Every company clearly benefits from customer loyalty. However, your business may not have the millions of dollars that the leaders in your industry have to put towards endless layers of advertising to attract those customers. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can develop customer loyalty on a tight budget. Here are some of the top ways.
1 – Respond more quickly to customer queries than anyone in your industry
Social media, citation aggregation software and customer management software give you the ability to access everything that your customers say about you almost in real time. Never before have businesses been blessed with the ability to not only sell across oceans, but provide customer service across those same oceans without spending a great deal of money.
Nine out of every 10 people believe that companies have a responsibility to answer queries on Facebook. However, only one in four businesses actually does this. Is it any wonder that customer loyalty has dropped in the past 20 years? Use all of the information that have on your customers to create a great customer experience for each of them. From this kind of service, your business will certainly build and maintain more customer loyalty.
2 – Get to know your best customers
The Pareto rule, or the 80/20 rule of buying and selling, says that 80 percent of your sales will come from 20 percent of your customers. These 20 percent of customers are the ones who are most likely to become loyal if given the chance. However, you should know never to take anything for granted in the modern business landscape.
In order to convert the customers who are supposed to become loyal to your company, you need a consistent and wide-open two-way line of communication. This can be created through social media very easily; however, there is another level to this endeavor. Your loyal customers deserve personalized service, and no matter how small your budget may be, you can definitely afford to give it to them. Maintaining a customer costs a business around 15 percent of what it takes to build a relationship with a brand-new customer.
Hold events and contests for your best customers. If you are having a sale, incorporate location-based technology and opt in demographic lists so that your best customers truly have the first opportunity to take you up on your offers.
3 – Create programs that naturally develop customer loyalty
The first program that you can incorporate into your business is a product that requires customer loyalty. If you constantly have iterations and improvements on your product, then people will be inclined to come back for more. This is one of the basic tenants of the automobile industry – the best brands are the ones that are always announcing new features for next year’s model. For instance, if you have a product that requires listening, incorporating closed captioning services into the product is a great way to engender customer loyalty.
Aside from having products that are consistently being improved, you can also create programs that will help to engage your customer base. For instance, getting involved in the communities of your good customers is a great way to keep them engaged with your business. This does not have to be a physical location; it can very easily be an online community as well. This is why message boards and niche forums are actually more important for a small business than the major three search engines.
If your business gets involved with a charity, this is another way to ensure that you will always have customers will rally to your cause. Even if you end up giving a great deal of money away, you must consider that you would not have brought in this money if you did not have the offer in the first place. In many cases, doing business with a charity ends up being more profitable for both ends. Never mistake the nonprofit industry for an unprofitable industry – there is definitely a great deal of money being made that you can pick up on.