8 Ways to Create Direct Sales Customer Loyalty
Marketing experts assert that it’s much easier to keep a customer you already have than it is to find a new one and convince them to buy from you. That’s why, especially in today’s economy, it’s imperative to do all you can as a direct sales consultant to develop loyalty in your existing customers. Not only loyalty to the company, but specifically loyalty to you, their consultant.
Thankfully, this can be accomplished by focusing on your customer and doing everything you can to make them feel appreciated while keeping your name in the front of their thoughts.
1. Communicate with your customers on a regular basis throughout the year. Use ezines and newsletters, direct mail, postcards, Christmas and birthday cards, telephone calls and more. How you do it isn’t nearly as important as that you do it. Stay in touch with them, and when your customers need what you have to offer, they’ll come to you–the person they know.
2. Create a customer loyalty rewards program. Use referral points or frequent buyer cards to show your appreciation for your customers in visible ways. You could offer a discount based on every point they earn, give a free gift after X number of purchases, or make them a member of your preferred customers club. This is a low cost, yet extremely effective way, to build customer rapport and strengthen the customer relationship.
3. Make it easy to contact you by prominently displaying contact information on your website, business cards, and literature. While we live in a world where most people prefer to communicate via email, many customers still want a more personal approach to their business contacts. Set yourself apart from all the other direct sales reps by providing a simple way for customers to reach you by phone, or at the very least, by instant messenger.
4. Borrow concepts from the brick and mortar world by converting a few common customer service principles to use online, or on the phone. For instance, many employees are instructed to greet every customer as they enter the store. You can do the same thing with a pleasant greeting at the top of your website. Some webmasters use pop-ups for this, but be cautious. Pop-ups can become annoying very fast.
5. Another concept is to let customers know someone is available to help if they need it. Virtually, you can do this by giving your customers your cell phone, by providing a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) with a prominent link on your website, or by offering live chats via a web interface. There are many free and low-cost programs that allow you to offer this service from your site.
6. Consider sharing your expertise and advice as well. You can provide free articles on topics that relate to your direct sales company products. If you sell beauty products, for example, offer make-up and skin care tips, fashion helps, hair care information and more. If you sell kitchen items, offer recipes, cooking tips and grocery shopping help. Whatever your company provides, take it a step further and offer free information that correlates to the product line.
7. Provide service beyond your customer’s expectations. Offer service with a virtual smile–or a real one when you deal with people directly. Handle problems and returns quickly and cheerfully. If your company charges for returned items, let your customers know that you allow returns on any item they purchase from you, even though the company won’t take it back. Talk about going the extra mile! And you can bet the word will get around that your are the best consultant for your direct sales company to be found.
8. When shoppers leave the store, many employees go out of their way to say thank you, wish them a nice day and invite them to return. You can do the same by sending simple thank you cards, or emails and letting your customers know that you appreciate them and their loyalty to you.
Direct sales competition can be fierce, but if you practice excellent customer care and go beyond the norm in providing quality service to your customers, they’ll reward you with loyalty, return sales and word of mouth referrals. You can’t ask for more than that, can you?