For many small business operators building customer loyalty is a key focus as they try to develop their brand through word of mouth. Most SMEs start with a small marketing budget that can't support too much activity, so it can be difficult to generate interest in their product or service.
Therefore it's essential you maintain the satisfaction of the first small customer base you do business with as they can be crucial for further promotion.
After all there's no better customer than a happy customer, so we've sourced five tips that can keep your customer's happy and talking.
Reward their loyalty
Customers are always on the lookout for a bargain and it doesn't take long for them to find one. If you aren't in a position to price match with your cheaper competitors try rewarding customers for their loyalty to your company. For example many food businesses build success around rewarding a free meal after a certain amount of visits.
The main benefit of a rewards system is that you are acknowledging the customers for what they have contributed to your business and giving them an incentive to keep returning.
Click here for some more advice on how to develop an effective loyalty program!
Take feedback on board
How you deal with customer feedback will be paramount in deciding how your business improves. Customers love to have their opinion taken on board and by incorporating change on the back of their feedback you acknowledge the importance of customer satisfaction, which will effectively help generate loyalty. Make sure all employees are trained to accept complaints graciously with a focus to find a solution for the customer.
Thank them for their contribution
A simple thank you can go a long way to building loyalty and completing the customer experience. Let your customers now that you appreciate their business and try to greet your most loyal customers by name. Although price plays a strong role in a customer's purchase decision, sometimes the most common courtesy can be even more influential.
Building a customer base is the most important part of keeping your business afloat. By keeping your customers happy you not only confirm their loyalty but also open your SME growth through positive word of mouth promotion. Remember, maintaining customer loyalty isn't always within your control but as long as you acknowledge their contributions and honour their loyalty you improve their chances of returning.