Customer Retention and Loyalty
Keeping customers is vital to any business, as without them you wouldn't have a business to begin with. The key to keeping your customers is the relationship you have with them. Maintaining customer relationships is vital for the growth and success of your business. By maintaining your customer relationships, you are encouraging repeat business and increasing your profits. This is meaningful considering it costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than to engage an existing one. Another key reason you should invest in keeping customers is that it gives you a competitive edge. The relationships you build with your customers makes them more likely to keep coming back and even promote you to their friends. For a more in depth look into keeping customers and the benefits it can have you should read our article on ‘Why Keeping Customers Is Important’.
Now that you have some idea as to why keeping customers is important; how do you go about building your customers loyalty? How do you keep customers coming back? Well communication is key, as it mainly requires interacting with and keeping your customers engaged. Whether this interaction is direct by getting your customers to sign up to an e-mail newsletter, or just communicating business news through your social media networks. An online presence of some kind is vital for most businesses (for more information on this you should have a look at our article ‘Online Presence for Business’). Something else that you are probably already doing to create loyal customers is ensuring high product and service quality. The importance of this cannot be overstated. A high-quality product or service is the best way to help customers appreciate and believe in what you do as a business. No matter your business, aesthetics are also vitally important in order for customers to feel comfortable and want to return. Why not check out our article Pub Aesthetics: The Key to Increased Profits or our article Shop Designs: The Aesthetics of Your Store for some ideas? For a more in depth look at how to go about maintaining customer relationships and encouraging repeat business; you should check out ‘Building Customer Loyalty: Top Tips’.
As mentioned, communication is very important to building customer loyalty, and an often-overlooked aspect of communication is listening. Listen to your customers and get their feedback. This is the best way to improve your business and keep your customers coming back. There are many different ways you can go about collecting feedback. It can be achieved by sending out surveys, asking for comments on service, and generally just listening to what your customers are saying. However, asking for feedback can be difficult and actually getting it is even harder! If you’ve read our article ‘Building Customer Loyalty: Top Tips’ you might have seen that it offers you a free infographic on the ‘Best Ways to Get Feedback’. This infographic tells you some of the different ways you can collect feedback and gives you tips on the best ways to use these and some of their benefits.
Loyalty cards are not a new concept, you probably already have some yourself, but they can take many different forms and have numerous benefits from a business perspective. While loyalty cards aren’t applicable to all industries, they can be applied to most consumer-based models. Hospitality and retail outlets all over the country are already taking full advantage of this loyalty building technique.
The biggest or perhaps most immediate benefit that loyalty cards offer your business is that they drive sales. Your reward program can focus on encouraging repeat sales in order to get a reward. Loyal customers spend 67% more than new ones, so promoting repeat business should be a priority. Some business owners worry that by offering a loyalty card and discounts it will ultimately cut into their bottom line. However, the overall increase in sales should negate this.
Another good reason to implement a reward scheme is to keep up with the competition. What does it say to your customers if you are the only business around that isn’t rewarding them for their custom? The market is saturated with loyalty cards and reward schemes; this can be a negative as having these no longer makes you unique. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have them, but it does mean that if you can offer something a bit different you are sure to be noticed. These are just two of the many reasons that a loyalty card can bolster your business, for a more in-depth look check out our article ‘The Value of Loyalty Cards For Your Business’.
How Do You Fund Your Customer Retention?
Depending on the strategy you're implementing to maintain your existing customers, will inform how much finance you will need. Reward schemes are reasonably cheap to implement, and can quickly show a return on investment if done right; it is mainly the initial rollout and promotion of this scheme that you would require funds for. You can be approved for GRID's business loan in just 24 hours and have the money in your account within a week. This allows you to put the cash to work instantly, so you can stop losing customers and start creating regulars. For more information check out our article 'How to Finance Your Customer Relations'.