A good business is all about your customers. A lasting business has it’s foundation built on loyal customers. The difference is how often your customers will come back to you. Loyal customers are also great because they will help refer people to your business and get you more customers in the long run. A loyal customer is very valuable since they can help you promote your business almost as much as you do (assuming you are the business owner) but for free. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to gain loyal customers over the lifespan of your business.
Give something away
Everyone loves free stuff. If you give something of value away to someone, nine out of ten times, the receiver will appreciate it. This not only puts you on their good side, but it opens the door for further communication by starting the conversation. To put it simply, if you give your customers something for free, they will like it, remember it and remember your business in the future. It’s like the sample you get at a food store. If you like it, you’ll want more of it and are also more likely to buy whatever you just tasted for free. So why not do that with your product?
Provide excellent service or products
Another way to stand out and make a good impression to your customers is to go above and beyond when it comes to your business and your customer service. People really notice when they are treated nicely, and it makes them feel more important. If you value your customer, you’ll invest in treating them well, whether it comes to providing an amazing quality product (or service) or exceeding their expectations when they need help. People are more likely to return due to the great service, and they won’t mind paying a little extra for it either, so it’s a win-win for your business.
Membership cards. How many are in your wallet right now? They are the most common form of rewarding customers when it comes to shopping again at a store. The more you shop there, the more you’ll save, and the greater the reward is for you. Common human behavior shows that rewards pay off and can encourage certain behavior. So if you want that person to buy from you again, simply reward them for coming back. It could be in the form of a discount coupon, VIP membership, a special bonus prize, or anything else you can think of that your customers will enjoy.
Make it personal
Companies often get caught up in the corporate, day-to-day life and keep things short and sweet. It helps to act like a small business and make every purchase or communication personal. Don’t be afraid to use a customers name. You can give out coupons or products on the customer’s birthday. Ask about how their family is doing (assuming you’ve talked about them before. If not, this might be a tad on the creepy side). Remember what he or she likes. If you’ve ever ordered something online and received a handwritten note saying “Dear _____, Thank you,” you’ll know that keeping your business personal adds a certain special touch to the purchase.
Loyalty doesn’t just like only on the customer.Go out of your way to check in with your customer. Ask them how they like your product, if they need anything else, or just be nice and make small talk. Don’t ever be afraid to start the conversation with your customer. Follow up with them with any of the methods above, or just to say hi. Either way, people appreciate being approached with friendliness. If you do this, your customers are sure to associate you with being a nice, personable business owner.
To summarize all of the above, if you want loyal customers, just treat them how you would like to be treated and then some. Go above and beyond what other businesses do, and you are sure to stick out in your customers head. This way, they will remember you and are more likely to return to do business. Have any other tips on encouraging loyalty? Do you offer any of your customers rewards for coming back? Post a comment and let me know! I usually offer the returning customers of my business a discount.