There are a multitude of articles swirling around the Internet about how to get more customers for your small business. There are fewer articles about how to keep them.
To understand why customers become loyal to specific brands, we need to identify the ways that they can be turned off to products or businesses. This way, we can incorporate guidelines
1. Overpromise & Under Deliver
It seems pretty straightforward. However, when you’re trying to build a customer base, it can be easy to fall into the trap of promising too much. You’ll do anything to get those first customers, and then you feel trapped when you can’t deliver. To make matters worse, those customers will leave bad reviews, which can have a lasting negative effect on your brand.
Studies have shown that high performing companies deliver on their promises. They have greater levels of customer engagement, which enables them to compete in their market effectively.
The lesson here is don’t promise something that you can’t accomplish. Stick to what you can do, and do it better than your competitors.
2. Take Them for Granted
As a small business, it is important to understand the value of each of your customers. When you first start out, this can be an easy concept to grasp. As you grow, that focus can shift to just getting the orders out the door. It is vital to your success that you remember your fans.
This can be as simple as sending a “Thank you for your business” email. Establishing a rewards system for regular purchases can be a great way to demonstrate your appreciation and encourage loyalty.
3. Be Out of Touch
This can manifest itself in two ways.
First, not understanding your fans and how their needs change. Maybe that is a technological innovation or feature, or maybe expanding to a different audience. You have to adapt with how the market changes, otherwise, you will lose out to savvier competition. Avoid this issue by paying attention to industry trends, and ways to innovate your business practices.
Another way this can present an issue is when your customers feel as though you don’t have a firm understanding of your accounts, processes, and customer service practices. If a customer has a complaint about a product, they expect that your team will correct the issue efficiently. To avoid this misstep, keep your team in the loop on your practices, and make sure you have a customer management system in place.