This is a guest post by Brenda Berg.
Your small business depends on customer loyalty. Attracting new customers is difficult, so it’s paramount you keep your regulars coming back again and again. You can accomplish this task by getting customer feedback, enacting loyalty reward programs, enhancing the customer’s experience, properly training your employees, using social media, and adding a personal touch.
Ask your customers
If you’re thinking of implementing some changes, don’t assume you know what your customers are thinking. Get some feedback. Doing this will provide you with some useful information, while at the same time making your customers feel valued and included. Eventually, your small business aims to meet the requirements of your customers.
The best time to get customer opinions is right after doing business. You’ll get some valuable insights by asking while the experience is still fresh in their minds. If you get complaints be sure to thank them and make sure they know you will solve their problem.
Loyalty reward programs
Loyalty rewards programs are a great way to ensure your customers are spending at your business, and not your competitor’s. Generally, these programs allow customers to accumulate points that can only be redeemed at the business where they were earned (or an affiliate).
They’re a good way to reward your regular customers too. You can offer points for every X amount spent and encourage your customers to shop where they can get a little extra for buying items they need anyway.
John Fisher, a marketing director at Australian Help, recommends, “To maximize the effects of a loyalty program, set up partnerships with other businesses and you will make your reward points much more valuable to your customer. It’s best to keep these programs simple so your customers don’t get frustrated and give up on them.”
Enhance customer experience
It’s not always about the money. Customer experience is a major factor in whether or not they come back. A study done by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs discovered 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. One important way to improve customer experience is a solid customer support system for issues with your software. You can increase customer satisfaction a lot by helping them out with answers when they really need them. Design your customer support so it is easy to access and minimizes customer waiting times.
Proper employee training
Your employees are the face of the company, so keep them happy and well trained. The first step in this process is a properly written employee handbook. Motivate and train your employees so they can solve customer complaints as quickly as possible.
It’s essential that your employees know how important their patience is to resolving issues and keeping customers loyal. Of course, for your employees to be effective they must have good morale. You can boost morale by offering career-advancing training or providing incentives based on their success in satisfying customers.
Provide valuable content on your website
Your small business’ website is your business card, the modern way to communicate with customers, receive orders and feedback. It’s essential to provide answers to your customers’ possible questions using content. If you write not only about your company, product or service but also share your expertise and give advice, you can highly increase customers’ loyalty.
It is necessary to create unique content. not copy pasted from your competitors or niche websites. This will help you to build trust and loyalty as well, so you can check your content using Copyscape or Academized to avoid plagiarism.
Also, be aware of tone and grammar of your content. According to study, 59% of people state that poor grammar, typos and errors on websites are reasons to avoid buying from this company or doing business with it. So make sure it’s written with proper grammar. You can turn to State of Writing and Via Writing guides.
Use social media
Social media can be an incredibly effective tool to maintain customer loyalty. Use social media as a platform for customers to voice concerns and also to tell what you’re doing right.
After all, you can’t fix a problem if you don’t know it exists, and social media is a low-confrontation way for a dissatisfied customer to voice their concerns. You can also use social media to send out regular newsletters, keeping your business at the top of your customers’ minds.
The personal touch
Make your customers feel important. Have management go out, choosing strategic opportunities, and interact with customers. Greeting and chatting with the customers in this way can give them a unique experience and encourage them to come back again. Creating a place that is welcoming and that feel like a community, such as Sephora Beauty Talk or PaperFellows, is key to retaining your customers.
According to study conducted by Demand Metric and DNN, 18% of business owners state that 30% of revenue is under influence of their branded online communities. So it is crucial to make your customer feel like they belong and give them a sense of community.
You’ve put a lot of time and effort into forming a solid customer base for your business. Do whatever you can to retain your regulars. Get feedback about what they like and what they don’t like. Craft a customer loyalty rewards program that works for your business and your customers. Make an effort to enhance your customers’ experience at your business.
Prioritize training your employees well, and keeping their morale high, so they are motivated and proficient at resolving customer issues. Get on board with social media and use it to your full advantage. Make your customers feel special by interacting with them and asking how they are enjoying themselves. Use these six customer loyalty strategies to keep your customers happy and coming back.
Author Bio: Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Oxessays. She is passionate about covering topics on business, career, social media, blogging and others.