It’s no secret that the customer is the single most important factor in securing a future in business.
Customer satisfaction is what drives profitability and brand reputation in the long-term, so taking the time to examine and adjust your strategy so that clients keep coming back is a given. Here are five simple but effective ways to help encourage customer loyalty:
1. Generosity: Give and You Shall Receive
Gift-giving in business is always good practice no matter what industry you are in. Especially when you are engaging prospective customers in your business’ early days, offering a branded promotional product as a take-home to your first customers or visitors will reflect positively on your image. This can be anything from customized stationery to confectionary to homewares.
If you are setting up a stall or place at a market or convention, don’t make the mistake of giving out only business cards. Instead, hand out something a bit more special that includes your business name or logo, or create a gift package – way more memorable than a piece of paper!
2. Personalization: Remembering Names Is Just A Start
Tailor your newsletters and e-mail lists to the customer. Whether you are running a brick and mortar store or e-commerce business, personalization should be a priority when it comes to building customer loyalty. This can be as simple as sending product recommendations based on their past purchases, or a reminder email about products left in their online shopping carts. It is known that customers are more likely to buy from a brand that knows their name and purchase history, so be sure to use this to your advantage, or lose sales.
3. Recognize Loyalty: Don’t Just Praise, Reward
In the digital age of endless choices, repeat business is the first sign of loyalty and a cause for celebration. Don’t restrict the party to just your staff. Share your gratitude with your customers by rewarding them.
There are plenty of thoughtful yet affordable ways to go about this. You can host a “VIP Launch” when releasing new products and invite loyal customers, or send out a complimentary present to clients who reach a certain spending milestone. What better way to let a customer know you value them than with a gift?
4. Excellent Customer Service: This Is Non-Negotiable
Even if you spend months on market research, create the most beautiful logo and invest in a solid marketing plan, poor service standards or inconsistency is a surefire way to deter customers from coming back. Not only this but you will lose the chance for referrals and new business. Avoiding this is easy: it all comes down to paying attention.
With your team, take your time to hire the right staff and pay very close attention to ongoing performance and keeping everyone up-to-date on your products. With customers, don’t just read their online reviews but actively encourage feedback during the service process. This way you can attend to their needs at the moment and your customers will remember your business as a place that is focused on their experience.
There’s no excuse for subpar service standards, especially now you know how easy it can be to inspire customer loyalty. By implementing the above four tips and remaining mindful about your customer needs, you won’t just gain repeat customers but will eventually grow a community!