How to maintain a steadily growing customer base

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By Nitasha Chawla

Customer loyalty is all about attracting the right customers, who buy in increasing quantities and help you to bring in even more customers. “Building customer loyalty is extremely important for any organisation as it not only aids repeat business, but also helps in getting new customers through word of mouth publicity,” says Vinod Bajaj, senior manager, corporate, Sumitron Exports Pvt Ltd.

Here are some ways to make sure that you build a long term relationship with your customers.

Communicate with your customers

Whether it’s an email newsletter, a monthly flier, a reminder for a tune up, or a greeting card, set up a system to reach out to your existing customers. It will help them to remember you for your thoughtfulness, and they are more likely to prefer you over your competitors for this gesture.

“The most important aspect of any business is to value human relationships. It is, therefore, very important to win your customers’ trust by keeping them in the loop of developments that may be useful to them and to establishing a relationship with a company,” shares N Chandramohan, country head (SMT division), Juki India.

Be transparent

Customers will connect with a product only if they value the transparency of a company while selling its products. These days, customers do a thorough review of a company’s business and consider its reputation before making buying decisions. Therefore, it is very crucial to be transparent with customers and clear their queries related to the product or the company.

Be consistent in your service

One of the best ways to manage the expectations of your customers is to be consistent. Be consistent with your quality, your responsiveness and delivery of goods or services. “It is extremely important to build up your customers’ trust in the capital goods industry, because every piece of equipment is used for around 10 years, on an average. Therefore, unless customers are assured of the quality and long life of the equipment, they will not buy it,” says N Chandramohan.

Promote product awareness

With the stiff competition in the market, ensure that your staff members understand your products and service, including details about old models that just keep selling. Only then will your staff be able to market your products effectively to customers.

Customer feedback is a must

It is not possible to know which areas need improvement or about the quality of the product without getting feedback from customers. “We have a dedicated team of sales and service engineers to get customer feedback that helps us and our foreign principals to provide better support on the products we sell. Also, our engineers are in constant touch with the customers they handle,” says Vinod Bajaj.

Referral marketing

Word of mouth publicity has been the oldest, least expensive, and most effective form of marketing. One of the most powerful ways to encourage loyalty in customers is to pass them referrals. So, think of people or firms that might add value to your customers and send their references to all those in your customer database, as and when relevant.

In a nutshell, companies that take a holistic approach towards their customers will be able to retain them and influence them to spread the word about their good experiences with the company.

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