BBB Business Tip: 7 tips for building and maintaining customer loyalty

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A strong customer relationship can be the difference between a business thriving and failing. When investing in customers, the more likely a business will grow — and customers will keep coming back. BBB offers seven tips for building and maintaining customer loyalty, but first, it is essential to understand how vital loyal customers are to a small business.

It can be challenging to acquire new customers as a small business, and once you have acquired them, you want to hold onto them for the long run. Also, know that customer retention is much more cost-effective than new acquisitions, and when you have a limited budget, customer loyalty is the best strategy for growing your business.

Focusing on your customers increases your chances of success. Approximately 65% of most companies’ business comes from existing customers, both from repeated sales and new customers acquired via word of mouth. 

Seven tips for building and maintaining customer loyalty for your small business:

“Try before you buy” 

Consider allowing first-time customers to try a limited number of products/services before they make a purchase. Consider offering customers a chance to try new products/services before they officially hit the market. This is not only an easy way to build trust, but it also shows whether the products/services have growth potential. 

The “try before you buy” approach is a simple way to engage with customers, and it also allows collecting email addresses to remarket to them in the future. 

Get to know your audience by going "Live" on social media

Social media is a great way to connect with your customers. These platforms make it easy to interact with them, ask them questions, and even offer them rewards for engaging with your content and live video posts. 

The key is to be genuine and sincere with your customers. Don't just talk to them; tell them stories and get to know them. The more your customers feel you are genuinely interested in them and the more open and honest you are during these interactions, the more they will trust and respect your business, influencing them to return.  

Offer personalized rewards

Personalized rewards will make your customers feel appreciated and valued, creating a strong bond between you and them. You can offer rewards to your customers by giving them discounts, freebies, or other incentives based on their behaviors, such as a percentage off certain products that they purchase frequently or a gift on their birthday.

Consider a brand ambassador program

A brand ambassador program is a great way to encourage your customers to promote your business. You can reward ambassadors with benefits such as free products, discounts, or even special coupons for their friends, family and followers. 

Create special forums for loyal customers

It is essential to keep your most loyal customers engaged and feeling important. You can do this by creating a group where they can interact or starting a forum to share information and updates with them. 

Groups and forums are the perfect way to build strong relationships with your customers, and they also enable you to send out frequent announcements and updates easily.

Feature user-generated content from repeat customers

Repeat customers are a gold mine. They are the ones who are most likely to recommend your business to their friends and family. They are also likely to generate valuable content featuring your products.

User-generated content is uploaded and shared by customers who have used your products or services. Encouraging and featuring this content is a great way to get your customers talking about your business. By acknowledging and sharing these posts, comments, and reviews, you show your loyal customers that you appreciate them and value their opinions. 

Prioritize the user experience 

The user experience is one of the most critical factors determining whether a customer will make a purchase from you or go to your competitors. You can improve your user experience by doing things such as providing outstanding customer service, having a responsive website, and giving your customers a simple, easy-to-use interface. 

The more you treat your customers well and enhance the user experience, the more likely they will keep coming back for more. 

Need more helpful tips and tricks for building your customer loyalty? Visit BBB.org today!