Loyalty Building for the Small Business

shutterstock_137146739So you’ve invested money in an amazing website, crack social media specialist, and great copy. You’re getting business, but you’re not seeing a lot of behavior that signals customer loyalty – repeat buyers and those all important referrals. How can you increase customer loyalty when you’re on a budget because you’ve already invested heavily in other areas of your business?

The thing about customer loyalty is that you can engage with your customers, and give them great value, and they will still go looking for the next big special, unless you can connect with them on a deeper level.

The secret to that is to share your ideal customer’s values.

Finding out your ideal customer’s values isn’t that difficult, although you may need to do a bit of market research. First, you need to define your ideal customer. While this is Business Planning 101, many business owners skip formally putting anything down on paper, but it’s definitely necessary. If you’ve already done a sketch of your ideal customer, then pull that out and give it a read through. If not, now is the time.

Next, determine who your ideal customer is, take the time to learn about their habits. If you know that your ideal customer hangs out on Twitter, are you reading their tweets? See what they’re talking about, and you’ll get an idea of what’s important to them. When your clients comment on your Facebook status, check out their profile. Look for patterns!

Once you’ve determined those patterns, act on them. If many of your clients support a particular cause, then you should, too. If you want to bring in lots of customers while talking about the cause, donate a portion of your sales in a given time frame to that cause. Design a marketing campaign around the donation that will not only bring in customers, but increase their awareness that you support something that is near and dear to them.

That, they will remember!

Danielle VanZorn, PMP, SPHR

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