5 Things you can do
Finding customers is only step one. Once you have customers, you need to make sure you keep them. You want them to return to you again and again, rather than going to a competitor. The way to do this is through building customer trust and loyalty, which is easier than you might think with the five strategies below.
Make your values clear.
More and more, customers are looking for businesses that share their values. If you make your values clear from day one, you will attract customers who are not just interested in your goods or services, but in your business as a company.
So, how do you make your values clear? You can start by emphasizing them on your website. Say, for example, one of your values is supporting the planet through your use of green packaging. Create a little banner on your website that says, "we only use eco-friendly, green packaging."
You can also make your values clear by participating in events that align with your values. Going back to the healthy planet example, you could participate in volunteer events to collect recycling or pick up trash on the side of the road. Post about these events on your social media pages so your customers see that your values align with theirs.
Provide excellent customer service.
If your customers feel like you are there for them and ready to address their needs, they will come back again and again. Respond to customer requests promptly. Show empathy and understanding when speaking with them, and work to address their needs in a timely manner. If you can't quite give a customer what they want, at least work towards a compromise. This will give you a huge edge over other businesses that just tell customers "no."
Offer discounts for loyalty.
It costs you less to serve repeat customers than to use marketing and advertising to find new customers. So, pass some of those savings on to repeat customers in the form of loyalty discounts! Your discount does not have to be huge. Even a small, 5% or $5 discount for return customers can show customers you care and also urge them to choose you again over a competitor.
Another way to offer discounts for loyalty is to allow customers to build points within your own system. Give them a point for every dollar they spend, and then give them a 10% discount when they reach 100 points.
Take customer feedback seriously.
Ask for customer feedback after every transaction. And then, get back to the customer about the feedback they offered. Ask questions for clarification, and let them know if there is anything you can do to address any negative comments they left. Even if their first experience was not perfect, many customers will stick with you if they know you're listening to their needs and willing to make changes.
Don't expand unless you can fully support your existing customers.
This applies more in some industries than in others. You may want to grow and expand your business, but do not do it at the expense of your current customers. If you are already struggling to offer flexibility in scheduling for your existing clients, you're not ready to expand to new clients. Take care of your loyal customers, and they'll remain loyal customers.
Building customer trust and loyalty takes time and effort, but it is so worthwhile. Customers who come back, again and again, start to feel like friends. Treat them well, and they'll continue to treat your business well.