How to Build Customer Loyalty for a Small Business
Any company on the market is based on the frail balance between attracting new customers and keeping existing ones. While fresh clientele helps the company grow, it’s repeat clients that usually spend more money, buy more frequently and promote the brand through mouth-to-mouth recommendations.
If many of a business’ new customers don’t turn into loyal ones, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong: either with the product/service they are offered, or with the experience they had when they contacted you.
Here are some ways to make sure that everything goes smoothly in your interactions with customers and to consolidate this essential strategy that is vital for a proper management.
The easiest and most widespread tactic to implement is a reward program — for any product or service of yours that clients acquire, they get another one free or a discount, or some other benefit that they might find attractive and turn you into a generous and considerate business owner.
Request customer feedback, thus giving yourself the opportunity to learn more about your buyers and about how the community views your business. If all is good, solicit suggestions and proposals that can take your company to an even higher standard of professionalism and success. If there are criticisms and flaws that people point out, show how you are working toward fixing them and let them know that their input really was important and taken into consideration. Address complaints, be open and offer compensations to disappointed clients, which will make them and others understand how much you value their presence.
Be technology-savvy. The Internet and the era of handheld devices has changed the market completely. People buy online, fill out return forms online and even request customer support via their electronic gadgets. Get ahead of the trend and make your website mobile-friendly, create a virtual assistant that greets people and asks them about any problems they might have before referring them to an actual human operator, and make sure the loading speed is super-fast — no one can afford to waste time nowadays.
Use the media to your advantage — communicate regularly with clients, whether it’s on social media, through Facebook, Twitter or TikTok, through e-mail by sending them newsletters, coupons or answers to FAQs, or even by phone, checking in and asking people how they are, if they would be interested in buying something in the near future or presenting a current campaign that you’re running.
Take your marketing strategy one step further: send customers advertisements for something related to what they previously searched for, purchased or what you believe they might need, based on extensive analysis. Small businesses have the time to get to know their clients and personalize offers, so that they suit each customer type. People will feel flattered and impressed and it is more likely that this tactic will turn them into loyal customers. Train your employees to connect with customers as well, since the right staff can help you ensure clientele loyalty.
6. Personal communication
People WANT to support small businesses — when on vacation, they won’t go and eat at Hard Rock Café or have a coffee at Starbucks, but instead, they’ll search for a side-street family-owned restaurant that can give them decent food and drinks, as well as a memorable, authentic experience. Personal connection matters a lot to customers, who will often be willing to pay more to get that feeling and, in turn, they will do you a service by telling other people all about it. When good experiences happen consistently, over time, people begin to have a sense of loyalty toward that company and that’s what small businesses should strive to achieve. Loyalty is hard to gain, but once you succeed, it will bring countless benefits and opportunities.
Build it solid
Communication, technology and rewards are all vital in building customer loyalty for the future of a business. If you make your audience feel appreciated and offer better products and a more intimate experience than your competitors, customers will have no reason to look elsewhere.
At TRISOFT we strongly believe it doesn’t take a big business to attain big brand customer loyalty. Small businesses can also use smart, strategic methods to increase customer experience and build lasting trust and affinity. Use the advice in this post to get you started.