When it comes to starting a successful business, having a great plan is only one part of the battle. Once you've incorporated your business and secured funding, you'll have to find ways to attract and retain customers. Having a base of customers that come back again and again is an important part of a well-run business, but how do you turn a customer into a return customer?
A recent post on the Small Business Administration (SBA) website discusses the importance of a loyal customer base for small businesses. The article notes that it is six to seven times more expensive secure a new customer than it is to retain one you already have. The more you can keep customers coming back, the more profitable your venture will be.
As the SBA points out, listening to customer feedback is key. If you are able to give customers what they want, they will be more likely to want to return to do business with you.
A Fast Company article gives the example of how coffee shops are able to build customer loyalty. Because coffee shops are up against a great deal of competition, having loyal customers is essential to their success. As the article explains, these businesses often have loyalty programs that give customers an incentive and reward them for coming back.
It additionally explains that mobile payments are a tool that can be used to help facilitate these repeat visits. Taking advantage of today's technologies to give customers what they want is one method that businesses are using to build loyalty.
The methods you choose to help build customer loyalty will depend on your unique business. By paying attention to your customers' needs and feedback, you will be able to determine how to keep them coming back for more.