08 Feb 2012

Finding loyal clients

How can you create loyal customers?

At Brennan IT, we think the first thing to understand about customer loyalty is that loyal customers aren’t found, but made.

The most important driver is of course good customer service. But, for us, there’s also the question of understanding a customer’s business – of being able to identify how their needs will change as they grow, and building that relationship over time.

Customer service

The best way to lose a customer is to disappoint them.

At Brennan IT we concentrate our efforts on the delivering the kind of service that we believe our customers need. We think the customer service equation is about responsiveness, proactiveness, understanding and follow-through.

Something we keep in mind is that part of the reason for our initial success was that other providers – typically very large ones – weren’t serving mid-market customers well. Basic needs were (usually) met, but poor customer service meant that customers were looking to jump ship. We’re pleased that in those early days many of the customers who did are still our customers today.

Genuine understanding

Just as important as day-to-day service, we think, is long-term understanding.

There are two aspects to this. The first is customer understanding: knowing and continually revisiting the customer’s business, examining their needs and making suggestions about technologies that can improve how they work.

The second is product development: anticipating the future needs of customers and looking at how existing technologies can be adapted (or new technologies created) to meet them.

In this respect, customer service is not only about what customers see, but also the development work behind the scenes that they don’t see until the products in question are ready for their needs.

We think that both together are a great formula for producing loyal customers. What do you think? How have you tried to foster customer loyalty?