An important part of growing your business is building a base of loyal customers. You need clients who keep buying your products and services, making referrals, and providing testimonials.
Here are 4 ways you can build loyal customers for your firm.
Develop a communication plan.
Clients value communication, and to build loyalty, you need to stay in touch. Develop a plan for communicating with your clients.
I recently wrote a detailed post on building a client communication plan, but here’s a summary.
- Identify what to communicate to clients.
- Clarify who is responsible for communication.
- Schedule the communication.
It may seem like overkill, but if you’ve ever experienced a communication breakdown, you know why it’s needed.
Keep leaders involved.
Have you ever had a restaurant owner or chef come to your table while you're eating? Or maybe a key executive attended a quarterly project status meeting. These interactions are important to clients.
Loyal customers like to know that they have a connection with leadership.
Identify opportunities for your leaders to connect with key clients. This can happen in individual interactions or through events you create for your loyal customers. When you plan these events, make sure leaders have a goal. Spend some time developing a message and helping them figure out how to weave it into conversations. While planning might seem cold, it's important. If you invest some time in planning, you'll get more value from your leaders' time.
Develop feedback mechanisms.
Client feedback is critical, and your loyal customers will know your offering best. Develop channels for soliciting and processing feedback.
First of all, send feedback surveys to your clients. This is the most basic way to get feedback, but it's also incredibly valuable.
In addition, open other avenues for getting feedback from your loyal customers. As one example, you might create a client forum where you bring clients into your office to provide feedback directly.
Your leaders can help solicit feedback as well. Clients really appreciate hearing from an executive that they’re interested in feedback.
Once you're getting feedback, develop a plan for processing and acting on it. When you act on the feedback you received, let your customers know you listened. This gives you another opportunity to reach out!
Show gratitude to your loyal customers and clients.
We often forget to show real gratitude to our clients. It’s easy to say “thank you” when a contract is signed or an order comes through, but clients need more.
Think of all the reasons you’re grateful for your clients. Clients pay your team members’ salaries. They give you ideas for developing new offerings. They give you the opportunity to represent them.
Identify opportunities to show gratitude to your loyal customers outside the easy ways. You might consider holding an open house where they can drop by your office. If that doesn’t work, consider sending your leadership team on a road show where they visit major clients.
Gift baskets and other holiday celebrations have their place as well. Just make sure you balance the marketing-led initiatives with a personal touch.
I hope these ideas are helpful as you work to grow your base of loyal customers. For more ideas on building client relationships, check out our eBook.