How to build a loyal customer base

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how important repeat, loyal customers are to your success. Turning one-time shoppers into loyal fans and business advocates can have a huge impact on your bottom line.

Not only will you be receiving their business again and again, but these loyal customers are likely to refer and spread the word about your business to their like-minded friends.

But just how do you accomplish this? Well, the foundation is providing a great product or service, with a positive customer experience.

But there are specific activities you can do that can further bolster your likelihood of creating true business advocates.

Here are a few key ones:

Request feedback at the right moments:

When done right, asking for feedback can be exactly what you need to keep people engaged and interested in your products and services.

Customer SurveyOne of the ways you can use a survey is to get people interested in something new you have coming up. For example, you might send a survey to gauge interest around a new line of executive giveaways before introducing them.

By involving your audience in the planning process, you’ll have a higher response rate when you’re finally ready to promote the new items.

You can also send a survey designed to improve the effectiveness of your other marketing efforts. Based on the results, you can come up with special offers on services to help address common problems, or create content and share it with fans and followers on social media channels.

Start an email newsletter:

This probably isn’t the first time you’ve received the advice to start an email newsletter. There’s a reason for that — they work.

With a regularly scheduled newsletter, you have the chance to stay top-of-mind with the people who already know your business. It’s effective because you’re reaching them in the place they’re already going every day — their inboxes.

People do business with people that they know, like, and trust. By sending a newsletter with helpful information and advice, you’ll have a chance to build the loyalty and trust you need to keep customers and clients coming back.

Run a social promotion:

If you’re already using sites like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest to promote your business, you know how valuable they can be for staying in touch with your audience. But when it comes to turning those online interactions into new business — that’s when things get a little tricky.

One of the ways you can do that is to run a special promotion, targeted at engaging your audience and getting them to take action.

Separate from your everyday scheduled posts, these promotions are designed to give your audience something they can act on right away.

Create a share-worthy offer:

Share-worthy offersThis starts with understanding the needs of your audience, and coming up with something based on those needs to help you reach your goals.

Consider these three questions when creating your offer:

  • What does your most loyal customer want or need?
  • What type of incentive has inspired this customer to take action in the past?
  • What is it about your business that would make this person want to refer you to a friend?

By focusing on these questions first, you’ll have a better chance of getting people to pay attention and act on the offers you send out, because you’ll be giving them something that they are interested in.

Host an event:

With so much attention spent on what you can do online, it’s easy to overlook the offline component of your marketing efforts. Hosting an event gives you the chance to take all of the hard work you’re doing online, and turn it into meaningful face-to-face interactions.

This is a great opportunity to meet your fans in person if you don’t have a physical location where they can visit you.

How can you do all of these wonderful things?

(Blatant plug alert!) Constant Contact delivers email marketing, survey management, and social promotion capabilities, and is aimed squarely at small businesses like promotional product distributors and sign shops.

Customer Focus offers an integration with Constant Contact, so you can easily target your messages based on customers’ previous quote/order history, size, location, industry etc.

Try it for free here!

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