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How To Ensure Your Customers’ Loyalty Forever – Build Relationships, Not Customers

gift-wow

Introduction

Currently, the world of digital marketing is flooded with thin content, backed by marketing that promises the stars and delivers dust. It has got to a point where a cheap 25 page eBook that took 1 week to patch together is advertised by hiring a $1000 copywriter, complete with amazing graphics, special discounts and time sensitive scarcity. And as soon as the customer hits the Buy button and opens his “immediate access download”, there is that old feeling feeling, of regret, of being ripped off. We call this buyer’s remorse, and it’s a feeling we’ve gone through as well.

It’s your job as a marketer to make sure that your customers never, ever feel buyer’s remorse – that’s where ugly Yelp! reviews, 60% refund rates and RipoffReport.com entries stem from. This article is for you to implement time-tested strategies to get and keep customers for a lifetime.

Lifetime value vs One Off Value

Let’s touch on an important term that’s important to understand and measure as a part of your marketing strategy – the lifetime value of a customer. This contrasts against one-off sale value, which is the strategy of short term marketers looking to make a quick buck and disappear. As a small-medium business owner, you know that a huge chunk of your business stems from the loyalty and continued patronage of a small percentage of customers (Pareto’s 80/20 principle which states that 80% of business comes from 20% of your customers).

The lifetime value of your elite customers is immense. A loyal, satisfied repeat customer is more likely to:

  • Renew subscriptions month after month
  • Purchase your high ticket products
  • Be more open to your special deals and offers
  • Refer “hot” leads who are ready to hit the Buy button

This adds up to a huge lifetime value for you and your business.

So the only question remains – how do you convert regular customers into this elite tier of cherished customers?

Answer: WOW THEM with Five Channels.

A Wow is any service you provide a customer that makes them go “WOW!”. Your Wow is anything that separates you from your competitors. It goes without saying that your actual service should be no less of a Wow than any other, but for this article, we’ll be primarily focusing on customer satisfaction and retention. To this end, we’ve devised a series of strategies to make your customers feel appreciated and loved, and we’ll be revealing them all here.

4wow-explained

What Constitutes a Wow?

We divide Wows into 3 groups that you can implement in various stages of the customer lifecycle.

  • Deliver and Wow

Your very first Wow should be getting what the customer purchased to them, as soon as humanly possible. If it’s a digital download, it should reach their email inboxes in less than 5 minutes, or even instant access. If they requested a call-back – make sure you deliver! First impressions last for a lifetime, so make sure that laziness isn’t a word your customers associate with your business.

Once you’ve delivered your product, you can move on to your Wow. The Techniques section in this article will cover in thorough detail the various Wows you can send your customer. This is the best time for wows like a Thank You card, a special gift etc.

  • Offer More

The “Offer More” is a vastly underrated and often poorly executed wow. Offer more doesn’t necessarily mean offer your customer an unrelated upsell in hopes to charge more money to their Credit Cards. An actual Offer More Wow is to analyze a customer, review data trends and historical patterns in order to understand and anticipate any future needs of the customer.

McDonald’s don’t offer you fries with your meal purely for profit – they understand that fries complement almost all of their menu items and improve dining experience. And what has this lead them to? Additional millions of dollars worth of fries sales every year just by placing their upsell in front of the customers.

  • Referrals

Most people don’t realize that Referrals can be their own form of Wow. A well executed referral is always a win-win for both you and your customers. Here is the simple truth about a well pitched referral request – does it make the customer feel awkward? This happens when a referral is a one sided process which offers to value to the customer – where you take and don’t give back.

In contrast, an awesome referral incentive to customers goes a long way – 1 month of free subscription to your service, a $50 value eBook delivered to their inbox, an exclusive discount on your upcoming service, or simply cold hard cash in exchange for driving more customers to your business are all excellent ideas to implement in your business, today.

Wow techniques

In this section, we’re going to lay out a list of all the Wows that we recommend you incorporate into your Customer Lifecycle in order to supercharge customer loyalty and satisfaction levels.

