It doesn’t matter if you are a small shop owner, a large international business or just selling cupcakes on the side, most of your success comes from the loyalty of your existing customers. A satisfied customer will continue to bring you business and will also refer their friends and post extremely positive reviews and generally spread the word. What follows is some information and techniques on how three different companies harness their customer loyalty.
The Hanfords run a small video rental store, and are respected pillars of the local community. They love movies, giving out weekly recommendations, and three generations work in the store who know most of their customers by name and their favourite genres. At 80 the couple decided to retire and close the business, but the response from the local community was outstanding! People were shocked, upset, and disappointed. They received letters, heartfelt visits and gifts, and ultimately they decided to try and revive the business. This time they would be a little more modern and use technology and a database to attract new young customers. They also decided to host independent film nights, where avid fans could not only watch indie flicks but also discuss as a group after viewing. They even incorporated a juice bar for them to use! How did they survive, and how was there a place for them in todays Blockbuster and Netflix era? Simply they explain that they knew their customers by name, made eye contact, listened to their requests and got to know them as people and families. Essentially they made sure the customers felt they were valued more than their cash.
ZenPayroll decided to pursue other venues while proactively trying to increase revenue and gather more support from their existing customers. They created an online community where participants could complete certain tasks in exchange for virtual coins which could then be exchanged for prizes such as gift cards. After only 3 months of launching Friends Of Zen, the online community, there was a 45% increase in the number of 5 star reviews, and many of their customers have stated that great reviews are what bought them there in the first place. They explain that by using the online community there is a mutual benefit, since they can use their customers whenever they want quick responses to press inquiries, voting for awards, sharing on social media, and maybe even create content. In reward they will receive these virtual coins to redeem prizes. What’s most staggering about this is that reportedly only 5% of users have ever redeemed a prize, which shows that they truly feel a part of the company and want to help, regardless of the compensation.
Listen To Customers
Dell are a large, international business but have still spent a lot of money and time trying to connect with their customers and use them to help make improvements to the company. They have introduced a Customer Advisory Program, which were interactive sessions are held and the panel of customers express their concerns and criticisms as well as provide ideas and feedback. There is also a Customer Advisory Council, which is a forum where customers and technical leaders can interact with Dell’s product groups. They explain that the sessions are used to adapt new technologies currently in the pipeline, and how they should address the customers needs. As a final point, Dell have also recently launched the Dell Advantage scheme, which rewards customers with cash back on purchases as well as exclusive offers. By including their customers and displaying how they take their advice on board, Dell have earned their customers loyalty.