New Year, New Challenge – Keeping your Customers Loyal

I love this post from the QualityDigest.com, written by Joe Callaway, 10 Steps to Keeping your Customers Loyal. As we’re starting 2010 after a difficult 2009, I’m sure most businesses out there are thinking and planning on how to make this year a bit better and more profitable than last.

My favourite of the 10 Steps is Number 6:

Make it the first six weeks again. The first six weeks of any relationship are magical.  Everyone loves everyone. Gestures of appreciation are made on a regular basis. Then it starts to get old. We don’t try as hard anymore to make a great impression. Go back to that first six weeks. Make it magical again.

Pretty apt for the New Year, don’t you think?

I particularly like this because it has been my opinion that many Irish businesses are stuck in a dangerous loop where once they’ve captured a customers money, they instantly forget about that customer and move on to attract another different customer. They engage in “week 1” activities to get the customer in and get their money, but then don’t even move on to trying to retain the customer.

These businesses are forgoing trying to build any customer loyalty whatsoever. It strikes me that businesses are damaging their prospects by treating all their customers as “once off transactions” rather than potential loyal (and profitable) customers.

I can safely say that there are very few places in Dublin where I give return business because of the efforts of the business itself and not just because it’s handy.

How about you? Do you have “regular” places that you go – say for your shopping, or your lunch – where you’re made feel welcome every time you go back?

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