How to Maintain Customer Relationships and Build Loyalty

According to a recent retail report, customer experience is key to inspire brand loyalty. Since customers are your greatest asset, it’s important to ensure they’re happy.

A five percent increase in customer retention can boost profits up to 95%, according to a study by Bain & Company. So, satisfied, loyal customers equal a healthy business.

One of the best ways to do this is to use a customer directory that keeps track of customer data, notes and feedback (good or bad). If you integrate this with customer engagement tools, you can provide customers with a more personalised service and communication. Of course, it’s not enough just to have the right tools. You also need solid strategies and tactics.

Provide great service

Your employees interact with customers on a regular basis. To ensure everyone has a positive experience, employees should be encouraged and empowered to treat customers well. (And, in turn, your team should be happy and motivated.)

Make it personal

Remembering details like a customer’s favourite bottle of wine or a hard-to-find snack can mean a lot, and it ensures that customers feel valued, known and understood. With Square’s Customer Directory notes and reminders, you and all of your employees can easily manage relationships with each customer. This comes in handy for prompt follow-ups, like when a product is back in stock.

Stay in touch

Everyone wants to feel like they’re being kept in the loop. This means that it’s important to send newsletters, event invitations and speciality emails to customers who have signed up for your mailing list. With the right email marketing tools, you should be able to segment customers by behaviour and provide more personalised offers that get them in the door more often.

Offer rewards

Reward your customers for coming back with a loyalty programme, be it with a digital software programme or an old-school punch card. Loyalty programmes serve as encouragement to return, and are especially helpful to differentiate your business from similar ones in your area, respondents said.

Celebrate your customers

Honour loyal customers with special events, like an evening with private shopping and discounts, or a preview party of a menu of new cocktails you’re testing. It’s an easy way to make your loyal customers feel appreciated and special. You might even start a friends and family day with discounted shopping for loyal customers, so they can bring someone special and spread the word.

Give back to your community

Getting involved in your community gives you a chance to form beneficial relationships with nearby businesses. Support your neighbours and consider having an event with stores and restaurants in your area, offering special discounts or samples. You can even create a punch card programme that offers discounts or loyalty incentives with other businesses.

Don’t forget the little things

While big gestures are nice, it’s the little touches that stand out and keep customers returning. A special holiday treat, an extra dessert or a simple thank you card at the end of the year takes a small amount of effort but has a lot of impact.