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Follow These 2 Steps to Gain Loyal Customers

by Lauren Salles, on Nov 27, 2018 10:00:00 AM

If you’re like most businesses, you’re always striving to build and maintain a loyal customer base.  

Before increasing brand loyalty, however, you must first establish trust with new clients.  The client needs to trust you in order for them to feel comfortable buying your product or service.  

Once a customer makes a purchase from you, however, trust is implied.

If you want to convert that new customer into a repeat customer, you must CONTINUE to earn their trust.

But how do you do that?

Here are 2 steps to convert one-time customers into loyal customers:

Step 1: Meet the customer’s expectations.

You must know what the customer expects of you and deliver on those expectations.

Ask yourself: what do my customers expect?  Put yourself in their position. If you purchased a service from your company, what would your basic expectations be?

For example, if you are a spin/cycle studio, customers EXPECT that you will deliver spin/cycle classes at the scheduled times.  They EXPECT to show up to class and get a good workout. Those are the promises that you made to your clients, and they are counting on you to fulfill these duties.

If you don’t satisfy these basic expectations (for example, your spin instructor consistently shows up late to class) then the client’s level of trust in your business will decrease, and they probably won’t continue to buy from you.

Step 2: Exceed the customer’s expectations.

Don’t just meet your client’s expectations - go above and beyond.  Make it your mission to leave your customers feeling pleasantly surprised.

James Kane states that “customers don’t make judgments based on the outcome - they make judgments based on the process.”

To illustrate this concept, let’s compare two scenarios:  

  1. Cycle studio A sticks to their schedule and always delivers tough, sweaty classes.  Clients show up and know what to expect because the studio is consistent, reliable, and dependable.   

  2. Cycle studio B also follows their schedule and produces great classes.  Studio B takes things a step further by sending reminder text messages to clients that have signed up for classes.  They also ensure that each client is greeted when they walk through the studio doors.

In both scenarios, the customer walks away with the same “product” or outcome - a cycling workout. However, Studio B enhanced the customer’s experience via their communication.  Therefore, a client at Studio B will likely enjoy the “process” or the experience more than a client at Studio A will, thus increasing Studio B’s trustworthiness. And a trustworthy business will attract loyal customers.

Like any relationship, the business-to-customer (b2c) relationship requires work.  Building trust in the context of that relationship is an ongoing process.

In other words, trust is not given freely.  Businesses sometimes make the mistake of assuming that customer loyalty is owed to them.

This is simply not the case. If you want customers to continue buying from you, you must go out of your way to make their experience with your brand exceptional.  

Each interaction is an opportunity to gain or lose trust with your customers.  For this reason, you must continue to find new ways to meet and exceed clients’ expectations.

Topics:entrepreneurshipcustomer engagementcustomer loyaltybusiness communicationcustomer experience