This month the Entrepreneur Weekly will take a dive into Distribution and Consumer Management. These two subjects have a vast spectrum of subtopics that can be explored. However, we will zoom into customer loyalty, inventory and distribution in the upcoming installments for the month of September. This series will be geared toward providing entrepreneurs with perspective and insight into means through which they can improve their businesses.
In this post, we will tackle customer loyalty and useful concepts that entrepreneurs should understand to capitalise on this business strategy. Customer loyalty can essentially be described as a measure of a customer’s likeliness to do repeat business with your company or brand. It is the result of customer satisfaction, positive customer experiences, and the overall value of the goods or services a customer receives from a business. Entrepreneurs must take their customer loyalty strategy seriously, because your business is as good as the individuals supporting it.
Customer loyalty is the difference between one-time sales and recurring engagements with your business. There are many things to consider when developing customer loyalty ideas for your business, but here are three overarching concepts that will help you to strategise. According to Business News Daily, “Customer loyalty boosts profits, the more customer loyalty you have, the better your profits will be. In fact, just a 5% increase of customer retention could increase business profits by 25% to 95%.”
Learn Your Customer
The need for entrepreneurs to know who they are targeting can never be understated. It is important to have a thoroughly written profile of your ideal customer and their needs. Entrepreneurs must take care to know where, how and why consumers interact with their brand or company. According to Forbes Magazine in an article titled How to Build Customer Loyalty, “Identify their preferences and buying trends, their shopping habits and what they’re looking for, and track whether they come back for more of the same products and services. Offering customers valuable recommendations that resolve their issues will not only result in sales but also build customer loyalty.”
It is important to learn your customers so much that you can even anticipate their needs. According to The Entrepreneur “When a customer’s need is met before it has been expressed, it sends the message that you care about the customer as an individual. It doesn’t require telepathic ability, just paying attention and knowing your customers.” Entrepreneurs can learn about the customers through traditional phone calls, polls, surveys, or through analytics.
Do Not Underestimate Follow-Up
Often, follow-up can be an underrated strategy but it can make a world of a difference in your business strategy. If you have not heard from a customer in a while, you can make it a point of duty to check in on them to see why they have not engaged with your business or how you can improve their experience with your business. Along with this check-in, you can offer something in return for their business. According to Forbes, “Offering a rewards programme has proven benefits. According to research, 68% of regular customers will participate if a loyalty programme is offered. Customers who enroll in the programme are more likely to spend more money with you since they have an established relationship with you and receive perks in exchange for their business.”
Following up with customers can simply look like a call, email or a special offer. The Entrepreneur noted, “Computer-assisted client-tracking systems — and an attentive staff — can help create that same “at home” feeling in your customers — regardless of the size and price point of your business, and whether it’s an online or bricks-and-mortar operation.”
Make the Experience Personal
Everyone likes to feel special or remembered, entrepreneurs can increase business by adding a personal touch to their engagement with their consumers. Some simple ways small businesses can promote customer loyalty is through personalised notes and emails. Entrepreneurs now have the ability to directly call their consumer’s names in their communications with them, and through analytics know what are their purchasing habits, and offer specified products or services to that individual customer.
It is also vital to make each engagement with customers pleasant and memorable. Each customer must feel like they are interacting with someone that is trying to meet their personal need and not a generic problem. Micah Solomon from The Entrepreneur said “The first and final elements of your customer interactions should be particularly well-engineered, because they are going to stick in the customer’s memory.”
Customer Loyalty strategies are an important element in any business, and entrepreneurs must make careful note of their target consumers, be deliberate about follow up and ensure the experience is memorable. All of these factors contribute to customer retention and loyalty.
JBDC Virtual Biz Zone Webinar
The Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) is particularly interested in the development of small businesses and hosts webinars that help to inform and assist entrepreneurs across the island. Distribution and Customer Management will be the focus of the JBDC Virtual Biz Zone webinars scheduled for September 2022.
The first session will explore customer loyalty through the theme: Building Customer Loyalty: Branding, Engagement and the Pursuit of Community. The session will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 on the Zoom platform commencing at 10:00 am.