5 Tips to Boost Customer Loyalty

Acquiring new customers is a top priority for every business. But sometimes, in the hunt for new customers, those who previously purchased a company’s goods or services can get lost in the shuffle. When an existing customer is neglected, the likelihood increases that they will turn elsewhere for better products and/or higher quality customer service.

At Baillie, we understand that our customers’ needs are always changing. If maintaining customer loyalty is important—and we strongly believe it is—then we must remain dedicated to balancing the need for new customer acquisition with caring for and maintaining relationships with those who have purchased our products in the past. DSC6032

Here are five tips that can help boost customer loyalty for your business:

1. Involve all departments in support of customer loyalty. Regardless of how removed they might be from customer-facing activities, every part of your business should contribute to the goal of customer retention. Make the effort to fully educate different departments on how they can impact each customer’s experience with your organization.

2. Strive for empathy. Customers are more likely to stick with a company that demonstrates a clear understanding of their needs. This means your sales team and other departments can’t fall back on a generic sales pitch that fails to address those specific needs and challenges. An honest approach to customer loyalty depends on genuine empathy with those you wish to serve.

“Establishing a connection with your client will help you by making it easier to understand their real needs,” notes customer service expert Ganesh Mukundan. It also helps you “discover unmet needs they might not even know they had.” If you’re successful in anticipating such needs, “customers won’t be able to do anything but be thoroughly appreciative” of your commitment to their success.

3. Evolve with your customers. The ways in which you have fulfilled your customers’ needs in the past may not have much to do with their needs in the years to come. An in-depth understanding of your customers can reveal problems and opportunities for growth in the near future. When you share such insights, your customers will naturally wish to stay with a business that’s so knowledgeable and concerned with their business.

In the same respect, don’t allow existing customers to fall out of touch with your own company’s evolution. Through emails, blog posts, press releases, etc., keep them updated on any changes in your products or services—any features and benefits that improve on how they serve their own customer base.

4. Adopt rapid response mechanisms. Inevitably, an existing customer may experience a problem with your products or in how they are being served. While some form of automated response is necessary to handle large numbers of customer comments and complaints, it’s imperative that a trusted customer’s message not go ignored.

Aim to respond to all inquiries and complaints within 24 hours—not with a generic, automated message, but with a human voice. Hear out the customer’s issue and promise to rectify the situation ASAP. By responding quickly and addressing the problem at hand, your business will stand out from the pack.

5. Honor your long-time customers. Highlighting customers who have remained loyal to your business for several years should be honored for their commitment. “A long-standing business relationship in today’s fast-paced, competitive world is truly something be proud of,” says sales and marketing specialist Al Davidson. He suggests publicizing a “customer anniversary” on your social media platforms (with their permission, of course). Saying thanks in this public manner lets “people know that your business values loyalty and that loyalty goes both ways.” 

Staying focused on your loyal customers, in addition to your new customer acquisition efforts, will help keep your business strong.

Making and maintaining relationships is important in the hardwood lumber industry, just like many other industries. What tips do you have that have helped increase customer loyalty for your business?

Brett Del Prince
Baillie Lumber
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