Retaining existing customers is just as important as enticing new ones when it comes to building your brand
Running a business without loyal customers is like performing a concert to an empty stadium. In the end, you’re just making a lot of noise for nothing.
Customers are the backbone of any organisation. Not only do they keep you afloat with their spending, but they can also spread word of your organisation and boost your reputation both on and off social media.
Which is why keeping your customers happy is so important. This requires two key factors: making your customers feel special and getting them involved in your brand.
Today’s businesses need to make their customers feel special
Customers are far more likely to feel loyal to a company if they feel like they’ve formed a more personal connection with the brand and its staff. This can be done in many different ways, all coming down to the service you provide.
Take the time to get to know your customers, learn their names, their personalities and their preferences. Small businesses often go hand in hand with local businesses and, therefore, local people, so making the effort to be more personal with your customers will make your business feel like an asset to the community.
Seek out ways to reward your customers, be it with a points system or a VIP programme. This actively rewards your clients for their loyalty, greatly increasing their likelihood to choose your services again. Of course, it isn’t always possible to deliver a “Buy 5 and get your 6th item free” message across every industry but there are many mechanisms that you can trial to turn a first-time buyer into a loyal patron.
On a day-to-day level, you need to show that your business is an expert in its industry. Keep up with the competition and stay in the loop of your wider field so you can always suggest the best solution for the customer and not just for your business.
Businesses are a collaborative effort, so get your customers involved
Aside from improving your customer service, you can also work on breaking down those barriers between business and client. Make your customers really feel involved in your business to show that you care about them on a personal level and aren’t just interested in receiving their custom.
There are several ways to do this, such as by spending some time giving back to your local community as a business with a coffee morning, an outdoor event or an open day. Explore local charities and consider sponsoring their events for the dual benefit of giving something back and boosting your business’s reputation.
Another way to get more involved with your customers is to really listen to their views, demonstrating that you value their opinion. Social media is a great platform for this. Let your customers know that you want to hear their thoughts on your services by giving them the option of leaving a review, and be sure to respond to these reviews too with genuine and constructive comments – depending on the nature of the feedback.
You can even offer your customers a reward for sharing their thoughts, as people are much more likely to spend the time reviewing a business if it’s likely to result in loyalty points or a prize of some kind. By gaining a wealth of genuine feedback, you can work on tailoring your business to really give your customers what they want.