It’s often difficult for small businesses to compete on things like price or range of products. That’s why it’s important for small business owners to take a different approach.
People like shopping with small businesses because they feel as though they are supporting someone from within their own community. The idea that your money is going to a local family rather than some huge corporation is a nice one, isn’t it?
If you want to inspire loyalty with your customers so that they keep shopping with you, there are a few things you can do.
Offer something exclusive for loyal customers
The feeling that you’re getting something that nobody else is is a great motivator for customers to keep shopping with you. You don’t have to offer something particularly expensive either; the idea of exclusivity is the pull.
Some great exclusive gift ideas are:
- A drinking glass with your company logo
- A custom magic 8 ball featuring your branding
- Personalized stationery
- Pens and pencils
- Craft supplies
The key is to find a gift that is a little unusual, and that will make customers want to keep shopping with you.
One of the simplest ways to inspire customer loyalty is to create a genuine connection with your customers.
Make a point of having a conversation with people who come into your store, if they are up for that, of course. Ask them how you can help them but also take an interest in the things they tell you. For example, if they come to you looking for materials for a project, take a few minutes to ask them to tell you more about it.
They will leave feeling as though you care about them, which will make them more likely to come back.
Plus, loyal customers are a great resource when it comes to requesting feedback. There’s no better person to ask about a new product idea than one of your existing customers!
Seeking customer feedback is more than a way to develop your business strategy. It also helps your customers to feel more loyalty towards you because it allows them to feel as though they are a part of your business.
When you seek feedback, it is essential that you respond to it. People will stop replying if they feel as though their ideas aren’t being listened to, so when you seek feedback, be sure to thank customers for their input and let them know how you are taking them into account for your business going forwards.
When customers feel as though it’s difficult to talk to you, it can leave them feeling alienated, which doesn’t help to build loyalty.
Make it a priority to make it as easy as possible for customers to resolve their issues and to speak with customer service representatives when they need to.
It’s a good idea to review your policies for customer experience, too. For example, do customers need to tell the same story multiple times in order to resolve any queries? Or is the burden of proof too firmly on the customer? These kinds of barriers can make customers feel as though you don’t trust them, which will breed distrust in return.