Winning and Retaining Customers in Six Steps

John Krautzel
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Every winter, the holiday shopping season brings with it a windfall of American consumers in search of the perfect gifts. The keys for retailers to boost sales during this frenetic time involve winning customers and then keeping them.

These return customers form the lifeblood of a business. Loyal customers who come back form a sales base that increases total sales over time. Word-of-mouth references from these consumers lead to more first-time customers coming in the door or checking out your company's website. Follow these six steps for winning customers and then maintaining their repeat business.

1. Assess Your Internet Resources

Ask yourself if your website, social media accounts and blogs create a good impression of your business. Winning customers may start with your Web presence rather than a physical storefront thanks to retail technology that syncs websites, apps, mobile devices and e-commerce. Take a look at your website's ease of use on a mobile device, and then make sure your contact information is accurate.

2. Increase Sales Copy on Your Home Page

Instead of offering more products on your website's main page, increase sales and marketing copy. More information, organized in a relevant way on the first page consumers see, gives customers the data they need to make a purchase on their own without seeing a ton of products flashed before their eyes. Winning customers, in this case, means less clutter on your home page.

3. Focus on Customers

Sales copy focuses on customers, so change verbiage on your website with more "you" language instead of "I" and "we." Winning customers includes language that puts the consumer first and the company second.

4. Read the Comments

Ascertain how the positive and negative comments made about your products or services affect your Web presence. Reviews posted to your website should include negative ones. Otherwise, customers may believe you paid for positive reviews.

5. Respond to Feedback

Respond appropriately to feedback, especially the negative comments. How you handle complaints in public view leads to a better overall impression of your brand and, ultimately, a larger customer base. Take into account negative things about products and services, and then show how you improved based on each learning experience.

6. Serve Those Who Take Care of Your Business

Always ask your customers, "How may I help you?" When you genuinely serve the needs of the customer, you serve your own bottom line. Take the mentality, "If you build it, they will come." Build a vibrant customer service attitude, and the money arrives shortly afterward. Train staff on customer service skills, including responding to Twitter, Facebook and blog posts about your product.

How your company handles a sincere apology to a customer goes a long way to retain customers and boost sales. Even after a bad experience, loyal customers may continue to stay with your company. Up to two-thirds of consumers may spend a little more money if it means receiving good customer service.

Winning customers doesn't have to be hard. Follow six simple steps to get more people to purchase your products and services, and then repeat the cycle to stay on top of your game.

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