Determining how to maintain customer loyalty is essential to the success of your commercial cleaning company.
Especially when there are issues out of your control, it’s vital to know how to maintain customer loyalty. One of the potential issues that comes up regularly is supply chain struggles. This can be true even in the best of times.
If you’ve been in business for long, you know it’s not unheard of for your supplier to run out of the floor cleaner you use or your favorite floor scrubber pads. More than likely, you had an alternative that you made work until the next time you could order the supplies you prefer. This happens in every industry, from restaurants to automotive repair shops.
But as we’ve learned in the past few years, the global supply chain is precarious at times. Through no fault of our own, we may find that there’s a long wait for new equipment or it’s difficult to get the parts to repair and maintain the equipment we have. Manufacturers may shut down, or prices can increase unexpectedly.
We may find ourselves stuck between customers that expect continuity and suppliers that can’t give us the tools we need to meet those expectations. This isn’t as bad as it may sound, though. The key to getting through these times is determining how to maintain customer loyalty even when you face circumstances beyond your control.
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How to Maintain Customer Loyalty: 5 Ways to Get Through Business Supply Challenges
There are plenty of suggestions on how to maintain customer loyalty that begin by encouraging discounts to keep customers happy. However, this is often a reaction to a mistake, inconvenience, or perhaps a fear of losing customers to lower-priced competitors. Of course, discounts may be called for in certain circumstances. But the problem is that we can’t expect loyalty from our customers if everything we do is a reaction to some event.
The real key to retaining customers, whether you’re competing with lower-priced companies or you’re having supply chain issues, is to be proactive and build those relationships. Here are a few ways you can accomplish this.
1. Start building loyalty before they become customers. If you want to know how to maintain customer loyalty, you have to look at the matter as a journey and not a one-stop solution to your revenue. Customers become loyal because they value the service you provide, and also the way you provide it. And that begins from the very first contact. Show up on time for meetings, be accurate with your bid, be patient and answer questions thoroughly, and respond to inquiries as soon as possible. Most importantly, do everything you can in these first encounters to show that you are professional and put them at ease regarding the idea of working with you.
2. Get to know them. Commercial cleaning companies often work after hours or early in the morning. Even those who work daytime hours may keep a low profile. Larger cleaning operations may send a crew to do the job, and the person who bid for the account may not return to that facility except on occasion. That’s no way to build a relationship or maintain loyalty. No matter when you or your crew work, be sure to stop by regularly to check in and have some face-to-face time with the business owner or management.
3. Offer excellent value. This does not mean offering a low price. You need to decide what your prices are based on factors like payroll, office rental, and so on. Value, on the other hand, is what your customer gets in return for what they pay you. For example, your team shows up on time, works efficiently, does everything on the checklist, and is polite to the people working in the facility. There are never any problems with billing, and they’re easy to get in touch with whenever your customers have questions. Your competitor, by contrast, shows up late, or doesn’t show up at all. The team is rude, and they don’t always complete their assigned tasks. The administrative team is hard to reach, and they rarely can answer questions about service issues. So, which of these commercial cleaning companies is more valuable?
4. Keep in touch. In addition to being professional and customer-oriented, checking in, and offering excellent value, another secret for how to maintain customer loyalty is to stay in touch. Send out an email newsletter once per month. You don’t need anything extensive or fancy. In fact, it may be most helpful to keep things short and sweet. Offer a few tips on office organization or some trivia about the cleaning industry. Share business updates such as introducing new employees or civic awards. You aren’t trying to win any literary awards here. You just want to humanize your company, so you aren’t some random janitorial service that no one knows anything about.
5. Be transparent. The previous four tips will help you build loyalty and create relationships with your customers. But one very important suggestion for how to maintain customer loyalty when you have supply issues and can’t offer your typical level of service is to be absolutely transparent with your customers. Let them know as soon as feasible that you’re unable to get the supplies or equipment you need to do the job. However, there’s a second part to this. You also need to let them know how you plan to resolve the situation. Maybe that’s with a different product. Or perhaps the solution is to offer a discount. Your customers will appreciate the thought, and chances are they’ll be happy with whatever your solution is.
Supply chain issues are inconvenient, no doubt. But they don’t have to be the end of the world or the end of a relationship with your customers. Be honest and transparent, build relationships through excellent customer service and quality work, and you’ll have loyal customers no matter what.
If you’re ready to bring your cleaning organization to the next level, schedule a call with Janitorial Manager to see how our software can make your janitorial operation more successful!