Turn A Good Customer Into A Loyal Customer in 7 Steps

There was a time when a woman could walk into a store and be greeted with "Good Morning, Mrs. Jones. Those jelly beans that Junior likes came in this morning. Should I pack some up for you?"
  1. Know your customers
    You don't need a steel-trap memory to remember your customers, their families, sizes, tastes and preferences. This information can be gleaned from an index card file of sales slips organized by customer name. Or link a computerized database to your cash register. Either way, this information helps you keep in touch with and serve your customer.

  2. Inform your customers
    Say you own a wine store and you jsut received a shipment of Cabernet Sauvignon. Go through your files to see who buys Cabernet Sauvignon and send them a postcard or letter about it. Reference the fact that they've bought this from you in the past, then offer to hold some for them for a few days Since you're loyal to them, they'll be loyal to you.

  3. Help your customers
    Write a montly, quarterly or even semi-annual letter to keep customers or clients informed about issues that might relate to them -- changes in the tax code, computer-software compatibility problems, whatever. Give people information they can use and they will think of you as a resource.

  4. Surprise your customers
    Send your best customers a gift certifiate in the off-season or a useful premium with your name on it. Since they haven't asked for this and haven't "earned it" through some points program, they are surprised and delighted. Which brings us to . . . . . . . . .

  5. Delight your customers
    Go beyond birthday and anniversary cards and gifts. Write a spouse to remind him or her that the special occasion is coming up . Also let the spouse know that you have some great gift ideas in stock.

  6. Thank your customers
    "Please" and "Thank you" may be the most powerful words in the English language. Use them in the mail. A sincere thank-you letter following up a purchase is always appreciated. Say, "Please let me know if there's anything else we can do for you," and customers may take you up on your offer.

  7. Reward your customers
    Maybe you give out punch cards with offers of a free ice-cream cone with every ten purchased. Call it a "Membership Card," take some personal information before you give it out, and use the mail to take the reward program to a higher level. Maybe send members of the program a card on their birthday, with an offer of a free sundae. The card becomes a symbol of a more personal relationship.

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