Loyal customers are critical to the success of any business. Returning customers often spend more and cost less to retain, much less than gaining new customers. Some experts estimate that it costs up to 25 times more to gain a new customer than it is to retain one.
A returning customer knows what you offer and how they will be treated. This almost sounds like common sense, but in the highly competitive retail market, you need to build relationships in order to establish customer loyalty.
There are many ways you can maintain a steady relationship with your customers. Whatever it is, you have to let them feel like they are getting something worth their time and effort—make them feel special. Below is a list of 5 ways you can deepen your connection with your customers.
1. Customer Rewards Program
When you implement a rewards program, you incentivize customers to return on a regular basis. Punch cards are good, but easily lost. Your point of sale software should have a rewards program that offers discounts and special “Members Only” offers. An automated program makes it easier for your customer and for you, so you can focus on their experience in your store.
2. Go the Extra Mile
Your customer’s buying experience is based on how they feel. It’s about going the extra mile to make sure they are completely satisfied with their purchases. When you take the time to talk to your customers and get to know their names, they feel special and a deeper connection. Building loyalty is more than a program with discounts and rewards, it’s about treating them the best possible way every time they are in your store.
3. Fix It or Forget It
Customers know mistakes can and often do happen. A quick resolution to the problem is how you gain trust and loyalty with your customers. They know you will fix any problems that may arise. When you resolve any complaints, make sure you fix the problem so it won’t happen again. If you fail to resolve their complaint, you will lose them and possibly others through negative reviews.
4. Staying in Touch
Social media has made it easier to advertise promotions and discounts to your customer base. It’s also a great way to let them know what is happening at your store, such as supporting not-for-profit causes and events.
Email marketing is another low cost and effective way to reach your customers. As a matter of fact, the average return on investment for email marketing is $38 for every $1 spent. Email marketing tools provide insights into how your customers engage with the emails you send. You can keep track of the promotions and offers that are more appealing than others.
5. Your Expertise
Customers often have specific questions about your products. When you answer their questions, and show your expertise, you do more than just sell a product, you personalize their experience. A more personal experience is also a memorable one.
Anticipate Your Customer’s Needs
As you can see, it’s the little things that keep customers coming back for more. They want and deserve special treatment. Whether it’s promotions or new products, you’ll be able to easily keep their attention and keep them coming back to your store. Over time, the relationship you build with your loyal customers will guide your business towards a brighter and more profitable future.
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