They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Competitors can build their company based on your business model, but they’ll never be able to duplicate what makes your company unique. This is especially true where customer loyalty is concerned.

A customer’s longevity with your company showcases that they’re not going anywhere, especially when competitors try to lure them away. By continuously striving to delight your customers, they’ll repeatedly come back, making longevity the ultimate goal for your company.

Ways to Earn Longevity

Little things can make a big difference: Whether your customers are mass retailers or a mom-and-pop shop, they deserve the best you have to offer. You’re going to be memorable when you take the time to respond quickly and give them your full attention in face-to-face meetings. Proactively checking in with a routine call and showing concern for how things are going builds loyalty.

Show you care: Showing thoughtfulness may not be a standard practice within the business industry, but it should always be a part of your company’s culture. Encourage your staff to do one random act of kindness each day and to thank your customers for their business.

Go out of your way: Another way to delight customers is by making them feel special. For example, send an ink cartridge refill after three months with a note saying, “You’re probably close to running out, so I’m sending you this first refill with my compliments.” Customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals generate long-term revenue, and it’s nothing compared to the small cost of showing your appreciation.

Don’t leave customers in the dark:  It’s important to keep your merchants up to date and informed when there’s any changes in pricing, shipment delays, compliance and regulatory environments. Let them know if something arises immediately because these efforts demonstrate that you care about their business.

Keep in touch: Getting in the habit of saying thank you after closing a sale is one thing, but it’s another to follow up monthly or quarterly to check in and see if everything’s going well.

Melissa Christensen, who leads our relationship management at DigiPay Solutions, has a quarterly call plan in place. “Our clients appreciate the call to not only catch up, but also to warn us as to potential problems to fix, or opportunities for cross sales,” she said. “We’ve found that the more products a client has with us, the less likely it is for them to leave us.”

Surpass their expectations:  In our industry, reputation is everything. You can increase your merchant’s perception of your company by quoting a five-day delivery. Say it arrives after three-days, which shows you went above just simply meeting their expectations.

Remember, the costs associated with acquiring new customers are much larger compared to keeping them. Your existing merchants are already bringing in your residuals.

Mike Ackerman is President of DigiPay Solutions Inc., which specializes in high-risk, high-volume, card-not-present and business-to-business merchant services. Contact him at