  1. Prerequisite: immediate delivery + appreciation

The number one, most vitally important Wow that needs to be in your business is immediate and complete delivery of what you promised. If your product is a digital download, the download link should be delivered instantaneously, or within 5 mins to your customer. If they’ve requested a callback at Monday, 8 am – give them a call on that time! You’re projecting that you take your business seriously, that you respect your customers’ time and that you’re not lazy and complacent post-sale.

Another great idea is to send them a Thank You email immediately post-purchase and let them know how much you appreciate them. Throw in a freebie, something they didn’t expect, a special discount code, or give them a “shoutout” on your Social Media page – these things go a long way!

2. Become the authority + trusted advisor

leader

Buying from your company is an inherent statement of understanding between you and your customer, where the customer implicitly places a great deal of trust into your hands. It’s your job to lead by example – and the best way to do that is to demonstrate that you know the current situation of the customer and that you’ve been in their boots.

By having a firm and thorough understanding of your domain, you create a feeling of comfort in your customers and become a safety net and authority figure that they can depend on in times of need. They will look up to you, and treat your word as gospel – make sure that you earn it, and that you never misuse it.

3. Manage expectations (Underpromise & Overdeliver)

As touched on in the beginning of the article, the perfect delivery is a balance between setting expectations and matching up to them. There’s nothing more gratifying than customers emailing you personally, thanking you for going above and beyond the call of duty to ensure their happiness. Make sure you always deliver more than you promised in your sales letter, not less. One of the worst feelings to leave your customer with is buyer’s remorse – and thankfully after this article, you will minimize the likelihood of that ever happening.

4. Understand needs – offer related

Once you understand the need of your customer over the course of hundreds of sales, patterns will begin to emerge where you will understand customers who buy one service or product greatly benefit by complementing it with something else. Amazon’s system of displaying “Customers who bought this item also bought…” has lead to billions of dollars in extra profit for them. Similarly, you should offer your customers relevant and complementary upsells to enhance their experience. Done right, this leads to a feeling of gratitude rather than awkwardness resulting from a pushy “oversell”.

5. Anticipatory service

Make efforts to make your customer service proactive instead of reactive.

  • Did you make a major change in your software? Email your users and offer them a 15 min training session for free to adapt.
  • Did new game-changing technology emerge since you released your book a couple of months back? Incorporate it into a free chapter in your eBook as an addendum and email it to your customers.
  • Email your clients once every two weeks asking them if they need any help using the services that you offer.

These small gestures go a very long way in forging amazing relationships where your customers feel genuinely taken care of.

6. Feedback loops – surveys

Smart marketers track. No, we’re not talking about your CRO, KPIs or Email Open rates here. We just want to put out there that you’re very particular about your metrics – but what about customer happiness? Are there metrics to measure loyalty and level of satisfaction? Not really, but the good news is – all you have to do is ask. When you implement a new Wow – by simply sending your customers feedback forms and mini 30 second surveys, you can get amazing ideas of what seems to be working and what doesn’t.

For example: A week after your book launch – simply email your customers to ask them how they’re getting along with the book and if they liked it, by filling in a 30 second survey.

Or 2 weeks after your training seminar, ask people if they benefitted from it, and if they’re putting your techniques to action.

7. Gifts

Screenshot 2014-12-08 14.52.41

We end of course, with the section of sending gifts and other Wows for your customers. Here are a few tried and tested ways to Wow your customers:

  • Send a $5 Gift Card on every purchase
  • Call them and say thank you
  • Send a lottery ticket with each purchase
  • Randomly select a few customers to receive a free upgrade that you upsell
  • Name a star after their company
  • And many many more….

If you’d love to get to know more than 50 ways to Wow your customers by creating a tailor made worksheet, simply fill in this form and we’ll send you a free copy of our Lifecycle Marketing Workbook to your inbox in the next 10 mins. Now go out and build relationships and not customers!


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About the author 

Tanay Mishra

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