Understanding Your Sales Cycle, Part 4: Loyalty

So you've closed the sale. Hooray! Time to call it a day, right? 

Nope.

The last part of the sales cycle is one that is often forgotten and arguably the most important: Loyalty and Advocacy. Once you've made a sale it is crucial to deliver quality, consistency and satisfaction over and over again. Why? It is much better to spend your energy making sure your current customers are happy, then to continually be chasing after new business. Consider these statistics: 

  • It costs 500% more to acquire new customers than it does to keep current ones.
  • The cost of bringing a new customer up to the same level of profitability as an old one is up to 16x more.
  • 82% of companies agree that retention is cheaper to execute than acquisition.
  • Lowering your customer churn rate by 5% can increase your profitability by 25-125%.

(source)

Here are a few ways to keep your customers happy:

  1. Offer an exceptional product
  2. Show your appreciation. Let your customers know that you care by giving them gifts or offering special events, classes or discounts.
  3. Be friendly (and make sure your staff is, too!). Your customers' first interaction with your company should always be a friendly face. 
  4. Pay attention to detail. Make sure every moment of the customer's experience exceeds expectations.
  5. Listen to and incorporate customer feedback. Remember the purpose of your product / service is to add value to people's lives, it is important to listen to their needs.
  6. Build a community around your product or service. People love connection and to feel like they belong. Find a way to create a community around your business. 

Here is an excellent infographic that visualizes some of these concepts:

What is even better than a customer who comes back to you over and over again? A customer who passionately and authentically tells all of their friends about you (you can also engage paid brand ambassadors, but the real deal is more powerful). I have yet to experience a company that did not cite word of mouth as their number one source of customers. People trust products and services more if they receive a raving review from someone who they trust. 

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