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4 Ways to Create Customers for Life

customers for life

Denise Cage, the assistant director of customer experience at BellXcel, shares how organizations can elevate experiences and create customers for life. 

Research proves acquiring a new customer costs five to seven times more than retaining an existing one. That’s why many organizations focus on elevating their customer’s experience to build loyalty, which translates into membership renewals and network referrals.

Managing community recreation businesses post-pandemic requires reimagining revenue streams, creating long-lasting partnerships and creatively marketing the variety of programs you offer. Knowing why your customer comes back day after day could be your secret weapon to growth.

Santiago Prada, senior executive of membership and wellness for the YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas, recently described this perfectly when he said “The experience and connections our staff and collective membership create by facilitating human connection can ultimately be the defining factor in what will allow us to fully recover from the pandemic.”

Connections staff members make with your customers can position your organization as a necessity in their day-to-day lives. Research shows providing high-quality customer experiences can bring in 5.7 times more revenue than organizations that lack this key business strategy. Even better, customer loyalty transfers into powerful word-of-mouth marketing. When customers speak highly of your organization, it further elevates your organization as a great place to be within the community. Thus, attracting new members and reaching a greater network long-term.

So, how can your organization elevate your customer’s experience?

Know your customers. Strengthen customer relationships first by understanding their needs. You develop a strong foundation of trust with customers when you take time to listen with genuine curiosity, check that you understand their perspective and respond to their needs in a timely way.

Shape your strategy from your customer’s voice. Survey your members — adults and children — and staff to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the quality of experiences being provided. Leaders who shape their future plans and goals with the voice of their community drive more sustainable retention of both staff and customers making it a win-win for all.

Share your impact with the community. Track metrics from the start so when the time comes, you have a powerful story to tell. Back real customer stories with data to build awareness of your impact. Consider hosting an open house to give program stakeholders an opportunity to observe your program in action, meet your leadership and staff, and learn more about your organization and mission.

Prioritize strong engagement. Keep members informed with regular communication and direct messages, capture and highlight their successes often, and share exciting community announcements. This will further enhance loyalty and prioritize you as the go-to organization for the services you offer.

Loyalty is a strong measure of the likeliness of a customer coming back again and again. Intentionally building experiences that increase customer satisfaction and the value they receive every day creates what every business thrives on — customers for life.

Denise Cage

Denise Cage is the assistant director of customer experience at BellXcel. For more information, visit bellxcel.org.

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