To small businesses, customer loyalty is the key to success. When competing against big, well-established brands, encouraging customers to return to
Your business time and time again is vital.
It’s more expensive and time-consuming trying to attract brand-new customers, so keeping the same customers coming back to do business with you should be a priority. You’ve already worked hard to attract those customers in the first place, so make sure you’re putting in enough effort to retain them. Here’s how you can grow customer loyalty:
Exceptional Customer Service
Exceptional customer service is what drives people back to your business so they become lifelong customers. Customer service should be the very backbone of every organisation. How you communicate with your customers and handle their issues/queries is what they will remember when they need your services again. And they will pass this information on to friends and family if they were treated exceptionally well or incredibly poorly.
Listen to your customers and address any concerns or complaints they have in a timely manner. Ensure it’s easy for people to contact representative
s from your business who can help them; keep all your contact details visible on your website and social media so customers don’t have to search for too long for a number or an email. Turn a bad customer experience into a good one with prompt, courteous and efficient customer service.
Personalised Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to engage customers, but personalisation is what will keep them coming back. According to eConsultancy, 74% of marketers agree that targeted personalisation in emails increases engagement. Build a targeted, personalised email campaign that keeps your customers informed about everything going on in your business, and that provides offers and information specifically relevant to them.
If a customer called a member of your team, follow up with a personalised email asking about their experience. This level of personalisation shows your customers that you care, making them feel valued by your business.
A customer will be much more inclined to do business with a company that is reliable and provides the same level of service each and every time. Regardless of the request, the order, or the customer, your customer service should always be the same. Consumers will trust your business and your brand if they know they can keep coming back and get what they expect with no nasty surprises.
Offer Early Incentives
Offering an early incentive to customers works at both retaining them but also drawing them in in the first place. Consider how many coffee shops use stamp cards so customers get a drink free after buying a certain number, some companies might stamp a customer’s card twice for their first drink to give them a head start. Tricks like this are great for encouraging people to stick around, as once they’ve started, they’re more likely to stick around and carry on enjoying their perks.
Own Any Mistakes
Mistakes happen. Orders get missed, or something gets lost in transit due to human error or circumstances out of your control. If a customer complains about your services, avoid getting defensive or sensitive about an issue that was your fault. Instead, take responsibility to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and offer sincere apologies to the customer. Try to do this through platforms like social media or review websites so your efforts can be seen and appreciated by outside observers, too.
An angry customer might seem like a lost cause for turning them into a returning customer. But by demonstrating how well you can handle their concerns, they could still be persuaded to return as a loyal customer despite the mistake.
Always over-deliver on your promises. Customers will be delightfully surprised when you go above and beyond for them. For example, if your contact page states that all queries will be answered in two to three business days, responding on the same day will exceed the customer’s expectations. It all goes a long way to demonstrate that you care about customer concerns, creating a positive association between them and your business.
Ask for Feedback
You can’t expect to improve your services if you don’t know what your customers want. To retain their loyalty to your business, you need to ask their opinions on your services and respond accordingly.
This can be done in a physical store by employees, although this may not yield reliable results as people can be too shy to give an honest opinion in person. But it demonstrates your business cares. For a more accurate answer, an email survey with an incentive, like a discount code, is a great way to find out how your business is performing from a customer perspective and how you can improve.
Customers want to be assured that the company they are buying products and services from knows what they’re talking about. A lack of knowledge will come across as unprofessional and drive people away. To attract and retain customers, all your employees should be extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of your business. You can share your knowledge and expertise with blog posts on your website, or even post video demonstrations to your social media platforms.
By building customer loyalty, you save on marketing costs and build a reliable customer base that will help benefit the bottom line. Follow these tips and you should be able to keep your customers motivated to keep returning.
This article was written by Howlader & Co.