Building Customer Loyalty — Best Practices That Drive Results

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’s a bunch of stuff you can do. Here are a few tips to help you build customer loyalty:

Respond to your 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 frownie 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. Because Square Feedback is a private conversation between you and your customers, 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 line faster is a priority of ours, and we’re staffing up in the mornings. Your next Americano is on us.”

Remember that it’s also important to respond to positive feedback. If someone praises your latte art, say something like: “So nice to hear, Jessica! And bring your dog inside next time — we have treats behind the counter!” Directly responding to your feedback (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. Learn more about how to use Square Feedback.

Stay top of mind with email marketing.

Email marketing is an extremely effective way to reach your customers. And Square’s email marketing tools are uniquely suited to help you get more regulars. Because Square Marketing syncs with Square Point of Sale, it can bucket your customers into three categories — loyal, casual, and lapsed. Which is cool because it means you can be strategic about how you target your messages. You could email just your casual customers, for example, and offer them a free pastry the next time they come in. Or you could let your lapsed customers know about a huge sale next week. Learn more about how to build customer loyalty with Square’s Customer Engagement tools.

Nurture your social media presence.

Social media is an increasingly important way to keep your brand top of mind. But nurturing social accounts can take up a ton of time. So before you go hog wild 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 stuff 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. And IRL, consider incorporating callouts 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.

Offer gift cards.

Especially as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduation near, gift cards are a no-brainer strategy for growing your customer base. You can design custom gift cards from Square (or choose one of our templates) at any price point. 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 program to get more repeat customers.

Repeat customers are the bedrock of your business. Not only will these tips 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.

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