Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as legal or financial advice. Please always consult a knowledgeable professional advisor.
Why is it important to build customer loyalty?
Your regulars are where it’s at. Not only do they give you a steady stream of business but they’re also the people who are most likely to give you a ringing endorsement. The Insights tab of Square’s Customer Engagement tool has simple graphs that tell you exactly how many repeat customers you’ve had that day, week, month, and year.
If those numbers are lower than you’d like, there are several things you can do. Here are some customer loyalty best practices to help you build those relationships:
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Keep customers coming back.
1. Respond to feedback.
Square digital receipts give customers the opportunity to send feedback about their experience. They can simply select a smiley face if everything was great or a frowning face if something wasn’t up to par. There’s also a space for them to add comments.
All this feedback—smiles, frowns, and comments—lives in the Feedback tab under Square Customer Engagement. There, you can directly respond to everyone who’s weighed in—and you should. Square Feedback is a private conversation between you and your customers, so take care to craft personal responses.
If there’s a frown and a comment about the wait time, ask the customer for specifics so you can improve next time. Something like: “I’m so sorry about this, Mark. How long did you end up waiting for your drink? Moving the queue faster is a priority of ours, and we’re staffing up in the mornings. Your next cappuccino is on us.”
Responding to positive feedback is one of the top customer loyalty tactics. If someone praises your latte art, say something like: “So nice to hear, Charlotte! And bring your dog along next time—we have treats behind the counter!” Incorporating small-business feedback into your strategy (and adding a personal touch) shows that you care about each individual experience—and each individual. It’ll go a long way in building customer loyalty.
2. Nurture your social media presence.
Social media is an increasingly important customer loyalty best practice, as it keeps your brand top of mind and helps build brand loyalty with customers. But nurturing social accounts can take up a lot of time. So, before you start posting on all the different networks, think about the ones that will be most effective for your business.
If you’re a florist, Instagramming lush imagery of your arrangements is probably the best place to spend your energy. If you want to be a thought leader in the coffee industry, on the other hand, you might take to Twitter and post content that links back to your blog posts.
But remember that social media isn’t an “if you build it, they will come” situation. Include callouts to your accounts wherever and whenever possible. On the digital side, you can embed links to your social profiles right within your Square receipt and email marketing templates.
IRL, consider incorporating callouts to your social accounts on places like your in-store chalkboards and coffee cups. A healthy social media presence serves as a steady reminder of why your brand is so great—which keeps people coming back to you over your competitors.
3. Offer gift cards.
Especially when holidays, birthdays, and graduations are near, gift cards are a no-brainer strategy for growing your customer base. You can design custom gift cards (or choose one of Square’s templates).
And once you get your gift cards, be sure to let your regulars know with an email announcement through Square Customer Engagement. Learn more about how to create a robust gift card programme to get more repeat customers.
Choose eCommerce tools that make gift card purchases—and all purchases on your site for that matter—easy and secure. Payment security builds trust with your customers.
4. Reward Loyal Customers
Rewards systems are popular in the UK: 77 percent of British adults belong to at least one loyalty programme. Customers that use loyalty systems return twice as often, so it’s important to have a great setup to keep them coming back. Your rewards system should be easy to use and the customer loyalty points should be enough incentive to keep them coming back.
Repeat customers are the bedrock of your business. Not only will these customer loyalty best practices help you build loyalty and get you more regulars, they’ll help you deepen your relationships with them. And at the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.