Don’t you forget about me….

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A recent survey shows that 68% of customers leave a current supplier because they felt undervalued. [pullquote]A recent survey shows that 68% of customers leave a current supplier because they felt undervalued. [/pullquote]Most businesses focus almost all of their sales and marketing time, energy and budget bringing in new customers and seem to neglect their existing ones. Most mobile phone companies will give a better deal to a brand new customer then an existing one. This on the face of things is crazy.

The existing customer has cost next to nothing to sell to. The unfortunate consequence of this is it teaches customers to have little or no loyalty. A simple calculation of the potential Lifetime Value of a customer should reassure you that a policy to ensure your customers stick to you like glue is going to pay dividends in the long run. So how do you do it?…I hear you say. First and foremost it is to have a culture within your company of building relationships with customers. Moving away from a straight forward transactional sales model will build loyalty.

Have a look at what you provide for your customers, apart from the products and services you actually SELL to them. Have a look at your website. Does it scream SELL SELL SELL or does it say ‘come inside look around’ ‘so, how can I help you?’ A great example of this is the site for Taylor Guitars. They have grown their site and have the obligatory Flickr, myspace and youtube links. However if you want to learn more about their guitars you can even view videos of the trees being cut down to make the guitar body. http://www.taylorguitars.com/guitars/features/woods/Videos/video.aspx?file=Spruce_1_High.wmx

This will not make customers buy more, but it will start to build loyalty.

The next and most simple way to show your customers that you value them is to communicate more with them.  Creating a newsletter to provide a brief portal into your world and business if written in an interesting fashion will help to build customer loyalty.

[pullquote]Creating a newsletter to provide a brief portal into your world and business if written in an interesting fashion will help to build customer loyalty.[/pullquote]

There are lots of decisions that need to be made such as layout, frequency, mix of information and actual marketing content. With the Internet this can be very inexpensive and will assist in building a bigger loyal customer base.

Customer loyalty programs are not just for the big boys How about having some form of loyalty to get customers to feel compelled to come back AND also introduce you to their friends.

Find out more ways to build customer loyalty at www.dorememarkable.com

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