How to Grow Your Business with Customer Loyalty
Every company says they want to grow their business. I am not familiar with a business that forecasts a reduction in sales. Many companies today, however, have not addressed the primary growth ingredient… customer loyalty.
If you poll most business owners, they can tell you to the penny what customer acquisition costs. This is based on past success and failures while operating this business or businesses in the past. What if you asked them what it costs to lose a customer? What are the chances of getting that customer back if s/he goes elsewhere? For their existing client base, most business owners wrongly conclude that just because the customer comes in repeatedly they are a loyal customer.
Maybe it is price that drives them to shop with you or maybe it is your location. Regardless, do not mistake a frequent customer for a loyal customer. I have a restaurant that is near my home that we frequent once every few weeks. The food is average at best and no one is winning any service awards. We go there because it is close by and easy when we are rushed. Does that make me a loyal customer? Just the opposite; in fact, I do not think I have ever told anyone they should give it a try. At some point, the lack of quality will outpace the convenience and I will move on.
A loyal customer is one who is not afraid to refer your business; one that “invests” in your business by not taking their dollars elsewhere just because someone may be a few dollars cheaper. They know through past experience that if the product or service is not right, all they have to do is ask and it will be corrected. They have a positive expectation based on customer experience and will not hesitate to tell others.
A loyal customer, one that is a mini marketing machine driving new business by word-of-mouth, is the greatest asset a business can build. These “super marketers” are built by creating an amazing customer experience. Customer loyalty will build your brand quicker than you can ever grow your business through advertising or any other organic method. It is the most critical ingredient for a business to prosper. Consider adding the tips below to make your business a STAR performer:
S – Service is where it is at; always follow through and make sure the customer experience is great. A friend of mine in the restaurant business would always drop an appetizer off at a table where he did not recognize the customer.
T– Talk to your clients… Ask them what you do well, what you could improve. Ask them if they have ever referred your business. If not, what is stopping them?
A – Act immediately, with a great attitude when customer service issues arise. Issue the credit or process the return with a smile!
R – Reward customers for their business whenever possible; this will always give them a reason to return.
For more information on how a Loyaltyworks customer loyalty program can help you turn your customers into brand evangelists, call 800-844-5000 or send us a message.