When you own a business, your customers are a vital asset. Your relationships with the customers you help to serve on a day-to-day basis will determine whether your business will flourish or wilt over time. Many business owners mistakenly believe that customer loyalty is a thing of the past. However, that doesn’t have to be true if you work on cultivating long-term relationships with customers and getting them excited about the products and services you offer. You may feel tempted to pursue large clients instead of paying attention to your existing customers; however, keep in mind that all customers, no matter how much profit they bring you, are essential to a thriving business. The coveted secret to ensuring that customers keep coming back is following up after a transaction by thanking them for their business and ensuring that they are satisfied with the product or service you’ve provided. The following are some other tips to keep in mind when developing your customer base.

Networking

Use networking to find clients and customers. Word of mouth remains the best way to attract new customers, as people are always more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend, acquaintance, or associate. Your business colleagues, existing customers, suppliers, business partners, employees, family, and friends remain some of the easiest sources to tap when it comes to finding a loyal customer base.

Communication

It’s rare to meet a potential customer at exactly the moment that they are in need of your services. Instead, a connection must be fostered so that they will remember you over time and think of you when they are in need. Communicating with potential and existing customers on a regular basis is key to maintaining these ties. Your networking efforts will be lost if you don’t take the time to follow-up and ensure the people you have made contact with don’t forget about you. Sending an email after a first meeting is the first step to reinforcing the connection. Keep potential customers in the loop with a weekly newspaper or by asking them to like your product or service on social media.

Rewards

Customer retention over time results in a more profitable relationship, as repeat customers are likely to spend more than first-time customers. How can you encourage them to return? Staying in touch is great, but giving your customers something of value is even more important. Rewards can take the form of coupons, invitations to special events, insights and tips, and small gifts. These rewards can also help you to keep in touch with your customers over time.

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Loyalty is its own Reward

Customers who believe in your product or services and have positive experiences are the best representatives of what you have to offer. Taking the time to follow-up, whether by email or telephone, is key to keeping them. The goal is to turn your customers into your sales team. Let them do the talking for you and your business can only grow over time.