You’ve likely heard the statistics before: it costs 6 times more to attract a new customer than it does to keep an old one, and you’re 3 times more likely to sell an existing customer than a new one.
But what does that mean for you and your business?
One word: Loyalty.
Keep your customers coming back to your store, and you’ll see increased profits in no time at all! Sounds simple, but with the huge variety of retailers out there today, it can be a monumental task. 61% of retailers cite customer retention as their greatest obstacle.
So, how do you build customer loyalty? Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started:
1. Customer Support
It seems like a no-brainer, but this is the first area where businesses tend to falter. Are your CSRs short with your customers? Do your managers fail to follow up with customer complaints? If you have any issues with customer service, the loyalty of your customers will suffer for it.
55% of consumers will cease buying from a company that provides poor customer service, whereas 66% of consumers reported being willing to spend more with a company following an excellent customer service experience.
Want to fix your customer service issues? Start with the faces of your company; your employees. Make sure that they are adequately trained and sufficiently compensated for their work. Got someone who is providing consistently poor service regardless of how much training they receive? Don’t be afraid to move them to back of house operations or let them go; even one poor customer service experience can negatively impact a customers opinion of your store forever, costing you and your store more money than it would take to hire and train someone else.
2. Use Technology
We live in the social media age; if you’re not using it already, start now! If you’re already using it, make it a priority. Customers will use social media to tell others about their experiences at a store, and keeping up a Facebook page for your business provides them with a place to share those experiences. Don’t have a business page on Facebook? Learn how to set one up here!
Don’t be afraid to branch out to other social media sites either! Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram are excellent ways to reach out to your client base as long as you use them well. A company website and blog is also an excellent resource, and very easy to set up through WordPress or any other host site. If you are particularly tech-savvy, you may even want to come up with a phone app! According to Nuance, 72% of consumers have a more favorable view of a company if they provide a customer service app!
3. Got Loyalty?
Here’s the big one: if you don’t offer some sort of loyalty program, get one. Consumers love loyalty programs: 54% of respondents would consider increasing the amount of business they do with a company for a loyalty reward, and 46 % said they already have.
PremierMerchant and its sister POS system PremierWireless both offer integrated loyalty programs as part of their software, making it easy to start your program. There are a few other things to do to make it even easier to implement. Take a look at our other blog post 5 Ways to Improve Your Loyalty Program for tips and tricks on how to better use your loyalty program.