No matter the size of your business, customer loyalty is one of the most important factors for success. In fact, repeat customers spend up to 70% more with a business compared to new, one-time customers, and it’s up to ten times more costly to try and attract new customers compared to keeping the ones who are already shopping with you. If you are running a new business and looking for some actionable ways to create, inspire, and maintain customer loyalties, consider implementing a few of these tried-and-tested strategies.
Stay in Communication
Frequent communication with your customers not only lets them know that you care about their needs, but also allows you to pass on important information as quickly as possible, and keeps your brand fresh in their minds. Don’t just wait for customers to come back; get proactive about it by taking the time to set up a database with customer contact information that you can use to send them monthly newsletters, friendly reminders, and even birthday greetings. Social media is also a fantastic way to communicate regularly with your customers; don’t just focus on using it to advertise, post updates that provide information and help you get to know your customers better.
One of the best and often cheapest methods of rewarding customer loyalty is to provide perks and extras to the customers that come back the most. Whether it’s money off, a free product, skipping the line, or something else, customers love having their loyalty recognized and getting a little something extra for it. Setting up a reward system for your most loyal customers not only encourages them to stick around and continue returning to your store but also provides an incentive for new customers to reach that status as well.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
While it might seem obvious, this tip is definitely worth mentioning simply because it’s so important. Surveys have suggested that over half of customers will go and look elsewhere if they are unhappy with the level of customer service that they are receiving from a business. There’s no denying that customers remember when they are treated well and felt valued, and remember even more when they are treated poorly. And, customers who feel valued and appreciated for shopping with you are more likely to return again and again, plus tell their family and friends about their excellent experience.
Don’t Over-Rely on Technology
Today’s society is very technologically advanced and for businesses, this means that you can easily communicate with customers without ever having to speak to them face-to-face. But, does this do you any favors in terms of customer loyalty? Probably not, as even though emails, text messages and instant messaging has become the norm for most of us, we still want the ability to interact with other humans. You can probably relate to the frustrating feeling of being stuck in what seems like never-ending automated messages, pressing all the phone keys in the hope of getting an actual person on the line. So, keep in mind that while automation may be cheaper, highly trained, friendly customer service reps are worth the cost for the customer loyalty that they will help to build.
Put Your Customer First
When customers feel that they are your top priority as a business, they will continue coming back to shop with you again and again. There’s a reason why some people will spend more money than they need to by shopping at a more expensive supermarket even though a cheaper option is closer; it’s because they feel like a rock star when they shop with the expensive brand and as a result, have decided it’s worth spending that extra money to get that experience. And, there are many ways that your young business can show customers that you put them first. During the current situation with COVID19, this could come in the shape of making it clear to customers that their safety is the top priority with strict social distancing measures in-store, making hand sanitizing products freely available for customers to use, and even providing simple and inexpensive masks for them to put on when they come into your store.
Give Customers a Reason to Be Loyal
Finally, when it comes to your products or services, it’s important to give customers a reason to be loyal to them. If you offer a product or service that your customers think cannot be beaten, they’ll in turn be devoted to your business with a passion. Work hard to figure out what customers think of the product or service that you offer, and focus on providing a great service to those customers who demonstrate that they are passionate about it in order to figure out what you need to be doing with every customer who shops with you.
Customer loyalty will help your business grow; it simply can’t be stressed enough just how important it is.
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