Guide

Retain and grow your customer base

Retain your most valuable customers

Looking after your customers helps build customer loyalty - if they enjoy buying from you, they are less likely to switch to a competitor. To enhance the buying process, you could:

  • tailor your products and services to meet specific requirements - if a customer prefers delivery before noon, organise your delivery schedule to make sure that happens
  • identify and resolve problems quickly - it is better to under-promise and over-deliver, but make sure you always live up to your promises
  • keep in touch - let them know when service contracts need to be renewed or when better deals become available
  • build personal relationships with key decision-makers
  • consider offering preferential terms - eg a bulk discount

Technology can help you improve your service. You might be able to let customers track deliveries through your delivery company's website. You can use your own website to provide useful information too, including downloads of customer manuals. You might also find it helpful to have a customer-only area of your site where you provide advance information - eg about new products or services.

Detailed customer databases with information about purchasing history, feedback and enquiries can also be harvested efficiently with customer relationship management (CRM) software.

It's important that you don't spread your resources too thinly. Make sure you give enough time to managing each of your key accounts. Ensure that staff are given adequate customer service training - they can make or break your reputation with customers. See manage your customer service