It’s a well-known fact among business owners that it’s less expensive to create a repeat customer than it is to acquire a brand-new customer. As a business owner and leader, you want to create a loyal customer base that turns into a community but, like all major goals, achieving this level of success if often easier said than done. Creating a life-long customer is a challenge, especially for businesses that struggle with customer service. Here are six simple steps to help you create loyal customers for life.1. Hire and train superior customer-service representatives
Day in and day out, your customer-service team is on the front line of your business interacting with your customers. This group of employees is essential to creating loyal customers, but before you can expect them to excel, you must provide them with the training they need to offer stellar service. At the end of training, your employees should not only know your business and your brand inside and out, they should also have a crystal-clear understanding of your expectations from day one. Even experienced customer-service professionals need refreshers and reminders about how to treat your client base.2. Stay in tune with your clients' needs
If you want to be loved by your customers, you need to have a thorough understanding of what they want and what they need. This is especially hard if you’ve been in business for a long time and remain focused on what was important to your customers in the past. As times change, so do your customers—and so do their needs. If you want to keep a customer for life, you have to stay invested in the ways in which they evolve throughout their lifetime.3. Pay attention to trends
Industry trends can have a deep impact on the way a customer perceives your business and your overall brand. Pay attention to what’s popular among your customers so you’re always aware of what they like and dislike—and when possible, tell them what they’ll need before they even realize they need it. Just remember to stay true to your brand when you’re tempted to capitalize on a trend.4. Own your mistakes
We all make mistakes—what sets you apart is how you handle those mistakes. When your company makes a mistake, your customer-service reps should know exactly how to own those mistakes and turn a negative experience into a positive one for your customers. A mistake, and your reaction to it, can make or break your customers' loyalty to you in an instant, so you (and your team) have to be prepared.5. Go above and beyond the call of duty
Going above and beyond your customers' expectations will always make a big impact and give them a reason to come back. Most people appreciate and remember extra effort and are likely to remain your customer even if your prices go up or things get a little rocky. One way to excel in this area is to take some time to study your competitors—pay attention to their customer-service standards, and then beat them.6. Stay in touch throughout the year
Staying in touch with your customers throughout the year is easier than ever thanks to social media, blogs, and email marketing. Whether you post about new products, discounts and promotions, industry trends, or random thoughts, what you’re really doing is working on your relationship with your client base. You’re staying in the forefront of their minds and enticing them to keep coming back for more.
In the fast-changing world we live in, excellent customer service is essential for success. Customer service is more than answering the phone—it’s treating people the way they wanted to be treated and giving clients what they want, when they want it, how they want it. Do these things and you’ll create customers for life.