The “How To” Series Pt. 2: How to Attract and Retain Loyal Customers

In today’s market, consumers have nearly endless options, which makes it a pretty incredible feat when they choose your product. However, it’s not just about getting new customers, it’s about keeping them. Did you know that most businesses say it costs them about 70% more to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing customer?

Loyalty in a consumer is one of the best ways to differentiate yourself from your competition. In fact, existing customers are more likely to try a new product from you and spend 31% more than a new customer. So, not only are loyal customers saving you money but they’re spending more money, too.

These following customer retention strategies can be used by any business, whether new or old and can be used on any type of consumer.

Say Thank You

A thank you is a simple but powerful (and often forgotten) gesture that can go a long way. You can say thank you to their face when they come in to drop off their pet. Additionally, you can say thank you by sending handwritten note cards or e-mails thanking them for their stay. Finally, nothing says “Thank You” like a small gift.

A gift can act as a lead, especially for first-time customers who may not be totally sold on your product or service yet. It can be as small as a discounted service or as big as a free product or service.

Be Accessible

Because there are so many options out there, the last thing you want to do is make yourself inaccessible or difficult to access. Here are some easy ways to be accessible

  • Have an easy to use and easy to find website
  • Keep your hours and contact information somewhere easy to find
  • Update your location, contact information, and hours on Google and Facebook
  • Maintain multiple modes of communication like email, phone, mailing address, and social media pages

When you prove to customers that you’re easy to access in a way that is convenient for them, you help instill confidence in them. You should always be open to meet the convenience needs of your customer if you’re looking for loyal, long-time customers.

Be a Resource

Establishing yourself as a resource beyond just having a really awesome product or service can help you prove to your customers that you’re an asset in their life. Whether that’s being knowledgeable about industry related products or services or just knowing where the best place to take your pet for a day of fun.

Get to Know Your Customer

The true key to customer retention is to keep the conversation going long after the transaction is over. Some traditional ways to do this are to stay in touch via email, send out customer surveys or just have light and fun in-person conversations with them.

However, some other fun ways to get to know your customer is get involved in your community or industry community. Commit to 1 or 2 industry-specific events to attend throughout the year. Additionally, get involved with your local community. Whether that’s as a vendor or event host, get out there and get to know what’s going on in your community.

Provide Perks

Because of the competitive nature of today’s business world, customers are always looking for perks. Customers, especially loyal customer, love little extra perks that make them feel like their loyalty is actually worth something to you. Here are some perk ideas:

  • Exclusive discounts on products or services
  • Free gifts with purchase or stays at your facility
  • Extra add-on services at no additional cost
  • Points system to earn extra discounts, stays, gifts, etc.

With extra perks, you’ll let customers know that it doesn’t hurt to be your loyal customer. In fact, it’s pretty awesome.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say Sorry

You’re a business but you’re also a business that’s made up of humans and, well, humans make mistakes. If you made a mistake, misheard something or simply had a misunderstanding, say sorry. Say it loud and with some humility.

Yet, sometimes sorry isn’t enough. Words backed by actions can help customers who feel they have been slighted. Offering an apology plus a refund and discount on a future purchase is a great way to make it up to a customer and keep them coming back.

Give Customers a Reason to Be Loyal

At the end of the day, in order to attract and retain loyal customers, you need to give them a reason to be loyal. Providing excellent customer service, admitting when you’re wrong, and providing perks are just a few of the ways you can create an incredible customer experience and a customer for life.