5 Ways for Small Businesses to Gain and Retain Customer Loyalty

5 Ways for Small Businesses to Gain and Retain Customer Loyalty

For any business to be successful, it must have customers (or clients) willing to spend money on their products (or services) on a continual basis. In order for this to happen, business owners need to establish trust with their customers to gain their loyalty.

Odds are you’re not the only business in your industry, so customers have many other options when it comes to purchasing the product they want. If you want customers to keep coming to your business for their needs, you must gain— and retain— their loyalty.

Once you’ve figured out what rewards you want to offer be sure to promote this to customers, if you have a physical store you can use digital signage to display loyalty schemes to catch the eye of people walking by.

#1: Be Transparent

First and foremost, you must be as transparent as possible with your current and potential customers. Transparency can look different for each business, but overall it means that you’re not concealing valuable information away from your customers that can give them a better experience and understanding when it comes to using your products.

The quickest way to lose customers is to give them misleading information about your products— especially if it has the potential to harm them in any way. This is why it’s also important to ensure that you’re offering a quality product.

#2: Look into Affiliate/Influencer Marketing

A good marketing technique that can help you gain customer trust and loyalty is to have other people promote your products to their unique audience. This is known as affiliate marketing or influencer marketing. Influencer marketing uses individuals with a large following (whether on social media, real life, or both) to market a product. Affiliate marketing, on the other hand, allows your customers to promote your products to their following, family, and friends while earning a small commission from their sales.

Typically, you’ll have to pay an influencer a bigger commission than an affiliate, and most people are aware that influencers are usually incentivized to say good things about a company’s product. However, affiliates only get paid when someone makes a purchase through their affiliate link, and they’re typically a lot more honest when promoting a product because they use their own money to purchase it.

#3: Offer Rewards and Other Incentives

Customers love being rewarded for buying your product, especially if they’re already a loyal customer. Rewards and other incentives are a good way to retain your loyal customers, as well as bring in new customers. You can reward your customers with coupons and sales, and you can also do giveaways or free gifts with purchase (GWP). Some examples of free gifts can include promotional items to help further market your business.

If you choose the promotional item route, remember to make sure that the promotional item(s) can also be used alongside one or more of your products. For example, drawstring backpacks and T-shirts can be used by most lifestyle brands.

#4: Provide Good Customer Service

Another way to quickly lose customers is to have poor customer service— and people are quick to leave reviews and report in other ways how bad their service was. Conversely, many people are also quick to tell everyone they know how good their service was, and this is what you want more of for your business. When customers know that they’ll have a good experience, they’re willing to come back and tell others about you.

Even if you’re an online business, you should still practice good customer service. First, your website should be easy to navigate and mobile-friendly. Next, there should be a way for your online customers to get in contact with a real person that can help them with whatever they need.

#5: Respond to All Customer Concerns

This ties into good customer service, and it applies to both in-person and online businesses as well. Not everything is always going to go perfectly, and you will have some unhappy customers at times. As a business owner, you should listen to all of your customers’ concerns and respond to them in a timely manner. This lets them know that you care about their concerns and that you’ll try to make things right.

The Bottom Line

If you know that you have a quality product to sell or service to provide, then you won’t mind doing the work that it takes to gain and retain customers. A good business owner knows his or her worth, but he or she also knows the customers’ worth and that their business can’t succeed without customers.

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