The most successful entrepreneurs will tell you that attracting customers is only half the battle. The latter, more difficult part is keeping them. Customer loyalty is as vital as it is elusive, with businesses spending copious amounts of money to find new ways to keep increasingly flippant patrons coming back for more.
Have a look at these five clever ways to build customer loyalty, and see how many work for you:
- Upgrade Your Equipment
When it comes to machine-intensive services like coin-operated laundry or automated car washes, customers demand functional equipment as a bare minimum. But when faced with alternatives, the laundromat stocked with top of the line equipment from http://cgilaundry.com/ and other leading sources will win it over the joint with beat up a coin operated washer from the last century by a mile.
Upgrading your equipment doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg if you keep them in good enough shape to resell further down the line. Today’s investment in Continental Girbau is tomorrow’s resale for a fair portion of your original expense, when the laundromat equipment served its purpose and you’re on to the next business idea.
- Please the Senses
Businesses that look good tend to perform well. Engage your customers’ senses from your storefront to the main area where your transactions happen. Aim to set up the kind of visual experience that lands businesses on their customers’ social media accounts –you keep your existing customers happy and encourage them to bring their friends as well.
- Find Ways to Establish a Community
If you’re running a business, it means two things: that you’re catering to a market, and that you have competition. A clever way to take advantage of the former and circumvent the latter is to turn your business into more than just a place that delivers goods and services, but a community hub.
Get to know your demographic and find ways to draw them closer together. The secret is to prove that you care for your customers by offering hooks like events, or contests that appeal to their interests. You don’t have to be a bar or barber shop to become a local favorite, you simply have to be sincere in connecting with your clientele and be exciting for them.
- Don’t Spare the Chit Chat
If you’re running a small business with a storefront, then honest and genuine contact with your customers is important. It’s critical that you train the employees manning your establishment to be smart and sincere in dealing with the people who choose your business.
Reinforce habits of empathy and interest, and they should find it as easy as remembering that people spend money to fill needs and wants –exploring those needs and wants opens up opportunities to show customers the varied ways your business can fill them.
- Reward Loyalty
The thing about building customer loyalty that most people overlook is that unless people feel like they’re getting great value out of choosing your firm above others, it’s less likely that they’ll want to come back for more of what you have to offer.
Rewarding loyalty can be as simple as offering discounts for repeat customers, or as elaborate as establishing running jokes using your in-store signage. The key is to make each new visit to your business more pleasant, interesting, or rewarding than before.
In the end, customer loyalty is easy to achieve if you keep in mind that you’re dealing with people. They have wants, needs, and interests for miles, and touching on one or more of those can spell the difference between being just another small business and being a routine favorite.