Keep the focus on quality.The best way to earn loyal customers and business is to offer a higher quality product or service than your competitors.Other strategies are simply there to retain customers already impressed by your product quality.Refine your offerings constantly, making sure that they are as close to perfect as possible Focusing on quality will lead to more recommendations, repeat sales and brand loyalty than any other strategy. Accordingly, make sure to work on this aspect of customer retention first.
Even the highest-quality service or product won't lead to high sales if only a couple of customers actually receive that level of quality. Consistency is the key to building a reputation for quality and dependability that will lead to customer loyalty. Make efforts to ensure that every point of contact with your customers, from in-store interactions to online responses, represents your brand and the level of quality you seek to provide. This also applies to products, which might require excessive testing or quality control to ensure consistency.
Train your staff as intensively as is required to reach a consistent level of quality.
The cost of consistency may sometimes be high, but customers are often willing to pay more if they know they're getting a great product.
Customers never want to feel as though they've been cheated or swindled. Keep your policies honest and simple to avoid confusion. For example, be clear about return policies to prevent angry rants about refunds. Neither your marketing materials nor your employees should make any false promises about your product or service. When needed, accept responsibility for a failure or misstep. Showing honesty over time and throughout your organization can help build customer trust.
A task management system is another useful tool for nurturing relationships. Having an online list of tasks to complete for each customer helps you meet their expectations and prevents you from missing important deadlines. When your box of candles arrives at their store on the exact day requested, you’ve created a “moment of magic” for that customer. The same goes for meetings: a task manager can remind you of meetings to ensure that you won’t miss any appointments, which would damage your credibility.
Stay organized with your project or customer information too. You don't want to lose points because you lost track of crucial order or contact information.
In addition to providing great service before the customer makes a purchase, you must also provide great support after it. Bad support can lose you customers and create bad press for your business. To avoid this, make sure to provide truly helpful, personalized support to customers. Doing so usually involves having actual support staff on hand (or outsourced to a customer service firm) that can provide live support over the phone or online.
Allow for feedback on customer service so that you can make improvements where necessary.