What’s your gratitude policy?

sandra

Customer loyalty is something that we all strive for. Whether you’re a small business owner or a CEO of a multi-billion dollar empire, we are nothing if we can’t retain our current base of customers or clients. So how do we do this? Is it about points programs, birthday or holiday freebies and membership discounts, or is there more to it?

We’ve all heard the complaints about some of the loyalty programs out there. The notion that there are self-serving and benefit the company more than the customer isn’t anything new. You know the ones I’m talking about – where you feel like you have to spend thousands of dollars to earn something worth a few hundred (if you’re lucky!).

So how do we show our gratitude to loyal customers in a way that makes them feel good about their continued patronage of your business? The best thing to do of course is ask them! Surveys are a great way to find out exactly what your customers want when it comes to loyalty programs. We could think we have put together the best program in the world, but if it doesn’t leave our clients feeling appreciated, then we’ve missed the mark!

While surveys are a great tool, you have to provide incentive for people to complete them. Again, just like the loyalty programs, the prize for completing the survey has to be something that your customers actually want! Look at what your most popular product or service is and see what kind of reward you can create that will allow you to get enough responses to your survey that you are confident it actually represents your client base.

Just like any relationship, the relationship we have with our customers and clients has to be cultivated on a regular basis. It doesn’t have to stop with loyalty programs.   We can actually start picking up the phone and reaching out to our customers. This isn’t a sales conversation; this is really an informal survey. It’s a conversation that asks how things are going for them in relation to the product or service you provide. Ask if there’s any way that you could improve their satisfaction with the business they do with you. Actually tell them that you are grateful for their continued business!

I’ve heard it said that any relationship without reciprocity will die and I believe that applies to all relationships, personal and professional. Customer loyalty cannot be taken for granted. The competition out there is fierce and there are limits to how low we can take our prices and how fast we can deliver our services. If we want to retain our loyal customer base, we have to ensure that they know that we value their business. They need to know that we’re not taking the fact that they spend their time and money with us for granted.

I’ve heard it said that gratitude is the greatest multiplier of good. When a customer not only gets quality products and services, but also feels appreciated and respected by the company they do business with, it can only benefit you and your business. When potential customers here how much you care about and respect the people you do business with, they’ll be lining up to work with you!

Sandra Dawes is a certified life coach specializing in helping women who feel unfulfilled with their 9-5 follow their dreams and pursue their passions. She holds an Honours BA, an MBA as well as a certificate in Dispute Resolution.She has completed her first book,Embrace Your Destiny: 12 Steps to Living the Life You Deserve! Connect: www.embraceyourdestiny.ca www.facebook.com/embraceyourdestiny www.facebook.com/embraceyourdestinythebook www.twitter.com/sandradawes

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