Having a loyal customer base can be the holy grail for most hospo businesses. But it can be hard to keep track of customer loyalty and know if you’re doing the right things to grow it. Here are three major things you can do right away to make sure you’re encouraging customer loyalty.
On average, loyal customers spend 60 per cent more with you per visit. And their repeat purchases multiply this even further, as they shop with you 90 per cent more frequently. Not only do loyal customers bring in more revenue, they also require less of your marketing budget than acquiring new customers. Acquiring new customers can cost anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than retaining existing customers. So, your marketing attention should be directed at turning new customers into loyal customers. This is where you will make the highest return on investment and maintain this return for the long term, making customer loyalty an important part of any hospo store’s marketing strategy.
Adding customer loyalty to your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be hard. You’re probably already doing it, whether you mean to or not. Because if you love your store and are focused on making it a brand your customers love too, you’re halfway there.
There are three major things to make sure your store is ticking off to build a brand that your customers love and can’t get enough of, while encouraging customer loyalty.
1. Build a brand worthy of love
Building a brand worthy of love, is simply creating a strong bond that’s about the love of your product or service. Simple to say, but not so easy to do. Stores of all shapes and sizes can encourage customers to fall in ‘love’ with them. Just think of your ‘go-to’ restaurant or bar, or your favorite ‘must-stop’ at coffee shop. As a store owner, it’s your role to play Cupid!
Nudging customers to fall in love with your store starts with:
- Know your target market; their needs and desires. Then exceeding these with your product offering and marketing.
- Offer consistency in product and service quality, while keeping your menu fresh and new over the seasons.
- Respond to results and feedback to improve everything! Track product sales performance, marketing promotion results, and customer service feedback. The more you listen and improve, the more loveable your store will become.
- Have the best customer service around. This is a sure fire way to ensure customers enjoy their time shopping with you.
- And to top it all off, a loyalty program that gives something back to your customers as a little thank you to compel them to shop with you rather than the competition.
2. Deliver the best customer service around
Think about your positive customer service experiences. What made them stand out? Was it the barista that remembered your order and your name? The shopkeeper that helped carry your bags out to the car? Or how they distracted your troublesome toddler with a free fluffy, giving you time to enjoy your lunch date with friends?
Customer experience is key to encouraging customer loyalty. If a customer leaves your store with a smile, they are more likely to come back, and 94 per cent of customers who have a low-effort service experience will buy from that same business again. However, a dissatisfied customer will tell approximately 9-20 people about their experience . So it pays to make customer service a top priority for all your staff.
Make sure your staff know the importance of:
- Being friendly and helpful. Your staff members’ top priority should be to make customers feel happy about being in your store. This should be carried across all of your store’s customer touch points, from in-store, to over the phone and email, to on your social media channels.
- Making everything easy. From placing their order, to redeeming their loyalty rewards, to paying, and everything in between. Creating a stress free experience is a must!
- Keeping things quick. People are time-poor, and frustration will ruin their dining experience. Don’t make them wait too long for their order. But, make sure you give them enough time to enjoy! They also don’t want to be rushed.
3. COMPEL CUSTOMERS WITH A LOYALTY PROGRAM
Your customers may love your products and enjoy your service, but they do expect to be rewarded for their loyalty. After all, the store down the road has great products and great service too. 84 per cent of global consumers say they want to visit stores where they are part of a loyalty program [Nielsen].
Your loyalty program should differentiate your store and give your customers a reason to come back to you, over your competitors. And rewarding your loyal customers is a great way to show that you appreciate and value them.
Creating a loyalty program for your hospo store, not only helps you encourage loyalty, it’s the perfect way to measure it too. Want to know where to start to create a winning loyalty program? Checkout this Ultimate Guide to Customer Loyalty.
Collect Loyalty is specially designed to work seamlessly with Kounta, making it easy to add customers, reward points for purchase automatically, and redeem rewards hassle free, all without leaving the Kounta point-of-sale screen. And with built-in Apple Wallet and customer referral program it’s sure to capture your customers’ attention.
Guest Blog by Natasha Mazey – Retail and hospo loyalty and marketing expert at Collect, helping stores of all sizes deliver a better customer experience, connect with customers, and build loyal relationships.