Building Customer Loyalty Is Like Money In The Bank
Developing customer loyalty is an important part of running a business. Most business owners know how difficult and costly it can be to attract new customers. You put a lot of time and resources into doing exactly that, but sometimes forget you need to put equal effort into keeping them.
If you haven’t developed a plan to build customer loyalty, here are some reasons why you should consider it. According to smallbizgenius.net, increasing customer retention by just 5% boosts profits by 25% to 95% and revenues for business that prioritize customer service rise 4 – 8% above their market.
Here are five tactics you should consider in building your customer retention plan:
- Develop a Loyalty Offering – One of the ways to keep them coming back is to entice them to come back by rewarding them when they do. In fact, 75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards. There are all kinds of loyalty programs out there. They can range from using an app on your phone, to a stamp card, so there is one that can fit your business and its size. If you are looking for some ideas, here is a link to a great blog on Shopify.
- Reach Out to Them – There are lots of times where you are asked to provide your email and then are added to a business’s email list. This allows them to reach customers by sending out email blasts on upcoming sales and offers. This can be an effective approach to keeping in touch with customers, but maybe you have shied away from such an approach because you dislike all those emails in your own inbox. If this is you, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t capture an email or two and reach out with a personalized email directly to your most meaningful customers, or grab an address and send out a thank you card. Telling them how important they are to you, shows your loyalty to them and you can bet it will be reciprocated.
- Offer Exclusive Events – One of the ways to let customers know how important they are is, is to give them access others don’t have. Think of it like getting a backstage pass to your favorite band. You get to feel special and important and there is always the promise that you might get to have a story that others will never have. An event can be a special night with access to the newest merchandise. A luncheon with a special group, or that gives access to a different type of guest. It could be a time when a special deal will be in effect, etc. Make them feel special, by making them special.
- Focus Groups – If you want to build loyalty with your customers, ask their opinions about what you are doing and about how you can make it better for them. Incorporating at least some of their ideas and thoughts, helps them to feel like they are part of the evolution of the business and the products or services you offer. It creates a different level of connection. Groups can be small and intimate and can take anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour. Keep them fun and light and think about using an impartial third party to help facilitate, so you can sit back and really take the information in. There are great tidbits that can be gathered from your existing customers.
- Personalized Gifts – It is human nature to want to feel like you are part of a group. In fact, one of the easiest ways of relating to others is through the use of business logos (and one of the reasons they are used). If you have a favorite brand and you see someone else using something with that brand’s logo on it, unconsciously you feel a connection with them. Offering free gifts with your logo on it (especially ones where you know they will either use it, or display it), is a nice touch to helping build your community. Besides everyone like to receive a free gift, once in a while.
Building customer loyalty does not happen by chance. It is something that you need to have a plan around. The equation is simple…the more customers you retain, the more revenue you will generate as a business owner.
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