Brand loyalty is hard to come by and business owners should be doing everything they can to ensure that consumers keep coming back.
Many people have taken to the Internet to do much of their research and shopping, a transition which has been a detriment to brand loyalty, Forbes contributor YEC Women explained. Browsing online gives customers the opportunity to easily compare prices, hunt down deals and narrow their search depending on personal preference, rather than any sort of brand inclination. Shoppers have been conditioned to only make purchases if they receive significant discounts – not a sustainable business model.
These days, consumers are expecting some kind of deal or special treatment equal to what they would receive shopping online. With e-commerce fragmenting brand loyalty, how do small businesses win over repeat customers? Read on for advice on how to keep shoppers coming back to your business:
1. Listen to your customers
One way to get consumers to appreciate your brand is to listen to them, according to YEC Women. Find ways to stay in touch with customers and incorporate their ideas into the way your business operates. Ask how they enjoyed the store, what the customer service was like or if the product they purchased turned out as expected. If individuals aren't pleased with their experience, assure them that the issues will be fixed by the time they return. Building brand loyalty will be much easier if people know that your business actually listens to them.
2. Make sure new shoppers remember you
First impressions are everything, so make sure to give a good one, Entrepreneur noted. Ensure that visitors to your businesses find the experience exciting. This will be the first step toward a long-term relationship between your business and the individual – that is as long as the impression you make is a good enough to keep him or her coming back.
3. Apply value to loyalty
So what if customers do return, and then return again? What do you do to keep them coming back – they've had their first impression and they know you'll listen to their thoughts. What else can they get out of repeated visits? The value of customer loyalty cannot be underestimated, and you will have to find a way to keep consumers coming back over and over again. Set up some kind of loyalty plan that rewards individuals who return. The more they come back, the more they get. YEC Women suggested free gifts with purchases, complimentary shipping or discounts.
4. Stand with customers
Visitors to your store will have interests and issues that are important to them. Make sure that you stand with loyal consumers on the values that they hold dearest, Entrepreneur noted. Selling people a product they like while simultaneously promoting a cause they feel for is a great way to get them more interested in your business.
5. Inform shoppers
Listening is important, but you should be telling customers about new opportunities as well, YEC Women explained. Make sure that you're in touch with the consumer base frequently, let them know you're thinking of them, inform them of deals or contact them for any other reason you think they will find valuable. Consistently inform shoppers loyal to your brand about company-wide changes and other happenings. Use an open line of communication to develop bonds with your brand-loyal consumers.
Providing people with an experience that they can't pass up will keep them coming back for more long after their first visit. Use some of the above advice in order to make sure your business is building powerful relationships with customers that promote brand loyalty. To learn more about how to invest in technology – or anything else – that will open up the lines of communication between customers and your business, speak with a financial services expert.