Have you just launched your new business? Dimakatso Moloantoa shares smart and creative ways to attract and retain loyal customers to your business
All business owners start their businesses to fulfill a need. That need, either a product or service needs to service enough customers for the business to be sustainable. The challenge comes in positioning the deliverable in a way that appeals to the target audience and retains them in order to have repeat purchase and to up-sell the current client base. For this- securing loyalty is a key component.
Here are some ways to gain the favour of your target market when making purchase decisions:
Know your most loyal customers
There is normally a clear indication of who supports your business the most. This can be based on the value they contribute to your sales, repeat purchase or how much they refer your business to others. A good starting point would be to recognise who they are and also why they are loyal to your business. You can ask them what they like most about your offering and ways to add value to them as your current clients. This will help you as you endeavor to retain other clients and their testimonials can be used to get new clients.
Keep it personal
Authentic interactions with clients help build a long-lasting relationship with them. Calls and emails make communicating easier, but they may take away the personal touch. A courtesy visit to the client office or sending them a seasonal corporate gift may help to keep your business top of mind and make the customer know that they are valued and not just an invoice number.
Empower and inform your customers
Customers may know the service that you offer, but because they are not necessarily in the industry that you specialise in, they may not know of developments that happen in that space. Make it your goal to inform and educate them on these. This will help you gain credibility as well as make you an opinion leader in the industry for them. In turn, you get an opportunity to up-sell them on new services rising from the industry changes.
Build a loyalty program
A loyalty program rewards your customers directly for supporting your business. This may be through volume- Buy five and get the sixth for free, or through value discounts- Free design for all designs over a certain value. Both have a definite reward for cost saving that many customers appreciate (if the service or product reaches their expectations). You can design one that suits your business best.
Have follow up calls after delivery
This is one way to show that you care about a customer’s experience once they have received your product or service. If there are any concerns or additional requirements, you are able to fix them before they negatively impact your brand.
Remember Special Occasions
Remembering birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and sharing well wishes will go a long way in building a relationship with your clients. A simple email with a special message, a cupcake, flowers or a card is a great gesture to reinforce that the customer is valued by your business.
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