What makes a customer loyal

How to win and keep loyal customers: 5 tips

Loyalty - and not the feared renouncement of consumption - is the customer's sharpest weapon. Because at some point everyone will want to or have to buy or invest again - the only question is, from whom! Generating customer loyalty is the key most important business challenge of the future. who the lasting loyalty of its customers wins, will be able to successfully decouple itself from the general market development and will be ahead in the future.

How wise it is to cherish and care for your loyal customers is impressively demonstrated by the results of a company representative survey among 300 executives in German business:

57 percent of those surveyed would recommend their preferred provider to others, while only 27 percent would do so in the case of sporadic customer relationships.

And what's more: those who are loyal to a provider help them 94 percent about complaints and to 74 percent through participation in customer surveys, to get better. For a provider you only deal with now and then, these numbers are significantly lower: They are 77 and 41 percent, respectively. Customer loyalty pays off even if a change is necessary. So would 82 percent of those surveyed their Warn favorite providers, before it is too late. And 86 percent would be willing to return when performance improved again. Only 33 percent of those surveyed warned an occasional provider. And only 66 percent would come back if necessary.

5 tips for building customer loyalty

The systematic exploitation of the existing customer potential offers countless opportunities for cost-effective and sustainable growth. Here are a few Basic tipsto trigger this:

1. Those who want loyal customers must reward customer loyalty

However, many companies are so busy acquiring new customers that existing customers often have the feeling that they are just "second class". But: Regular customers are your most important customers! These - and not the new customers - get the best offers, special prices, vouchers, exclusives and privileges. This is how they become fans, multipliers and ultimately committed recommenders.

EXTRA: Referral marketing: Let your customers speak [+ checklist]

2. Show emotional attention

Show Mindfulness, acceptance, recognition, Appreciation and respect. Thank you expressly, personally and honestly for every purchase or transaction. Keep looking after existing customers - even after a project has been completed. Make it through small activities in between lasting positive memories.

For example, add a thank you tag more often.

For example, the accounting department can send a thank you letter for prompt payments. Or: start on Congratulations program for loyal customers.

3. Flexible customer service is the be-all and end-all

Many companies become customers Forced care based on efficiency considerations and have to conform to the predetermined processes (“This is our rule!”). You better leave it Customers decide for themselveswho can contact him how often and how - or how he wants to work with you. Continuously update all relevant information in your database and add to it successively emotional details.

4. Promises must be kept and - better still - outbid

With every dissatisfaction, the customer immediately thinks about a change.

So prevent dissatisfaction by focusing question ask, for example: "If there is one thing, dear customer, that we can do a little better for you in the future, what would be the most important thing for you?" early warning system with the typical signs of willingness to migrate.

5. Complaints? Please professional!

A professional response to a complaint could be as follows: “Thank you for pointing out ... to us. We really appreciate that. ”Badly or not at all processed complaints are a must Main reason for customer turnover. Don't just think about compensating for the actual damage, give one too emotional reparation. Because: The customer had anger and stress, and that amounts to bodily harm.

EXTRA: Checklist: This is how you successfully deal with complaints

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Anne M. Schüller is a keynote speaker, multiple award-winning bestselling author and business coach. The graduate in business administration is considered a leading expert in touchpoint management and customer-focused corporate management. She is one of the most sought-after speakers in German-speaking countries. In 2015 she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the German Speakers Association. Her most recent books are called “Die Orbit-Organization” and “lateral thinker desperately wanted”.