If there’s anyone that understands the power of customer loyalty, it is the small business owner. Indeed, as the 2014 report from BIA/Kelsey and Manta revealed, the majority of annual revenue for a small business owner is generated from loyal customers, who in turn spend 67 percent more than new customers. So how can small business owners really go the extra mile to nurture that precious (and lucrative) relationship? Read below for some best practices.
1. Loyalty Programs
The most effective way to keep a customer coming back is to incentive them. And according to our most recent survey, most customers think that loyalty programs through online offers are the biggest differentiators, setting your small business apart from the competition. Not only are offers easy to create, but you can distribute them in seconds. And the best part? Retaining customers with online offers is way less costly than acquiring new ones. Lastly, not only do online offers make customers return, they also create customers who are true brand ambassadors.
Communication is key, and this is particularly true after a service is rendered and the customer has moved on. Make your business stay top of mind with a friendly, personalized email–an easy, fast, and effective marketing channel to show your appreciation or further promote your services. Read our article on the most effective types of email marketing that show customers you care.
As we’ve previously reported, online reviews of your business are the new word of mouth marketing. Moreover, they are extremely easy to get. With Yodle, you can send a customized review request to your happy customers that can be completed in minutes. Your positive reviews will then be automatically posted on your website and across the web, building trust, credibility, and brand awareness. You can also simply hand customers your phone with your online review page of choice and ask them for the four star rating. For more ways to leverage your online customer reviews strategy, download our free webinar on the power of online reviews.
4. Engage with Customers
Engagement is the new marketing. It is the way to define your brand and stay tuned to customer needs and wants. And with so many channels in which to communicate, there’s always an easy and affordable way to keep the conversation flowing. Proudly display your positive customer reviews on Facebook, post recent photos of your business, raise a relevant question and wait for feedback….the ways to engage online are infinite (and mostly free!).
5. Target Marketing
One of the best ways to keep a customer is by understanding them. Identifying your unique customer base and understanding their needs is vital to building your killer target marketing strategy, as well as ensuring that your products and services are the best they can be. Check out our “What Consumer Wants” series to further understand the unique nuances of your customers.
What are some of your customer retention strategies? Let us know in the comments below.Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community