(Submit Articles) Get lots of customers and you are sure to be successful. Exactly! Well, that is if you can keep those customers coming back to you. Keep in mind that although getting new customers is ideal, most sales still come from old customers. So, if you aim for a stable and successful business, you need to invest on customer loyalty.

So, do you have a plan yet how to build customer loyalty? If you don’thave one, here are some ideas to help you in devising your plan.

- Devise a marketing program for your current customers. After a successful sale and your customer have gone home, what do you have planned to encourage him to come back? There are actually a lot of ways you can consider. For instance, you can give him a discount card he can use on his next visit to you. You can also consider sending him a post card to tell him of your current promos or new products which they can avail at a discount if they visit your store within a certain period of time. Likewise, you can print posters to tell old customers you don’thave contact with of an upcoming sale. All this will encourage your past customers to go back to you. But remember to offer good quality products or services to keep them satisfied of your offerings.

- Use complaints and comments to your advantage. Unsatisfied customers would often complain of your products or services either directly to you or to just about anyone they know. In this instances, don’ttake their complaints personally. Instead use it to improve your products. A good practice to follow is to make follow up calls or mail questionnaires to customers after a sale is made. If they have complaints, promptly address them. Your prompt response would encourage them to do business with you again.
It’s best that your customer support team give the same attention and care as your sales team. This is because after a sale, most of the interaction you’ll get from your customers would be through customer support services. In a way, a customer support call is a repeat business, so if you want to retain customers or get referred by them, pay attention to this matter.

- Keep in touch. Long after the sale is done, you need stay in contact with your customers to obtain their loyalty. Remember that the more customers hear or see from you, the more likely they are to pick you the next time they need your products or services. Consider sending greeting cards on special occasions or post cards in between. You can also send newsletters to tell them of the current happenings in your business. Invite them also to tradeshows and seminars where you can give out your catalogs, flyers, or poster printing. Remember, the more people know about you, the more chance they are to stay loyal to you.

- Use reward programs. A growing trend today is giving customers rewards every time they purchase from your store. For instance, for every dollar they buy they a corresponding point, which when accumulated can translate to dollar savings or items they can exchange for corresponding points. Done well, a reward program can give you two benefits: it will allow you to gather information about your customers, and it will increase sales while reducing cost as your customer share increases.

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