Creating loyalty with your customers today is a tough job. In a world of social-living offers, half off Groupon coupons where does the consumer’s loyalty lie? Is it with the business owner that has been in and supported the community for years or is it with whoever has the lowest price?
It is not easy with today’s economy and market to sustain loyal customers. How do you keep your customer from walking across the street for the deal of the day? While nothing is sure fire, here are five steps you can include in your daily plans and keep your customer base loyal.
Community: Use Social Media to find commonality with local businesses that share your values. Surf Facebook Business Pages as your business and make comments and posts on their sites. Remember that you are doing this as your business and what you say reflects you business, so always keep it upbeat and positive. Several Facebook pages and websites highlight local businesses. Find them, friend them, share with them and the other local individuals on their page.
Giveaways: Everyone likes to have a chance to win something. Create some fun inside your store with some giveaways. Concert tickets, show tickets, game tickets, gift certificates. Create an enter-to-win box and reward your customers with a chance to win something. Most people do not expect to win; they just enjoy the chance to win. This also plays well in your social media strategy. Gives you something fun to post, tweet, and drive traffic to your store but still making it about them.
Social Media: This is necessary to create and keep loyalty. Create an engaging social media strategy. Use your in-store giveaways; maybe even have some fun with a virtual scavenger hunt. You can create an endless amount of fun and that is a great way to look at your social media strategy. Remember to create loyalty you first must give it. Be loyal and make daily posts. When a person makes a comment make sure you like it or comment on it. Show them the loyalty you want them to show you.
Reward Program: Launch a rewards program. There are several ways you can do this. If your business is foursquare friendly then take the easy way out and have foursquare do most of the work. It can be used essentially much like an electronic punch card. If you are not foursquare friendly maybe, you can have some type of referral program where if a customer refers someone to your business then they get a free latte, pizza or whatever makes sense for your price points. The greatest loyalty a consumer can show to a business is to refer a friend.
Go The Extra Mile: This is so important because with today’s more for less understaffed businesses, going the extra mile is what can really separate you and create extreme loyalty. We have a small retail shop where we live that walks your bags out to your car. They do not ask, they just do it. Those of us in the Northwest are all very aware of Les Schwab, a business the runs the extra mile. This is so important it deserves more than just a small paragraph so I am linking a very good blog about going the extra mile here.
There are no guarantees, but remember loyalty has to be given to be earned, so give it to your customer and community every chance you get.