While doing research for a client in order to boost their client retention, I have really learned a few things. I thought it would make for a great blog post to help others as well as remind myself.

So we have all used customer relationship management software, whether in the sales process or in the win-back of lapsed clients, it is a fantastic tool to keep all pertinent data in one location. At the click of a mouse, you have the clients information in front of you which gives the customer that personal touch that we all love.

We have also seen customer loyalty programs in business. This may be a retail store offering a free item with the purchase of 3 other items. Or every 4th visit you get a free cup of coffee. While that is nice, it is not the real reason we are patronizing the store. If we didn’t like the product, giving it for free would not really be beneficial to us, would it?

Customer loyalty cannot be bought, it must be earned!

I have loyalty cards from the 8 major grocery chains in my area hanging from my keychain. Does it pay? To build loyalty, you must earn it. But how?

  • Customer communication – be sure to keep in communication with your client base. Send them small thank you’s, birthday cards and company newsletters.
  • Make sure you focus on the customer over your company, keep the focus on the customer’s needs and not your needs (customer centric)
  • Establish good ethics – be a company that the customer can really trust

Customer loyalty and retention is about relationships. If you build a solid foundation, your customer will not only remain but they may just refer new business to you.MA cropped2

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CHARLOTTE, NC– This week board and members of the Delaware Valley Virtual Assistants Association (DVVAA) attended the International Virtual Assistants Association’s (IVAA) seventh Annual Summit at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Charlotte, North Carolina, at what proved to be one of its best conferences to date. With 83 professionals in attendance from the US and Canada over the three-day event, DVVAA members made up a whopping 15% of the Summit participants!

 

DVVAA attendees included all of its board members: Carla Wilson, President; Michelle Murphy, VP of Marketing; Laura Pumo, VP of Communication; Corie Stewart, VP of Membership; and Mary Motz, VP of Technology.

 

The IVAA Summit for virtual assistants (VAs) included a variety of presentations, breakout sessions with panel and round table discussions, plus numerous informal networking opportunities. Keynote Speaker Dave Lieber (www.yankeecowboy.com) delighted the audience with his opening and closing remarks, touching on topics such as the importance of customer service. VA industry pioneer Tawnya Sutherland of the Virtual Assistant Network Association (www.vanetworking.com )  spoke about SEO optimization for business. Marketing was a recurring theme at the event, and was expanded on by dynamic speakers such as Debbra Sweet of Sweet Marketing (www.sweetmarketingsolutions.com) and Stephanie Frank (www.stephaniefrank.com), best-selling author of “The Accidental Millionaire”. Other subjects ranged from niches in bookkeeping, transcription and writing, to working for life coaches and providing VA support in the real estate industry.

 

“Dinner with Strangers” on Thursday evening set the stage for a unique and wonderful networking opportunity. Each conference participant signed up for dinner at one of four restaurants and was able to interact over a meal with someone they may not have previously met.

 

For the upcoming year, Michelle Murphy of Murphy Assistants will be working with the Sponsorship Committee on numerous IVAA events, including its Summit 2009, for which she will be soliciting and managing the organization’s corporate sponsorship.

 

IVAA (www.ivaa.org ) is an industry leader dedicated to promoting and aiding professional development within the VA industry. DVVAA serves Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, working with both clients requiring specialized business assistance, as well as VAs looking for contracts or support.