Building customer loyalty for small businesses

September 14, 2017/0/0

It’s is so important for every small business to build customer loyalty.  Not only does it improve the chances of first – time customers coming back, but also builds a strong customer base and can make you stand out from the crowd and ultimately gives you the edge on your competition.

So what can you do to achieve your goal of improving your customer loyalty? Below we have listed several ways in which you can build customer loyalty and turn key customers into repeat business.

Make your customers feel special

One of the most important aspects of creating a strong relationship between yourself and your client/customer is making sure that they are made to feel special.  You have to think about the first contact you make with your client, what kind of impression you make?  The customer service you provide from the moment they get in touch or walk through your shop door is imperative to the success of building customer loyalty and making your customers feel  special.

Small businesses can also have synergies with other local businesses and local customers so it’s a good idea to get to know the people and how the companies around you operate.  Remembering specific things such as names, personality traits and their key purchases are great ways to demonstrate that you are keen to build a strong relationship with them.

Another way is rewarding your customers.  Look at some of the big established brands such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Boots with their customer loyalty cards. The more times the customers buy their products, the more points they can earn – meaning the customers can get money off on purchases like paying for fuel or their next holiday.

Get your customer involved

 Imagine your customers like extended family and actually get to know them and also, get them involved in your company. This suggests that your main focus isn’t on making a profit at the end of the year but shifting your focus on putting your customers first and making them feel like they are valued.  A good way to do this is by holding a community event such as a coffee morning, summer BBQ or even an outdoor activity where you can get people involved.  Alternatively, you could host an open day and provide free food and drinks.

You should also display to your customers that you actively listen to their thoughts, opinions, and views.  Consider setting up a suggestion box where they can put their ideas to improve the efficiency of your company.  It is also a good idea to do email questionnaires where you current customers can fill out options where they think certain areas of your business could be improved – all of this can be done an anonymously of course.

 

How about this idea, you can increase engagement by creating online forums using your website or even through Social Media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. By doing this, your customers can create online forums so they can discuss improvements with you and each other. Showing that you’re doing all you can you to keep them happy, involved and engaged can go a long way in building trust and, in turn, loyalty.

Improving the customer experience

It is such an important factor when trying to do all you can to improve your customer experience. The ones that stand out and are crucial are: making sure you keep check of your stock levels; delivering your services on time – whether that is delivering items or meeting deadlines; and consistently producing high-quality products or work to the complete satisfaction of your customer. It is important that you demonstrate yourself as an expert in your business industry.  After all, nobody wants a novice working for them.

Having a clear understanding of your offerings inside out, and having exceptional knowledge of your business industry, can give your customers the confidence that you are going to deliver a top quality service. This allows you to then help and advise your customers, even in the circumstances where there are products or services you don’t offer. This shows that you’re happy to help your customers in ways that don’t just benefit you.  In return, this can encourage them to continue to allow you to work for them and ultimately allow you to offer them a fantastic customer experience.

 

Improve employee morale.

 

It is also important to consider how your own employees engage with your customers and if they are happy overall in the workplace.  Having people that work for you who can be trusted to handle and solve problems to the satisfaction of your customers is absolutely crucial when it comes to growing a successful a business. This, however, can only be achieved if your employees feel that they are valued and appreciated.

How your employees embrace their job will impact on how they go about building a strong foundation with your customer’s loyalties. Different forms of morale boosting strategies might be career-advancing training or days out where they can enjoy activities as a team .

 

Daniel Carter, founder of “CrusieNewPortBeach”, a company who work in the luxury travel industry, says he really saw the rewards on working with their employees, giving them specific training on how to help the customer. “We had all of our employees go through training in handling customer requests before they are trusted with the role of interacting with customers directly.”   While this kind of strategy may seem time-consuming, it can really pay off in the long term.

 

Do you have any other strategies on Building customer loyalty? Make sure you share it with us below!

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