Loyal customers are the heart of any small business. When you see a familiar face walk through your door or a known name reorder your product it brings a smile to your face, knowing that you’ve provided a service they can’t get enough of. Research has found that reducing customer turnover by 5% increases a company’s business by as much as 125%, proof that existing customers are the best type to have.
However, running a small business is a time-consuming job and tasks such as responding to visitor feedback and connecting with customers on social media can be difficult to fit in. So, here’s how you can keep them happy and coming back for more.
Customer Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs are loved by people across the world. Coffee chains, bookshops, grocery stores and pharmacies all offer their own reward and loyalty programs to those who purchase from them. These programs entice people to return to their favourite stores time and time again and purchase products from them in return for points, free items, coupons or rewards. The benefits of customer loyalty programs to small businesses is that individuals typically spend more in stores where they are available and thus this increases revenue.
Personalization is key to making an individual feel valued by your business. Simple things such as addressing them by their name when speaking to them in person or responding to them online rather than using generic terms such as sir or madam help build a successful relationship from the outset.
If you run the type of business where people come to visit or stay, such as a small restaurant or bed and breakfast, ask the individual at the time of booking whether they or their party have any special requests or dietary requirements which you can cater for. Providing specialized items may cost you a few extra dollars, but offering these will ensure your guest is taken good care of and is a great way of getting them to recommend you to family and friends.
Canadians hate being ignored by companies and yet 70% of complaints made via Twitter go unanswered. This is poor service and is a sure fire way to ensure someone doesn’t come back. Whether it’s good or bad comments or feedback you’re receiving, all small businesses should ensure they respond in a timely and appropriate manner and make it clear that they care.
Customer retention is the key to building a successful business. Therefore, companies should always put effort and money into building a solid client base who keep coming back for more.
Contribution from freelance writer Lucy Wyndham.