While earning a customer's trust can be hard, it is always worth it.
Building a loyal following of customers is one of the best ways to ensure a steady cash flow and brand advocates for your business. Customer loyalty is not just given away, though; it must be earned. In the digital age, when anything can be fact-checked almost instantly and millennials are prone to skepticism, you might have to put in some extra work to earn true customer loyalty. Here are our three tips for building customer loyalty.
Communication is key
Dedicating time to build relationships with existing customers is a good way to keep them coming back. Small communications like newsletters or holiday coupons are a simple but powerful way of letting your existing customers know that they are important to you. Keep in mind that not everything you send should be advertising. Customers will not feel valued if you are constantly pushing ads at them. One example of potential non-advertising communication is event invitations. Inviting your customers to a closed-door event is a good way to make them feel like they are part of your business family.
Focus on service
One thing that consistently keeps customers returning to a location is the customer service they receive in the store. According to a study by Conversion Research, "54 percent of millennials said that they stopped doing business because of poor customer service." Further data shows that the numbers for Generation X and baby boomers mirrors these statistics. With the possibility for loss so high, it is imperative to provide good service to every customer who comes through the door.
Service beyond the store
Another study, conducted by Aspect, found that many customers find the telephone to be the most inaccessible form of customer service. To address this issue in your business, ensure that your customer service agents are well trained and, more importantly, focus on offering your customers ways to reach you on their terms. This should include multiple options for contacting customer service, including email and live chat. Increasingly, this needs to include social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, since many millennials are quick to post their opinions about a company through these channels.
While earning a customer's trust can be hard, it is always worth it. Not only are loyal customers a source of income for your business, they also serve as advocates for your brand. By implementing the listed strategies, you can come that much closer to building lasting relationships with your patrons.
Image from Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock