Building Customer Loyalty

Building Customer Loyalty

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A good customer loyalty program can produce significant profits in recurring revenue for your business by enhancing the return on your marketing and sales budget.

Here are five ways to improve your customer loyalty program:

Making customer service a priority

Efficient customer relationship management means organizing your business to focus on the needs of customers.

Make sure customer-facing representatives have all the data they require to efficiently serve your customers. Empower them to act individually, wherever possible.

Draw up plans for managing customer contact. Have standards for speed and courtesy when answering phone calls.

Reply to customer contact quickly and efficiently. This will prove that their feedback is appreciated and acted upon.

Encouraging customer feedback

Ask new clients why they chose you over the competition, and ask existing clients what you could do better.

Set up a customer hotline, and make sure the number is visible on every piece of information you send out.

Get feedback online by promoting clients to engage in social media. Include a contact form on your website. Encourage customers with a concern to contact you. You may then have an opportunity to correct an issue before it has escalated to a complaint.

Thank customers for their feedback, and let them know if you make changes as a result. Keep a record of customer feedback to help you identify common problem areas.

Customer communications

Regular communication with your customers keeps you fresh in their minds and lets you pass along important information.

Take the time to set up a database with customer information such as email addresses, mailing addresses, or phone numbers. Then you can send friendly reminders, birthday greetings, or a monthly newsletter.

Social media is another great way to communicate with your customers on an almost daily basis. Keep in mind that this works better if you limit how many of your communications are actually advertisements.

Customer loyalty schemes

Before starting a loyalty scheme, you need to assess your customers’ current level of satisfaction through techniques such as surveys, interviews, and monitoring customer comments.

Provide extra perks to your most trustworthy customers. By setting up a reward system for the most loyal, you not only promote them to stick around, but you also give encouragement for other customers to attempt to reach that status.

Customer relationship management

Plan your communications to keep customers informed. Make it easy for them to contact you. Encourage customer feedback.

Keep your agreements and exceed expectations. For example, promising delivery in 8 days, but delivering in 5.

Personalize all communications and the email addresses of customer-facing employees. If you use computerized telephone systems, give customers the option of speaking to an operator at any time.

It is important to remember that customer retention should be the main priority of the company. 

Tips to Build Good Customer Relationships

Tips to Build Good Customer Relationships

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Building relationships is key to learning your customers’ needs. You can gain more returning customers, referrals and net income in the process. If a business does not know the likes and dislikes of their customers it becomes a tedious task to grow your business. 

Here we will describe a few ways by which you can improve your relationship with your customers

Connect with your customers 

An age-old way of making human contact has been to find a common ground, a shared interest, or anything that shows you can empathize with them in some way. This helps you to build trust with the customers. 

Communicate 

Like any good relationship, communication has a major role in building customer relationships. Communication is not just a series of emails. Try to analyse the customer and understand how you can customize and create a personalized message for your customer. Example: From a bit of analysis from past data you can know what products the customer is interested in and then customize your messages to that. 

Not all of your communication should be about your company trying to sell something. Have communications reminding customers about special features that you have noticed which they are not utilizing. Let them know about developments in your industry. Create a personal relationship. 

Exceed Expectations 

The key to a better and stronger relationship with the customer lies is going above and beyond their expectations. Giving customers more than what they expect will delight them and make them come back to you. Make sure they walk away fully satisfied. Listen to your customers, acknowledge their concerns and resolve any problems they encounter. 

Feedback 

Feedback is a great way to understand your customers. Invite customers for surveys and ask them to share their opinion. You can identify the specific needs of your customer and find the best solutions to their problems.  Offering unique and personalized solutions will ultimately help your business prosper. Always pay attention to the comments and feedback and respond promptly.  

Show appreciation 

Reward loyal customers with special discounts and offers. Retaining customers is the best way to boost revenue. Build a business that offers the best customer service. Make sure that your products and services are always available.  

Customer relationships are more important than ever in today’s digital age. In an era where customers can easily give their views and opinions it becomes highly important that a company maintains a good relationship with its customers. Just like any relationship, strong customer relationships require work but the payoff to your businesses’ bottom line is worth the efforts. 

Customer Surveys – Is this actually working?

Customer Surveys – Is this actually working?

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Filling out questionnaires can be time consuming and it can take a lot of effort. For numerous companies, they use surveys as a way to “talk to customers”.

Silly Surveys

Normally after purchases are made, a visit from the hospital or a service obtained, either you are asked to fill out a survey or you get a random phone call. In reality this is not the right approach in getting insightful feedback about your company. What you should be doing is talking to customers face to face. Even though this might be costly and takes up a lot of time, this is the only way to get honest answers. This approach can be done through workshops.

