Finding customers can be a fascinating topic, but what to do once you get them? How to keep them coming back? What is a loyalty?
Loyalty of a customer is beyond providing value. It’s about exclusivity.
Being good on the market will get you a badge of a good guy. But it won’t keep your customers coming. Even those, who once bought your service, will betray you for better price. Actually, competition can wiped out by two factors: quality and price. While price has a limit of lowering it, and quality an limit of raising it – nothing limits size of impression you can make in customer’s mind. In order to get loyal customers, your customer has to believe, that you are the best choice on the market. Frankly, if your are not an Edison-like guy, you have a pretty big competition. Certainly, someone has better price than you. Certainly, someone can deliver products, or service faster. But if you did a service for your customer once, you could get a guarantee of next purchase. How?
By making direct or indirect dependence from you company. Apple is great example of it. It’s the only company which distributes certified lighting cables (actually it was, but focus on the message). They didn’t guarantee that any uncertified charging cable will work with your iPhone – they made you dependent, because you were in need those cables. You simply had to go to their store, if your current cable broke. Another example are software companies; when you buy their program, usually only they can maintain and service it for you. Rarely those programs are supported by different companies – it makes you dependent, and they dictate the prices. You either buy their service, or you are done.
Loyalty is also about ease of work with you.
Time customer has to wait for your reply, is a great chance to lose him. Companies which immediately take care of their customers rarely lose them. Even, if competition offers better price. People are lazy, you know that. People at work are even more lazy, and we all know that. The easier the task is (without stretching budget too much), the more preferred option it will be. Every bigger company has few trusted suppliers of software and side services. Why they didn’t change them for 20 years? Because of quality of their products? No, because the change is too expensive. Even if the current IT system is crap, they will continue to use it. Because cost of changing it exceeds value they gain. Because few wise guys made program, which only they can understand. And they closed the deal for decades.
No one will be loyal for a beautiful smile, even your wife.
Any loyalty is not because you are a nice guy. It’s because you deliver something good, and in a good form. Even, if your wife likes you for your jokes, not money (which actually is good), you are still delivering something – good sense of humor and atmosphere. Mannequin delivers nothing, and no one wants him, except clothing store. Same applies to business: no one is going to choose your offer again, if you don’t leave a mark in their minds. In a shape of good service, amazing product or making them dependable on you.
The most loyal customers deliver the greatest profit. Cost of every new customer will always be higher than processing of a current one.