You know how important customer loyalty is to your bottom line. On average, returning customers spend 67% more on purchases compared to first-time customers. But before you can reap the benefits of all those loyal customers, you’ve got to create them.
Here are four smart practices that you can use, no matter what type of brick-and-mortar store you operate, to start turning first-time guests into ideal loyal customers.
Positive, personalized experiences are vital to creating customer loyalty. A survey of 9,000 American consumers, which asked how businesses can improve, found the number one answer to be, “better human service.” Turns out people like being treated like … real people.
It all starts with a friendly greeting from your staff as soon as a customer walks through the door. Cultivate and encourage an environment where your workforce promotes positivity and expresses a genuine joy to your patrons. Converse with guests and make sure their needs are met. Look to resolve matters with displeased customers with empathy rather than avoidance or blame. Thank guests for their patronage and encourage them to revisit your establishment.
Keep that personal experience going in your digital communications. Have a customer list that you’re planning on marketing back to? Keep your messaging light and personal in your marketing campaigns. Look to utilize marketing platforms that will help you to greet your recipients on a first-name basis. Make each guest feel like an individual and you’re on your way to creating more loyal customers.
Increase Incentive Offers
A recent survey regarding world-wide consumers and their loyalty to a business found that 61% of respondents believe that coupons are the key to driving customer loyalty. If you aren’t offering incentives to a variety of customer types, you’re killing your customer loyalty growth.
Don’t just offer coupons and deals to those who already in your loyalty program, start creating special offers and incentives for those outside of it. Offer specific coupons for first-time guests. Show them you appreciate them visiting your establishment. After that, encourage customers to join your loyalty program so the incentives keep coming to them.
As for those inactive guests who haven’t been back for some time, create a ‘We miss you’ marketing campaign that reaches out with an enticing coupon/offer. Give them that nudge that encourages them to plug in back into your business. The specifics of your incentives are up to you; remember though, if your deals don’t offer any true value, then your customers won’t bother to use them.
Get on Social Media
Placing your business on some type of social media outlet is not just for general business growth. With the average person having at least five social media accounts, you need to be engaging directly with your guests on social media to encourage customer loyalty.
When making posts on social media, supply content that encourages your guests to get involved (likes, retweets, shares, etc.). Outlets such as Instagram is great for patrons to upload photos and share their experience at your establishment.
Social media is also increasingly the preferred venue for customer service and information. Provide your address, store hours and website on a Facebook page in case a patron is having difficulty looking it up on their own. Utilize outlets such as Facebook and Twitter as a way for customers to directly message you in case they have any comments, questions or concerns. Resolving a customer issue live on social media is actually valuable social proof of your company’s commitment to customer experience.
Whether it’s praise or criticism, feedback of your business should always be encouraged. Regardless of the platform they choose for sharing their experiences, you need to be listening and responding.
Being willing to accept criticism and make amends to correct a situation may be the extra step needed to turn a disgruntled guest into a bonafide loyal customer. Mistakes will happen in life. It’s how you handle it that will determine if the situation turns out to be a positive or negative for your business.
For customers providing positive feedback, make sure to respond to them as quickly as you would to a dissatisfied customer. Thank them for their feedback and even reciprocate with an incentive whenever possible. If a customer took the time to talk about your business, take the time to show you care.
Are you ready to start implementing these practices to create the ideal loyal customer? Free World WiFi is here to help. Free World Wifi Smart WiFi platform turns your basic guest WiFi into a powerful marketing utility. Greet guests with a well-branded WiFi login page, create personalized email campaigns, and encourage customer feedback all from your simple WiFi service. Schedule a demo today to learn more.