Posted by : Amanda Stein Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It’s always easier and less costly to improve your relationships with current customers than it is to attract new customers and build a relationship from scratch. Loyal customers will drive your business to success, so here are six tips on increasing customer loyalty for your small business.

Know Your Customers

You need to get to know your customers on a personal level if you hope to earn their loyalty. When they come into your place of business, say hello and strike up a conversation. You should always give attention to repeat visitors and learn their names. Ask if they’d like to join your customer database to receive customer promotions, and get their contact information. Try to keep a diverse and current customer database so you know exactly who your customers are.

Keep in Touch

Use their contact information to keep in touch, but use it wisely. Do not flood their home mailboxes or email inboxes with so many messages. Keep in touch by sending news and announcements about changes in your business, for example. Let customers know about upcoming promotions and sales. Send thank you notes after they’ve made a large purchase, or send greetings and well wishes on their birthdays and for major holidays.

Reward Loyalty

If you want to increase customer loyalty, a sure bet is to offer an incentive. Reward customer loyalty with special offers, promotions, sales, and merchandise. You might give them a loyalty card to keep in their wallet or on their keychain and use it to track their visits and purchases. If people are aware of the perks for loyal customers, they’ll keep that in mind the next time they’re looking for a place to shop. If they’re pleased with your rewards, they’ll continue coming back.

Give Special Treatment

For the customers who frequent your business the most and spend the most money with you, give them extra special treatment and additional rewards for their loyalty. If someone throws a lot of business your way, they want you to really appreciate it. They often expect you to do something for them in return. Give very special offers to your most loyal customers and no one else. They’ll feel special and unique, as they should, and it will strengthen their ties to your business.

Go Above and Beyond

To increase customer loyalty, try to go above and beyond to give them something they really didn’t expect. Throw in perks or discounts without them asking for it from time to time. It’s especially important to go above and beyond with your customer service. Always do whatever you can to right wrongs, no matter how slight. Make customer satisfaction your utmost priority. Go out of your way to help or apologize, and they’ll be quite impressed.

Listen Attentively

Always pay close attention to the feedback your customers give you, and ask them for it often. Make it easy for them to give you feedback, such as with a direct link to a survey or a comment card. Use this feedback to make changes or improvements. Customers appreciate when their opinions are heard, and they’ll appreciate it even more when you act on them.

This article on tips to increase customer loyalty was prepared by Travis Lee in tandem with SEOMap - the keyword strategy experts.

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