Work For it

Conducting public workshops on strategic planning is an excellent method in figuring out what your customers want. It is about quality not quantity. Your goal is to learn how customers make decisions and how they problem solve. You need to understand their needs and wants and you can’t get any of that from a basic questionnaire. Start off your workshop by asking a question such as, “What makes you choose to go to one convenience store instead of the other?”, since every person has been a customer to a convenience store at least one point in their life. The responses that you would receive would be focused on where the store is located, the quality of their customer service, the variety of options that are available, how reasonable their prices are, and what time the store opens and closes. These factors are the strategic influences that different stores have. You can use these strategies to your advantage to develop more customer strategies and ultimately making your business stand out and have a competitive advantage. It is important to note that not one person can come up with all these factors since every person has their own unique experiences. It takes a group of people to come up with the conclusion of these strategies.

Surveys Are a No-No

A lot of companies think that surveys are enough to understand their customers since it shows percentages of what people like and dislike. However, surveys are unoriginal and does not give you a real insight. Interviews are the best way to get thoughtful customer input.

7 Effective Ways to Handle a Customer Complaint

7 Effective Ways to Handle a Customer Complaint

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No matter how great your business or product is, there is always going to be dissatisfied customers here and there.

The Customer Is Always Right

The customer might be genuinely disappointed or could be displeased with a small issue. Any type of complaint should be handled carefully since every customer is important. If it is not handled carefully, you risk losing a profitable customer and they may leave a negative review on social media where it would influence others to avoid your company.

These are seven ways to effectively handle a customer complaint.

Listen

When a customer is angry with you, it is important to stay calm, not to rebuttal, and listen to what they have to say. Make sure not to admit that something is wrong when in fact it is not. The best to approach this is to recognize their feelings by saying statements such as, “I understand that you are very irritated about that”.

Be Objective

It is natural to feel defensive and offended when someone is attacking you, but try your best to be objective. Do not react emotionally, put your feelings aside and react in a way that is best for your business. The best outcome when it comes to a customer complaint is to wait till they have calmed down and come up with a solution that makes them happy and ensures that they would come back. If anything, use the complaint as feedback and implement it to your business to avoid the same complaint in the future.

Clarify

To understand what has happened, calmly ask the customer open-ended questions. Some examples of these questions are, “Can you explain what happened?” or “When did the problem first occur?”.

Empathise

Even if you think the customer is not right, you have to make them feel that they are validated by empathizing with them. Only when customers feel that they are listened to and understood, then they would open the gate to think about any of the solutions you throw at them.

Take A Break

If you feel that the complaint is stressing you out, you may need to take break from the situation by letting them know that you will look into the situation and get back to them. Breaks allow you to calm down and look at the situation more clearly. A good way to relieve yourself from the stress is to rant about the customer’s complaint to someone else during your break. It is important to remember that you are human and you have emotions too.

Remember its’s Never Too Late to Apologize

When a consumer has sincerely been let down by your product or business, apologize to them by genuinely and respectfully showing you regret what had happened and that you are sorry. This is the chance for you to restate the values of your company and recognizing what happened to them was not okay. An example of an apology would be, “I am truly sorry, you should not have gone through that. This is not the service that we aim to achieve or offer, but I would like to resolve this situation.”

Fix It ASAP

Everybody makes mistakes, and everybody has those days. But it all matters on how you fix the mistake. This would be your opportunity to show how dedicated you are to your customers and that you implement your company values. You can do this by addressing the problem, and letting them know that it will never happen again, or solving the problem and rewarding them something for free as an apology.

Capturing the Win

Capturing the Win

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Capture management comprises a thorough understanding of the customer, the problem statement, the solution, the competition, and then using these into making a winning plan.

Information is King

While gathering intelligence about the customer and competition, the importance of being thorough cannot be stressed enough. Pursuing an opportunity mandates collecting as much information accurately. A complacent approach has no place while collecting information for a proposal. However, it is easy to focus on the wrong things. As much as a proposal is not won because of what you know, it can easily be lost because of what you don’t.

Customer Focus

Understanding, analysing and collecting information about the customer is key. You need to understand the customer, their issues and priorities. If your customer knowledge has significant gaps, it will shake the confidence that your customer will have on your solution and service. It will cast a shadow on your abilities, skills and past performance.

Building your Capture Plan

When evaluating your progress towards the completion of a capture plan or a proposal, follow this approach:
  1. Start with what you don’t know. Knowing what you don’t know is the sensible step towards a complete proposal.
  2. Ask yourself questions that seem impossible to find answers to –  Does the customer like the current provider? If they do (or if they don’t), what is the reason? Who are the competitors? What are their strategies and pricing?
  3. Run through your networks, both internal and external and see if you can find answers. You will be surprised how much information is actually publicly and freely available.
  4. Make unanswered questions a priority. Seek those answers. Learn from past proposals. Which unanswered questions costed you the bid? Which answers sealed the deal for you?
  5. Use feedback to ensure effective capture plan processes are in place.
With a zest for continuous improvement, the enigmatic recipe for creating winning proposals will be closer.