Convert Your Customers into Clients for Life

Don’t take your customers for granted. Draw up a long-term strategy to ensure customer loyalty and leverage it successfully to sell other products to improve the organizational bottom line.

“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company, from the chairman on down simply by spending his money somewhere else.” —Sam Walton 

Selling is challenging in this high-tech world where buyers are bombarded with loads of information with offers and freebies. Buyers have become choosy. Previously, it was a sellers’ market, but today it is a buyers’ market. 

The traditional mindset among buyers is “selling is pushing.” With advanced technology, the aspirations and expectations of customers and clients are changing rapidly. Often, it is challenging for sellers to satisfy their buyers who demand more for less. In this regard, we will explore innovative tools and techniques to retain customers and ensure customer loyalty. 

But first, let’s differentiate between customers and clients. There is a thin difference between customers and clients. Usually customers purchase products and goods, while clients seek professional services and advice. Customers are closely connected with tangible aspects, while clients are closely connected with intangible aspects. 

Tips to Retain Your Customers and Ensure Customer Loyalty 

“Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.” —Walt Disney

Sellers must reinvent as leaders and craft their vision to convert their customers into clients for life and execute it effectively. Precisely, they must blend their strategy and execution to accomplish their goals and objectives and achieve organizational excellence and effectiveness. Here are some tools and techniques for leaders to retain customers and ensure customer loyalty: 

  • Be transparent to build trust. 
  • Stand by your commitment. 
  • Ensure that there is no gap between your words and deeds. Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, remarked, “Open, honest communication is the best foundation for any relationship, but remember that at the end of the day, it’s not what you say or what you do, but how you make people feel that matters the most.”  
  • Be proactive. 
  • Keep the channel of communication open. 
  • Promise less, deliver more. 
  • Apply different strategies to different customers. 
  • Offer innovative products and services. 
  • Treat your customers like kings and queens. James Cash Penney once said, “Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” 
  • Offer quality products and services at reasonable prices. 
  • Maintain a long-term relationships with your customers after the sale. 
  • Adopt soft skills to attract and retain your customers.
  • Offer convenient payment methods and options to make things simpler and easier for customers. 
  • Remember their names and greet them on important occasions. 
  • Treat customer satisfaction as the end-product and sales as the by-product. 
  • Treat selling as a service, not as a business. 
  • Keep people above profits. 
  • Remember that every lead cannot be converted into sales.

Word of Mouth

According to Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising. Word of mouth is more effective than investing money on advertisements. To ensure that your business improves, invest in your efforts to satisfy your existing customers who spread the positive word about your products and services. Jeff Bezos rightly remarked, “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.” 

James M. Kouzes, Barry Z. Posner, and Deb Calvert’s book, “Stop Selling and Start Leading: How to Make Extraordinary Sales Happen,” reveals that buyers want you to care about the things that matter to them. They want you to demonstrate your commitment in visible ways. They want you to live the shared valuesof your brand promise. They want your personal commitment to them. When sellers reveal a lack of commitment to customers, buyers unite to demand change. When United Airlines dragged a passenger off a plane, the result was a loss of credibility about being “the friendly skies” and significantly raised the compensation for passengers who are bumped from flights. Buyer reactions to Uber’s surge pricing and seeming lack of concern for passenger safety cost the company dearly and slowed its growth. 

Be Creative and Innovative

“If you’re competitor focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer focused allows you to be more pioneering.” —Jeff Bezos 

With changing times and technologies, sales strategies, tools, and techniques have changed globally. There must be a creative mindset to adopt innovative tools and techniques to lead stakeholders, especially clients. 

You enjoy endless opportunities if you understand the tools and techniques to convert your customers into clients for life. Retaining your customers is challenging in this cutthroat, competitive world. You must be creative and innovative in your approach to be successful in your business. Don’t take your customers for granted. Draw up a long-term strategy to ensure customer loyalty and leverage it successfully to sell other products to improve the organizational bottom line.  

“If you make a sale, you can make a living. If you make an investment of time and good service in a customer, you can make a fortune.” —Jim Rohn

Professor M.S. Rao, Ph.D.is the father of “Soft Leadership” and founder of MSR Leadership Consultants, India. He is an international leadership guru with 37 years of experience and the author of more than 40 books, including “21 Success Sutras for CEOs” (http://www.amazon.com/21-Success-Sutras-Ceos-Rao/dp/162865290X). He is a C-suite advisor and global keynote speaker. He is passionate about serving and making a difference in the lives of others. His vision is to develop 1 million students as global leaders by 2030 (http://professormsraovision2030.blogspot.in/2014/12/professor-m-s-raos-vision-2030-one_31.html). He advocates gender equality globally (#HeForShe) and was honored as an upcoming International Leadership Guru by Global Gurus (http://globalgurus.org/upcoming-leadership-gurus). He serves as an advisor and judge for several international organizations, including Global Leadership Awards in Malaysia and Middle East Business Leaders Summits & Awards in Dubai. He developed teaching tool Meka’s Method; leadership training tool 11E Leadership Grid; and leadership learning tool Soft Leadership Grid. Most of his work is available free of charge on his four blogs, including http://professormsraovision2030.blogspot.com. He can be reached at: msrlctrg@gmail.com.

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