Loyalty is Earned through Effective Relationship Marketing
Most network marketers, are familiar with the term relationship marketing. The foundation of relationship marketing is a personal or emotional connection to a brand. This type of connection is centered on trust. Trust in you and trust in a product or service. And, as we know, where there is trust loyalty is not too far behind. This, is what breeds long term retention and a thriving business.
Relationships Foster Loyalty
We talk a lot about residual income when it comes to network marketing. After all, it is what we are all striving for, right? Well, then knowing this wouldn’t you want to do everything you could to ensure customer retention thus, loyalty exists?
Of course you would!
Then, let me ask you a tough question …
Why is this commitment to the customer lost along the way?
Let’s consider some of these statistics for a moment. In the general world of business, it costs business owners 6 to 7 times more to bring on a new customer than it does to retain an existing one. This includes paid advertising which we appreciate network marketers aren’t deep into. But, this also includes things like vendor events, home parties, and let’s be honest those coffee shop meetings add up!
However, stats also show that of those existing customers (when treated right), 86% of them will spend more money with you.
Why? Because they love the product sure, but a lot of this falls on you.
Think about the last few customers who joined and/or purchased from your business. What happened after the purchased a product or service from you?
3 Ways to Promote Customer Loyalty
Here’s the deal, majority of network marketers join their prospective businesses because they fell in love with the product. Chances are, you may have been a customer before you ever became a distributor. Now, we understand this isn’t always true … but a safe assumption is that it is the majority
And, we also know that customers often make the best distributors, right?
What would be more valuable to you?
- 10 new customers every month with a purchase longevity of 90 days or,
- 2 new customers every month with a purchase longevity of 5 years
We are going to assume, you chose number two. In our humble opinion, that would be the right choice. And yet, we constantly see distributors chasing those new faces while forgetting the existing ones. Yes, new customers are important — of course they are. Customers are imperative to long term success. And yet, this is lost.
Think about how you might feel if someone spent days, weeks or even months following up with you, checking in .. and then you decide to buy and *poof* you never hear from them again. Except maybe at the end of the month (which by the way is a horrible habit). We appreciate month end burning the midnight oil, but this is where consistent follow up through the month should happen. Again, in our opinion of course.
So, while you go through these next 3 ways to promote customer loyalty, put yourself in the customer shoes.
#1 Word of Mouth
We all know how powerful word of mouth marketing is. And, customers are the greatest at this. Why? Because they have no attachment to anyone making or purchase or not. They are simply sharing something they love. This goes for any industry.
Sam purchases a weight loss shake from you. He’s shy and maybe even embarrassed so he doesn’t tell anyone first. That is, until he starts to see the pounds dropping. People start to notice and say things like ‘hey Sam you’re looking good!‘. What is Sam going to do now?
Tell others about the shake!
… and so on and so on.
And, thanks to the power of social media — this type of news travels fast. So if you treated Sam right, he would not only be sharing his love for the product but endorsing you for introducing him to it, over and over again. Let Sam sing your praises! This is where, you need to love on your customers.
Customer Loyalty Tip: Say thank you and mean it. Letting customers know you appreciate their business is more than a — thanks for your order email. Authentic appreciation means making a follow up call and being available to answer questions even after the sale is completed.
#2 Honesty can be Profitable
One thing we always work with our clients on, and what we practice in our business is transparency. Remember, social media gives everyone a voice — so you want to make sure that you customers are using it for, good. You want to encourage testimonials and always ask permission before sharing one (that includes a name).
Think about this, you give Sam a follow up call and he can’t stop talking about how great the product is. Do not shy away from asking him for a testimonial or reviews. In fact, ask him to post about it even. He opened the door — don’t let these opportunities pass you by.
People want to feel heard and cared about. We’ve all heard that saying ‘people won’t always remember what you said, but they always remember how you made them feel’. This area of improving loyalty, should also include if a customer has a concern or a complaint. Ensure that they are being heard, and you will work with them to make sure it is resolved.
This may mean a phone call to customer service on their behalf, some type gesture that will help them feel, appreciated.
Customer Loyalty Tip: Create a culture of transparency, where if you make a mistake it isn’t the end of the world. Be authentic in your dealings with customers. Their loyalty to you, will reward you over and over again.
#3 Relationships go the Extra Mile
Loyalty is built not just through your products or service, but through your relationships. Little things make all the difference, like remembering what flavor of shake Sam likes, or like remembering a detail from a previous conversation. Genuine relationships make a critical difference when it comes to customers leaving or staying.
Customers who feel recognized, whose needs are anticipated and who receive consistently excellent support and products will come back for more. As we mentioned above, they become your best advertisers telling everyone they know.
And, they are more inclined to be open to the business side of things as well.
Tip: Be proactive. As network marketers, follow up on previous conversations with prospects. Keeping customer relationships strong also keeps sales strong.
Final Thoughts on Customer Loyalty
Many network marketers completely ignore the retail customers simply because they’ve been misguided to go after the big aka bonus money. They have been taught that the people who simply buy your products from retail are just a residual byproduct of going after downline distributors.
In our opinion? You should be focused on both. You have to meet people where they’re at. Think about it this way — Sam wanted to lose weight and he knew you had something that may be able to help him. Instead, you ‘pitch’ him on the business. Sam stops returning your calls/messages and next thing you know, Sam is drinking the same weight loss shake from a distributor which whom he felt heard by.
Sam, goes on to reach his goal weight and because of his product story, decides to build a business with it. How would you feel, if Sam ended up to be the top earner in said company? Wished you would have heard him, right?
We thought so.
Loyalty from your customers will take you great places in this industry. Please, do not lose sight of that.
p.s. in case you are wondering about the image on this blog, we couldn’t think of anything more loyal than a dog … can you?
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