Small Business Tips for Improving Customer Loyalty – Part 1

October 19, 2015

In this fiercely competitive world, the solid lines between competitors are blurring. Who once were your customers could be your competitors’ customers with just a click or swipe. With the evolution of digital, marketing is suffering a climactic transformation and small businesses are struggling to cope up with and accommodate so many different avenues of customer acquisition. After all a lead generated is a lead earned, right? Although it is not wrong to run after creating new leads and grow customer base, it is extremely important to remember the value behind customer retention and loyalty. Arguably, customer retention is one of the most important factor in today’s business world. After all, a happy business prospers with a happy customers. You may have a fantastic idea but your small business may still flounder if you don’t know how to keep your customers. Without loyal customers, even the best of business may fall. Happy customers will bring repeat business, creating more opportunities for businesses from your customer’s acquaintances and general word of mouth promotion. Without a loyal customer base, the odds of the success for a small business diminishes. Read on to learn some tips on how you can boost customer experience and improve brand loyalty.

  • Always Over Deliver

Have you ever gone to a store and later been delighted by getting some least expected offer? More often than not, businesses just try to get away with mediocrity when it comes to customer services. Mediocre services means mediocre results means on the trajectory of happy and unhappy customers, your business scale is tilted towards the latter. Most organization try to woo their customers for the first time and after the honeymoon period is over, it is back to mediocrity. If you want your organization to stand apart from your competitors, your first focus should be your customers. Always try to add value to whatever services you provide. However over delivering doesn’t mean under promising and then over delivering it. In this day and age, if you are under promising something, it can easily be known and may back fire. Try to have a balance between what is promised and what can be kept. Promising a reasonable promise and over delivering is what works in today’s age. Making promises which you can keep within the timeline and going a little extra mile or at least trying to go the extra mile for your customers is what will help you build and maintain long lasting customer relationships. Consistency is also the key. When it comes to promises, you need to consistently deliver on your promises and add value add-ons to keep your customers happy and keep them coming back.

  • Stick To The Golden Rule

Remember the phrase, “Do unto others…” Always treat your customers how you would want to be treated. In general, when it comes to business, most business-owners forget that in outer world they too are customers. When it comes to restaurants, salons, hotels, doctors what kind of services would you choose. The answer is not too difficult to guess – lots of attention, great service, professionalism yet friendliness. Similarly you need to make your customers feel like kings and queen and treat them like they are the most important customers you have. Even if you don’t have face-to-face contacts with your customers, you can still create a personalized experience with your customers. Don’t use a standard template for all your customers, address your emails with names and while talking on phone, try to be empathetic, show them you care and resolve their problems in a friendly and professional. Even if there are conflicts, try to solve them creatively. Without going into details, I have been a loyal shopper from two very famous e-commerce websites. Even though both of these e-commerce websites provide more or less the same kind of goods on similar prices, I always go with A as the customer care representatives are very friendly and empathetic and always try to provide resolutions. Whereas the website B representatives always end up giving me robotized answers, no matter my questions. Needless to say, I now buy more from A and also recommend it to my friends and family. Be attentive to your customers’ needs and provide outstanding customer services to all your customers.

  • Give Them A ‘Wow’ Experience

The phrase, ‘going the extra mile’ has been thrown around so much that it has become a cliché. Providing a good customer service is not enough anymore, you need to actually be remarkable. By remarkable means not just providing a good customer service. Though that it extremely important that you strive to provide the best customer service possible, by going the extra mile either by providing them a value-add service, a small gift card or just a personalized thoughtful gesture will make your customer service remarkable. Treat your customers like they are your first customers. Surprise your customers by throwing a little extra when they are making a large purchase or sometimes even just to show your appreciation for them being your loyal customers. For instance, if you have an online cake shop, sending in an extra new flavoured pastry for them to savour and share feedback would be much appreciated by the customers and you would even get the much needed feedback on your cake’s flavour. Not only that, this surprise element is what would keep your customers coming back. They are also most likely to share their experience with friends and family, bringing in more visibility and clients to your business. Give customers a great experience with your brand.

When it comes to businesses, nothing is more important than customers. According to an estimate, it may cost up to fifteen times as much to attract new clients as it does to retain an existing one. Customers are the lifeblood of an organization and a business cannot place enough emphasis on its clients. Stay tuned for the continuing post in the series, ‘Small Business Tips for Improving Customer Loyalty Part 2’ to get the best tips on improving customer loyalty. Follow this blog to get more understanding on how you can keep your customers happy and increase customer loyalty.