A business needs customers in order to stay in business. Well duh!
There are only 4 ways which a business can increase income:
- Find new customers.
- Find ways to increase purchase volume when a customer visits your store/website.
- Decrease expenses
- Bring back existing customers.
Customer loyalty is not the same as customer satisfaction or quality customer service. Loyalty is a far broader concept which includes these five factors:
- The overall customer experience is positive.
- The willingness of the customer to build a relationship with you and your company.
- The willingness to be a repeat buyer.
- The willingness to recommend you to others.
- A resistance to switch to a competitor.
Loyalty is not the same as:
- Customer satisfaction alone. A customer can be satisfied but it doesn’t draw them back to a business for more.
- Buying as a result of an offer, incentive, or sale. You cannot buy loyalty. It must be earned over time.
- A Large Market Share. You might have a big customer base because your price is better or your competitor is weak.
- Repeat buying alone. Some people buy out of habit, convenience or price but will easily change.
Customer loyalty happens when a person has a shopping experience which exceeds their expectations on more than one occasion.
How can a business leverage and engage their customers into loyal repeat buyers?
Some answers are simple, yet difficult to place into action consistently each and every day.
I know. I have been that business owner struggling to find new business as well as keep the current customers happy.
I am also a consumer and every business I enter, I am evaluating my experience. And I am sorry to say, the majority of small local businesses totally fail in engaging me in any conversation beyond – “Can I help you?”
Business has changed. The economy has changed. The consumer has changed. It is time for the small business to change as well in order to survive.
This blog is my effort to share with business owners they can do something different to increase the number of customers they reach as well as provide the type of shopping experience which turns casual customers into loyal customers.
So hold on. I have a whole bunch of talking and blogging ahead. Stay tuned.