December 1, 2020 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
If you are running a retail business, you must know the pain of losing a customer. You think you did enough to earn their loyalty, but no! Still, they leave you because they don’t feel the same way.
Studies show that customers these days expect more from brands to stay loyal to them.
But what exactly is “more”?
Simply put, consumers want brands to treat them more than ‘just another customer’. They want you to get personal and make them feel special.
Because you know what? 56% of customers stay loyal to brands which “get them.”
Alright, enough with the pep talk. Let’s explore the ways you can give special treatment to your customers and earn their loyalty.
Do personalized marketing
First up, stop drafting general marketing emails and SMS and sending them to all your customers. Instead, personalize your marketing campaigns.
Want to drop by in your customers’ inboxes to tell them about your new deals, discounts, or stocks? Make sure every marketing email and SMS that goes out to your customers starts by their names.
Related: 6 Ways to Ensure Employee and Customer Satisfaction When Everyone’s Working Remotely
It doesn’t mean that you have to send individual emails and SMS to your customers. No, simply use a marketing software that automatically personalizes the same message for each customer.
Sell customized bundle deals
Customers love to get more and pay less. That is why bundle products and services at bargained prices are their favorite.
So, put your most popular products and services in a couple of bundle offers to make your customers happy. You must be thinking, “well, we already do that”. Okay, but you need to give your customers “more” than that, remember?
Help the customers out who want to buy multiple products or services but are a little tight on budget. Create customized bundles on the fly and sell them everything they need at a price that they afford.
Launch a customer loyalty program
75% of consumers say they favor companies that offer rewards. So, a customer loyalty program is the perfect addition to your giving “more” game plan.
It’s simple. You set some loyalty points for your products and services with your customer management software. And then every time customers buy your products or services, they get loyalty points for that. They can later use those loyalty points to pay for future purchases with your store.
Related: Digging For Gold: Identifying Your Ideal Customer
Once a customer gets loyalty points in his account, you can be rest assured that he will come back to you for more business. And that’s customer loyalty for you!
CVS is a trusted American health company. It’s also well-known for rewarding its shoppers with ExtraBucks on their purchases. Those ExtraBucks are basically loyalty points that act as free money that consumers can use to pay for their future shoppings with CVS.
Reward your customers for referrals
Extend loyalty rewards by including customer referrals and win the hearts of your customers. Give a certain amount of loyalty points to your customers whenever they bring a new customer to your business.
This one is a double shot for your business. Firstly, you’ll grow your customer base with family, friends, and other connections of your existing customers. Secondly, you will give your existing customers something to come back for (the loyalty points). Sounds like a plan, right?
Host a customer appreciation week every year
Appreciating your customers is the direct road to customer loyalty because it makes them feel valued and special.
Your verbal appreciation sure leaves a good impression on your customers. But hosting a customer appreciation week will make your business a hero.
So, pick a week and celebrate your love and appreciation for your customers. Send personalized email and SMS notifications to all your customers. Create and offer exclusive discounts, deals, bargains, loyalty points, giveaways, and more!
Make customer appreciation week your thing and host it every year. Your customers will definitely treat you with the same love and become loyal to your brand.
Never say ‘No’ to refunds
How many times have you said ‘No’ to customers’ refund requests? Probably, too many. That’s not very nice and you know it.
You don’t want to lose the money of your hard-earned sale and that’s understandable. But forcing your customers to keep the products that they are not happy with is not a way to deal with that.
Related: Is Your Business Catering to Its Customers Or Its Product?
So, what you can do instead is offer them store credits. They work just like loyalty points that the customers can use for their future purchases. The only difference is that, with store credits, you have to give the customer points equal to the amount of refund.
It’s like you don’t give your customers their money back but you offer them to buy something else. So, you neither disappoint your customers by saying ‘No’ to refunds nor lose your sale. To win-win!
Ask for customers’ feedback
Remember how we talked about customers loving those brands who get them? Well, this is a classic exercise for that.
Other than being valued and appreciated, customers also want to be heard. Do you want the best strategy to earn the loyalty of your customers? Ask the customers firsthand.
They will tell you what they like and don’t like about doing business with your brand. They will also help you generate ideas for beating your competition and attracting new customers.
However, noting customers’ suggestions is not enough. You have to implement their feedback to make them your loyal customers.
Make friends with your customers
The key to converting your one-time customers into loyal ones is to care for them. The more value you add to their purchases, the deeper they’ll connect with your business.
Here’s the final list of things that you should cover for building a strong connection with your customers:
✅ Get personal with your customers in your marketing efforts.
✅ Give them rewards for doing business with you and for bringing you new customers.
✅ Celebrate your love for them by dedicating a week to customer appreciation.
✅ Offer them the flexibility of doing another purchase with store credits.
✅ Take their feedback and try to implement the most of it.
The best part is that you only need one piece of software to put all of this in place. From automated personalized emails to product / service bundles, loyalty programs, and store credits, it has an all-in-one solution for everything.
So, there you have it, the right retail POS software is the ultimate secret of building a loyal customer base.