Do you regularly show your customers how much you appreciate their business? If you don’t, you’re making a huge mistake. According to Business.com, returning customers spend 67% more than new customers. What this tells you is that brand loyalty drives sales, and if you’re a small business, you need to look for ways to turn first-time customers into regular customers. While that’s easier said than done, there are some simple things you can do to foster a devoted and reliable customer base.
Forge Real Relationships
The internet has made it easier than ever to switch to a competitor. Studies show that customers are more willing than ever to stop buying from a company if it means they’ll receive a more personal experience elsewhere. Because of this, you need to do everything in your power to forge an emotional connection between your brand and the customer. With that in mind, consider using a service like customer.io. It lets you send automated messages, targeted emails, and SMS in order to build stronger relationships.
Customers have long memories and they keep track of their interactions with your small business. They’ll remember:
⦁A bad in-store experience
⦁Issues with a return
⦁An unpleasant phone conversation
⦁Poor customer service
Often, one negative interaction is all it takes to completely turn them off from your brand. As a result, it’s crucial that your staff is always friendly, accommodating, and responsive.
Share Your Story
These days, consumers care about a business’ values, goals, and story. It’s not enough for them to simply know what good or service you’re selling. They need to be told why they should do business with you. Toms is a fantastic example of a company that told their story and used their mission to drive sales.
Sharing your story is particularly important for online services that don’t have the ability to interact with customers in person. Make sure your website has a page that details your company history and mission.
Utilize a company swag store to get merchandise that’s branded with your company logo. You can do a couple different things with branded merchandise. If you have a base of passionate customers, you can sell the merchandise online or in your store. Or, you can give out smaller branded items to your clients or customers for free. Either way, branded items are a great way to spread the word about your business.
Creating a customer loyalty rewards program is a great way to keep customers coming back for more. Consider offering them swag, discounts, or exclusive offers as a reward for spending their hard-earned money on your company.
Engage Customers on Social Media
Small businesses have little time and resources to spend on drawing in new customers. That’s why your small business should utilize the clout of social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are powerful tools that allow you to speak directly to your customer. Regular social media engagement lets your small business:
⦁Showcase your expertise
⦁Build a reputation as an industry leader
⦁Tell your story
⦁Promote a sale or new service
⦁Start a conversation
⦁Create a community
When you’re using social media, it’s important that you continuously monitor your mentions and direct messages so that you can respond promptly. Social media users like when your company interacts with them over those channels.
Be Open to Feedback
One of the best things about online marketing is that you can easily receive customer feedback about your product. It’s important that you’re open and responsive to customer criticism. Customer feedback is a valuable resource that you can use to better understand what your targeted customer likes or doesn’t like about your business.
Customers are rarely shy about sharing their opinions, so take the time to consider their comments. Is there wisdom in their critique? Then act on it. This shows customers that you’re willing to make changes to create the best possible experience for them.
Make it Convenient
Customers care about expediency. If you make their life easy, they’ll keep coming back to you. Conveniences like a streamlined checkout process or a try before you buy service are simple steps you can take to make your customer’s shopping experience fun and easy.
Start Building Relationships
A small business’s ability to succeed is often contingent on their ability to turn a first-time visitor into a loyal customer. You can begin inspiring brand loyalty by treating each customer as a person and not a dollar sign.