Customers for Life: Become Part of Their Identity
Repeat customers are the lifeblood of every business, and the best way to get them coming back is to connect with their lifestyle. When your customer sees you as part of their life, it becomes part of identity, creating a tight bond that’s almost unbreakable. The company that does this first for their offering, owns the customer for life.
Skeptical? Consider this: think about your favorite sports team. What would it take for you to root for a competing team, wearing their colors, and betting on them?
Not going to happen, you say? Why not? Because they are part of your identity, it’s your team.
You can do the same thing for your business, creating a relationship with customers who feel that it’s their company. They can’t psychologically go anywhere else.
Take inspiration from sports team fan recognition, such as displaying pictures and birthdays on the scoreboard. Obviously, respect your customer’s privacy requests, you may wish to let them use a nickname for public display. Consider the following ideas, too.
Give your customers bragging rights by holding regular meet and greet opportunities with ownership, management, and supplier VIPs. Give them your business card. If your corporate structure permits, offer them a small piece of your company, say for $10, that gives them the rights to say that they are owners. Offer them owner’s specials. (First consult your attorney. There are now ways to legally do this with equity crowdfunding structures that hold an investment in a company so they don’t violate stock trading laws or licensure laws.)
VIP, Insiders Circle, and Club Level
Form an VIP club with various levels of participation based on purchase quantities, visit frequency, or breadth of product line purchases. For example, they get early notice and access to new products because they’ve purchased products, accessories, and add-ons. Create several levels with increasing recognition and benefits, routinely recognizing them on your website, in-store displays, and when you see them. “Thank you for being a VIP. We appreciate you being part of our elite club.”
Everybody Knows Their Name
Always ask, and use your customer’s name. Form a culture of all staff remembering and recognizing customers so that they feel welcome and important. The more people in your business that use their name, the more they’ll feel like they they’re special and belong. This may take a little practice, yet pays big dividends in creating an unbeatable competitive advantage.
Unique Gear and Swag
Design special tee shirts, ball caps, coffee mugs, water bottles, and so forth with not just your logo, but with customer recognition as VIP, Insiders Circle, or Club Level. Only customers who achieve the level get them. Give them the first one, and let them purchase or earn additional specialties through their business.
If you’re not giving your customers a birthday gift, you’re really missing out on a powerful connecting point. Help them celebrate their birthday with something that they don’t normally buy. Or you can offer them store credit to spend as they wish, when they’re part of the VIP club.
Everything Makes Them Feel Special
The more that you can recognize customers and make them feel special, more the more tightly you become part of their lifestyle and part of their routine. And you’ll reap the rewards for a very long time.
Or you might like to listen me on the SellingDisruptionShow.com, the weekly podcast for professionals whose job depends on disruptive sales and marketing.
Let’s have a conversation about growing your business through strategic planning, marketing plans, executive coaching, and customer acquisition systems. Find a mutually agreeable time at MarksSchedule.com or contact me.