Running a business entails many things. First and foremost, it represents the pursuit of success and wealth, but it also requires tending to a variety of factors in order to make your fortune. No business model is complete with its clientele, and taking care of those customers is essential for building a long lasting, successful business. Here’s what you need to know.
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a loyal customer base is trust. Making your clients and customers trust you to provide quality products and/or services will be instrumental in building brand loyalty, ensuring that you get repeat business from satisfied customers. There are many ways you can do this. For example, an insurance company can use a state-of-the-art insurance document management system to make sure that its clients’ records are as accurate as possible and neatly organized, ensuring that minor mistakes don’t cause major problems. On the other hand, a retailer might engender that trust with post-sale customer support. In the event of a customer who is dissatisfied with his or her purchase, engaging, polite, and helpful customer service can restore that customer’s faith in the business in question. Likewise, the service a customer receives during the transaction itself can have a major impact on their perception of the company.
Marketing Your Company
Another crucial way to gain the trust of your customers is through the use of various marketing techniques. When one thinks of marketing, advertising is typically the first thing to come to mind. While advertising is one of essential services that marketing can provide to your company, it’s far from the only advantage. For example, effective branding can color your audience’s impression of your business, literally and otherwise. For example, a cool color palette, especially shades of blue, tends to have a calming effect on observers, making cool colors ideal for many businesses. On the other hand, the color red is known to trigger passion, potentially resulting in more sales at a faster pace. Marketing can also paint a picture of a brand via additional promotional materials, such as advertising, but also flyers, signage, and more. Much of marketing is an attempt to craft a narrative around the merits of a given business, and there are myriad techniques for doing so. For example, many advertisements seek to pair a given brand with a lofty or noble concept, such as that of community or even patriotism.
Another great way to build customer loyalty is by implementing special offers. For example, tried and true tactics of discounts on popular items will not only drive a short term increase in sales, but also a more favorable outlook on your company. In fact, this phenomenon is so powerful that, when offered permanently cheaper items, customers were on average less satisfied than when sale prices were temporary. As it turns out, customers like to feel like they’re taking advantage of a special event more than the savings themselves. On the other hand, offering your customers loyalty bonuses via rewards programs can be incredibly beneficial in terms of customer retention. For example, CVS’s Extrabucks program rewards customers with special coupons just for being enrolled in the program, for starters. In addition to this, and far more importantly, the Extrabucks themselves are essentially store credit offered as a reward for meeting certain spending milestones, rather than in exchange for a returned purchase, for example. There are many other ways that you can leverage this kind of technique to your advantage, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, so consider trying several, albeit not all at once.
While running a company can be challenging, it can also be deeply rewarding. However, getting to those rewards will require you to not only bring customers in the door, but also make them feel like yours is a business that they can return to. Using these tips, you can create an audience of loyal customers that will carry you to success.