Your first customers are likely to be the most important you ever have. Whether you’ve had help from friends and family or you’ve found them on your own, giving your first customers the attention they deserve is important – after all, they’ve invested in your business and like what you’ve been doing. Below, we’ve rounded up five ways to increase customer loyalty and ensure that your first customers stick around for months and years to come.
Deliver the best possible service
It sounds obvious, but it’s so common to forget about customers once they’ve signed up for your service or made a repeat order. It’s essential you work hard to deliver the best possible service at all times, whether they’re a brand new customer or they’ve been with you from the beginning. Focus on customer service and give people multiple ways to contact you (including social media, email and telephone) and always work hard to continuously improve your products and services. That way, you’ll always keep customers on your side.
Run a loyalty scheme
If you have a physical store and offer products to your customers, like food or coffees, then you could consider running a loyalty scheme to encourage repeat orders. For example, if a customer buys six coffees, they get their seventh for free. For e-commerce website and online stores, you could offer discounts when users sign up for an annual subscription or offer ‘points’ for every pound they spend on your store that they can convert to discounts.
Be better than the competition
If your products and services are miles ahead of your competitors’, then your customers are much more likely to stick around. You’ll always find loyal customers who buy from you whatever you do, but most customers are price and service-lead and will be happy to try out a competitor if they think it’s a better deal. Always keep an eye on what your competition is doing and be prepared to up your marketing and research budgets to compete.
Build your brand
Some of the world’s biggest businesses don’t have a unique selling point for their product, but they use their brand to stand out and hook customers in. For example, you’ll be able to buy a burger and chips in almost every café and restaurant in the country, but McDonald’s remains a popular choice because of its brand and reputation. If you focus on building your brand and reputation through social media, content marketing, advertising, publicity stunts and delivering the best service, you’ll be more likely to persuade customers to stick around.
When customers start to drop off, ask them why and see where they’re headed. You could create an ‘off-boarding’ process that users have to go through when they cancel a subscription or run an online feedback form that old customers can complete in exchange for a discount or free product. Understanding why your customers aren’t loyal can help you improve your business and marketing and increase your chances of winning them back.
What do you do to keep your customers loyal and on your side? Let us know in the comments below, and check back soon for more great content on startup businesses.