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Let PR show you how to create loving customers

By Lisa Goldsberry

16568923_sFollow these tips to make your customers swoon

Contrary to popular opinion, delighted customers are not natural; they are created. With so much competition, it’s not enough to simply gratify your customers. You must find ways to enchant them and keep them coming back for more.

The sales cycle funnel includes the stages of attraction, conversion, closing the sale and delighting your customers. Many companies spend all their time on the first three stages and then stop, apparently believing that once a customer makes a purchase, he will always remain loyal. However, like any relationship, it has to be nurtured and cherished, and a PR firm can help you do that.

Why customer love matters

The delight stage is perhaps the most crucial because it’s ultimately what keeps your business afloat. It would be impossible for a business to operate if you had to rely only on new business without the benefit of repeat customers. In addition, research has proven that it’s much less expensive to retain an existing customer than to recruit new ones.

Happy customers don’t just talk about their wonderful experiences with your company and brand, they also encourage others to purchase. Studies have shown that people are more likely to choose a product or service based on a recommendation from someone they know.

Ways to please and thrill your customers

Provide excellent customer service.

It may seem like a no-brainer, but so many companies get this wrong. You should strive not just to offer a friendly, courteous atmosphere, but an AMAZING customer experience. Do it in an enjoyable, welcoming manner using people, not machines.

Sometimes, this can be the only thing that separates you from the competition. All things being equal, a customer will elect to do business where she feels appreciated and sees proof that the company goes the extra mile. Some are even willing to pay more for this feeling.

Make your company customer-centric.

Customer delight should be the responsibility of every person at your company. Even employees who never come in contact with customers should still think of their responsibilities in terms of how it makes things better for customers.

Each time your customers or prospects come into contact with your company should be a satisfying experience. This includes clicking through your website, posts on social media, attending events, making a purchase and follow-up surveys. When you have this culture throughout your organization, it will become evident to your customers.

Think like a customer.

Look at your company as an outsider (or, better yet, recruit someone to go through the process and report back). Throughout the experience, does anyone try to discover where you are in the buyer’s journey and what you actually need? Companies that do an excellent job at anticipating customer needs and stressing solutions over product features have proven to be more successful.

Provide value both before and after the sale.

Think about the last time someone helped you solve a problem. This is something people usually appreciate and remember. It can be the same for your customers and prospects.

Activities like blogging, hosting informational seminars and offering useful tips can all help to establish your company as a go-to resource. These positive feelings translate easily into sales. After the sale, you can give them something extra, such as special discounts and exclusive deals to show your appreciation.

Hire a PR firm to help you.

At Axia, by using communication, innovation and education, we will help you foster real connections with your customers and create a symbiotic relationship. Register today for our 60-Second Impact to get the tools and resources you need to grow your business and help customers fall in love with your company.

Lisa Goldsberry is a writer for Axia Public Relations with more than 15 years of public relations experience. She specializes in business, higher education and technology PR. Connect with Axia Public Relations on Twitter @axiapr.

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Topics: public relations, inbound marketing

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