Keeping customers loyal and coming back for more is the key to staying in profit, but simply rolling out a loyalty card isn’t enough to achieve this. This is especially true today, as most consumers understand that loyalty cards offer more value to the company providing them in terms of the data they harvest than they do to their actual users.
Get Your Facebook Page Right First
Why Repeat Customers are Vital for SMB
Marketing and promoting your goods or services is one of the most important parts of running a small, local business, and one that can also take up a lot of your time and money. However, you can keep your marketing spend manageable and reduce the time you spend on marketing by hanging on to the customers that you do win.
If your customers don’t keep coming back, you have to keep starting from scratch in terms of targeting and winning new ones – and will eventually run out of new local customers to reach.
Repeat customers spend more money, have higher conversion rates and shop more often, as well as generating an effective form of organic word-of-mouth advertising by telling others about your service and why they use it too.
A List of Common Customer Loyalty Tactics You Can Use in Your Business
When you understand the value of courting repeat customers and keeping them on side, the next step is to find ways to win and keep their loyalty. Here are some common customer loyalty tactics you can use to achieve this.
• One of the most important – but commonly overlooked – keys to customer loyalty is investing in your staff as well as your customers. If your staff aren’t happy, well trained and enthusiastic about your business, they won’t be able to deliver the excellent level of service you wish to provide.
• Offer great customer service and resolve any problems quickly and effectively.
• Go the extra mile and try to personalise the customer experience.
• Consider integrating smart signup loyalty cards and similar discounts – such as “buy five coffees, get the sixth one free.”
• Be consistent, so that your customers gain familiarity with your brand and know what to expect from you. For instance, don’t keep changing your opening hours without good reason or close up early when things are quiet, because customers won’t return to a business if they can’t be sure you’ll be open or available when they expect you to be.
• Always invite feedback and input from your customers, to make them feel valued and important.
• Keep your regular customers informed
about new products, offers and things of interest, but don’t bombard them lest you scare them off.
How Technology is Supercharging Customer Loyalty
Technology is changing the face of customer loyalty from the top down, and even small, local businesses that have been established for decades have to keep up with changing consumer behaviour to remain competitive. If all of your competitors are integrating the relevant tech – such as offering an option to order ahead for immediate collection – and you aren’t, your buyers are likely to go elsewhere.
Near-field communications tech is the latest growth area that savvy local businesses are integrating into their customer loyalty collateral to streamline the customer experience and keep buyers coming back. The days of the cash-only business are truly behind us, and if you don’t accept contactless and mobile payment options (even for low-cost transactions) you’re going to get left behind.
You can also leverage new advancements in mobile advertising technology to send push notifications to the cell phones of nearby customers. Built-in ‘beacons’ can deliver customers unique offers, promotions or discounts – or just say a friendly hello – as they walk on by. This will create recognition and remind you best customers that you’re always on hand to help. It’s a great way to drive footfall for brick and mortar stores that want to increase profits.
Integrating smart tech that performs well might give you an edge today, but it is already fast becoming simply what customers expect, not something new and fresh. If you can stand out from the crowd by taking an adaptive, proactive and modern approach to customer loyalty you’ll make the most of these new opportunities.
Clover Station arrives pre-loaded with everything you need to accept payments and run your business more efficiently. Request a demo today!
How to Bring It All Together
If you follow the basic guidance we’ve covered within these three chapters and apply it to your own business, you’ll be on track to win and retain customers for the long term. However, it can be challenging to keep up with all of this alongside of taking care of the day-to-day running of your business too.
Fortunately, there are a range of useful services that can help small businesses to take the legwork out of acquiring customers and building and maintaining customer loyalty, leaving you free to concentrate on delivering an excellent customer experience. TAPLocal can help you to get your business seen on all the relevant listing sites, provide smart payment and POS tools to keep you ahead of the crowd, and plan and automate your Facebook ad strategy to yield the best results for your ad spend – everything a growing business needs.
TAPLocal Clover Station – Clover® Station is a next-generation control system that radically simplifies your business. It helps you track inventory, manage employees, gain customer insight to build stronger, lasting customer relationships, and accept payments with ease.
TAPLocal Clover Mini – Clover® Mini arrives pre-loaded with everything you need to accept payments and run your business more efficiently.
TAPLocal Clover Go – Clover® Go Securely and reliably accept credit and debit cards – including chip cards – with ease, right from your smartphone or tablet.
TAPLocal Clover Flex – A solution designed to meet your full range of payment and point-of-sale needs.
TAPLocal Clover Mobile – A High Powered Portable POS Built for Businesses Going Places