Businesses rely on loyal patronage and positive word-of-mouth advertising to attract new customers. Word-of-mouth marketing has been proven to be the most effective form of advertising as family and friends trust these recommendations. Even then, almost nine of out 10 consumers research a company for consumer feedback before visiting a store, which is why businesses are under immense pressure to improve user experience by offering services that keep repeat shoppers returning. This strategy provides 10 times the revenue potential of a first-time visitor. Here are three tactics that will keep your customers coming back long-term.
1. Loyalty Programs
Offering loyalty programs reward your customers for their continued patronage and purchases. It is also the perfect solution to target demographics with a variety of loyalty programs. This type of marketing strategy will reduce advertising costs because of consumer trust in your managerial choices and product or services. Having a loyalty program also shows that your company cares about customer needs which increases revenue in the long-term since there is a standard set that you value their buying power.
Four examples of loyalty programs for small businesses in 2018 — pros and cons:
- Discount sales specifically for loyalty members
- Free products or services for earned points
- Promotions after customers meet base dollars spent
- Gamification of check-out: raffles or scratch off for products
2. Value-driven Customer Experiences
In today’s economy, customers have endless opportunities to make purchases which means local small businesses must compete with digital and brick-and-mortar competitors. Small business owners have to keep up with marketing research to attract new clientele as well as expose clients to personalized experiences that advocate business practices as well as win over customer allegiance.
Research has shown that experience is one of the most critical aspects of customer satisfaction:
- Eight out of 10 consumers will pay more for better customer experiences
- Nearly 80 percent of customers will abandon their carts if they receive bad service
- Nine of 10 customers would not return to a store if they had a bad experience
By focusing on customer satisfaction and experience, it reduces the chance of losing their business to your competitors. Business owners know that in the age of consumer awareness that it is vital to meet their needs or lose the advantage of selling power.
3. Spotlight Loyal Customers as a Marketing Tool
Your primary goal, whether you are a brick-and-mortar business or one that is strictly online is to make customers feel appreciated. In the age of social media, using platform features like Instagram stories is a creative way to spotlight your loyal customers and share their experiences. It is also a low-budget strategy that helps you gain customers while also marketing customer service, shopping experience or product and service availability which will influence your shoppers while targeting demographics.
When a company lacks a loyal following, a marketing team must shift their focus from customer acquisition to retention which is where these strategies are most beneficial. It is also less expensive to offer incentives to repeat customers than it is to advertise to attract new ones, which include boosting opportunities that help businesses gain a competitive advantage.
About the Contributor:
Jessica Whitton is an online blogger who promotes business success through copywriting, marketing strategies and finance management. With a corporate marketing background and a passion for writing, Jessica now blogs online across various platforms.