Building Customer Loyalty
Reach out to your customers in order to retain themOver three-quarters of U.S. consumers carry at least one loyalty card, according to business intelligence company Jupiter Research. Is that card yours? If not, don't fret. A business can't buy its customers' loyalty — it must earn it. Building trust among customers and clients will keep them coming back for more. And when they do, your business will see big results. Unlock loyalty with:
- Unique products
- Excellent customer service
- Helpful employees
- Smart marketing
Set customer loyalty goals
Start smallRemember that customer service counts. Build loyalty effectively and inexpensively by answering your customers' questions, answering your business phone when it rings, and always saying hello and goodbye to your patrons.
Hire service-minded employeesFoster increased loyalty with a staff that is naturally helpful and friendly. Hire for personality rather than skills; you can't teach a positive attitude.
Survey your customersIf you want to know how to grow your base of loyal customers, ask your current ones.
Respond to complaintsCustomer complaints aren't business failures; instead, they're business opportunities. If you address and resolve conflicts promptly, the appreciative customer is in many cases more likely to be loyal than a customer who never had a complaint.
Increase communicationsConstant communication with customers is necessary in building loyal relationships. Send regular mailings and e-mails announcing new merchandise, special discounts and exclusive sales.
- Practicing sound business ethics in a climate of corporate scandals will go a long way toward building trust - and, therefore, loyalty - in your local community.
- A surefire way to increase loyalty is to offer your customers rewards, such as free merchandise or discounts, for shopping with you on a regular basis. A well-planned loyalty program will help you identify and compensate deserving patrons.
- Jumpstart customer loyalty by directing your advertising and marketing efforts at existing customers rather than new ones.
Copyright © 2013 Business.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.