The need to have a loyal customer base cannot be understated. If you want your business to be stable and your brand to grow, then putting time into customer loyalty needs to be put first. Retaining a loyal audience for your business ensures that you will have a much more stable business as well as providing opportunities for your business to reach a wider audience.
Having a clear mission statement that clearly outlines your business’s core values is a good way to start to build on customer trust. Customers like to know about the kind of business they are purchasing from, as it makes your business feel more personal. Earning customer trust means that you will be more likely to have them as repeat customers.
Understanding Customer Loyalty
By providing excellent service and an engaging customer experience, you can start to build a loyal customer base. Customer loyalty is when you start to see repeat business from your customers. Sometimes also referred to as customer retention, achieving a loyal customer base provides your business with stability, allowing less effort to be spent on customer acquisition (However, it is still always important to seek out new customers).
Here are 4 ways that can help you to gain and build a loyal audience for your retail business.
Have Strong Core Values
Before you can start building your customer base, you first need to have a firm understanding of what your brand stands for. There are many big-name and small brands that have mission statements that outline their core values clearly. These values are what make a business stand out from their competition. When customers understand the purpose of a business, and what it stands for, they are more likely to make a purchase, especially if it aligns with the customer’s own beliefs.
Remaining authentic is the name of the game. Customers want to see a reflection of their own beliefs, but not if it comes across as pandering or disingenuous. Your marketing efforts should promote the parts of your brand that your customers can relate to.
If you have competitors with similar values, you also will need something to make you stand out against them. Think about your target audience and how they align with your values.
Create a Loyalty Program
A customer loyalty program is a way to incentivise customers to keep coming back to your business. This is typically done via loyalty cards. Loyalty cards such as Nectar Cards are one of the most common ways to reward customers for repeat service. They usually operate on a point system. By giving the customer points whenever they make a purchase, they can use those points to get something from your business. Loyalty cards help to make the customer feel valued as well as give you vital feedback on purchasing data.
It should be noted that loyalty cards are now quite common for many retailers and businesses. If you plan to use one, it will need to be backed up by a unique experience and excellent customer service.
Providing Great Customer Service
A common phrase is “Customer Service begins at the door”. From the moment a customer sees your shop, the customer cycle has started. That isn’t to say you need to be providing service to customers outside your store, rather, it means that the presentation of your store or website is the first aspect to bringing in new customers.
A well-presented store, and an easily-to-follow website are key for retaining your customers. As well as this, providing quick, professional, and friendly feedback to customers’ requests is vital.
Exemplary customer service is key for building a loyal customer base. If your business is big enough, make sure you have a devoted customer service team to handle customer requests in a timely manner.
Building a loyal customer base is an ongoing battle. It requires you to keep up with trends and always have something to keep them going to the competition. As long as you are able to provide unique and exception service, and provide benefits for coming to your business, you should have no problem starting to gain loyal customers.