectively.

9. Keep records of all customer contacts, and use them to improve
your understanding of individual customers and their requirements.

10. Use technology to ensure you have easy access to customer (and
product) information.

11. Analyse the profitability of different customers or market
segments; provide superior care to your most profitable customers.

12. Consider offering valued customers extras: for example, first
choice on special offers, a loyalty bonus, a helpline, or entertainment.

Cardinal Rules

• find out as much as possible about customer requirements
• tailor your service to individual customers
• design systems to make life easy for your customers
• set and achieve service standards
• communicate regularly

• assume all customers are the same
• make unrealistic promises
• waste expensive care on unprofitable customers

Copyright © BHP Information Solutions Ltd, 2008. All rights reserved.

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