Have you got the new iPhone 6 yet?

Has “bendgate” influenced your decision whether or not to buy the new model?

How loyal are you to brand Apple and its products and services? Has it retained your loyalty? If so, how?

Websites like mynextfon.co.uk confidently say that “analysts still expect Apple to generate strong iPhone 6 sales.”

After all, more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices were sold in their first weekend, in 10 countries! Pretty good sales, IMO.

Apple must have retained a LOT of loyal customers, both new and existing. So what strategies can we learn from mega brands like Apple in terms of effective customer retention, even when the going gets tough? Well, the easiest way to grow your business is NOT to lose customers. The average business loses around 20% of its customers annually simply by failing to attend to customer relationships. In some sectors leakage can be as much as 80%.

Here are three useful tips from the experts at Creativedge:-

1. Service Integrity

• Long term success and customer retention comes to those who don’t take ethical shortcuts. There must be total consistency between what you say and do and a customer’s experience.

• The design, build-quality, reliability and serviceability of your product must be to the standard your customers want, need, and expect.

• Service integrity is also demonstrated by how you handle the small things, as well as the large.

• Customers will be attracted if you are open and honest with them, take a genuine interest in them, never let them down, and practise what you preach. They’ll avoid you if you don’t.

2. Regular Contact

• Avoid losing customers by building relationships and keeping in touch using a rolling calendar of communications. For example, use a programmed sequence of letters, events, phone calls, "thank you’s," special offers and cards or notes with a personal touch.

These should occur constantly and automatically in the pre-sales, sales and post sales process. Customers not only respond to this positively, but they will appreciate it because they feel valued, acknowledge and important. It keeps them informed, offsets post-purchase doubts and reinforces the reason they’re doing business with you. It bonds the relationship so they come back to you again and again.

3. Complaints are gifts!

• Are you serious? Yes, I am! 96% of dissatisfied customers don’t complain. They just walk away and you’ll never know why. That’s because they don’t know how to complain or can’t be bothered, are too frightened or don’t think it will make a difference. While they may not tell you want’s wrong they will certainly tell others! (take a look at the tweets on #BendGate and on Facebook).

Unearthing complaints is the lifeblood of your business. Why? Because a complaining customer is giving you a ‘gift’. They are still ‘talking’ to you, and so giving you an opportunity to delight them with a response. The way in which you respond to this will give you another chance to show them what you’re made of by resolving matters, and so create even greater and improved customer loyalty. Don’t miss it!

What makes YOU loyal to Apple, or indeed to any other brand? Please share your thoughts!

Want to have more tips for customer retention and hundreds of other issues facing your company and staff?

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