Encourage customer loyalty by staying engaged

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One of the key areas most businesses are concerned about is customer loyalty.

And for good reason.  A customer that has done business with you once is likely to want to do business with you again – if they’ve been happy with their first experience. This tendency can considerably shorten the sales cycle, closings can cost a lot less and ancillary benefits such as good quality referrals are certain to follow – if….

the customer is nurtured through a process of remaining engaged with you.

This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how often this just doesn’t happen.  Most of the time this important tactic is neglected simply because of lack of foresight on the part of the business.

It requires some planning to devise and implement a consistent ‘cradle to grave’ strategy. One that takes the customer seamlessly through each stage of the life cycle from prospect to repeat customer.

Too often, serious effort and time is invested in developing new prospects. As soon as they become customers, they’re quickly left to their own devices.  An analogy that springs to mind is that of the birth of a child.  Who would eagerly plan for a new child, go through nine months of nurturing it in the womb then, once it was born, leave it to fend for itself?  As ridiculous as that may sound, that’s exactly what many businesses do with their customers.

Staying engaged is well worth the planning and effort involved. Most of this can be handled upfront.  Implementation is more a matter of discipline and systems than effort at this stage.

The rise of internet marketing should be of great interest to all marketers, no matter what their business. As a whole, most internet marketing guru’s advocate a well thought out system for engagement.  With the advent of automated email systems, auto responders and so on, engagement has never been easier, or more cost effective to achieve.  Study some of the techniques constantly being touted by these gurus and you’ll quickly discover how simple it really can be.

Never assume that just because someone has become a customer that you will automatically win their next purchase. Unless you stay engaged, there’s a high likelihood that you won’t.  There will always be someone else out there who is prepared to make the effort to engage and convert your customer.

Never assume that your customer wants to know about your product or service. Chances are high that they don’t.  What they want is to know how you can solve their specific problem quickly and cost-effectively.  In fact, in my experience, the ability to solve a customer’s problem quickly and efficiently – taking that issue of their plate – will often override much price resistance.  After all, time and effort is valuable.  Many customers would far rather spend your time and effort than their own, allowing them to focus on the core areas of their own businesses or life.

If you’d like to find out more about how to plan and implement a comprehensive and effective engagement strategy – and thus ensure more repeat business, a shorter sales cycle and a higher customer retention, please email me at jackie@jackiecooperwriter.com.

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