How to build fans and loyalty for your business

- September 1, 2023 2 MIN READ

With a crowded small business landscape and a strong competitive market, it’s hard to gain the attention of customers, let alone retain them. But the ultimate goal for any small business should be to build a strong base of loyal customers and repeat business, writes Elise Balsillie, Head of Thryv Australia.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, however, it’s much easier said than done.

When it comes to your customers, it’s not enough to simply appeal to them. You want them to become your greatest fans. That level of customer loyalty is the driving point for small business success.

Here are four tips to help you build and retain fans

Become your customer

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and go through your customer experience journey as they do. When looking through the lens of a customer, not a business owner, you can better see areas that need fixing.

Is your website difficult to navigate? When customers come to your website, can they find the information they need quickly and easily? And is it easy to navigate from a mobile device? Most searches are done from phones, so being mobile-friendly is a factor you’ll want to consider.

Are your staff giving below-average service? You may have set the standard for excellent service for your business, but are your staff meeting the mark? Check reviews for insight on how service can be improved and then offer staff training to ensure your business can fix any issues.

Drive word-of-mouth

Word-of-mouth is one of a small business’s strongest marketing tools to build long-term customer loyalty. So, if you’re going to get more people to do business with you, you’re going to want to get them talking.

One of the best ways to do this is by asking for reviews. It’s a great way to build advocacy and even better if there are incentives involved, too. You could offer discounts on products and services to bring in new customers or give them a token of appreciation.

Deliver above-and-beyond service

Creating a culture of customer service means everyone in your business is committed to going above and beyond. When is the last time you received amazing customer service? And how did it make you feel? By tapping into your own personal experiences, you can help your own business win. Some ways to do this could be to reward team members who go above and beyond and hire people who are passionate about customer service.

Be authentic

Authenticity inherently breeds trust. Being authentic is important when it comes to owning a business and for building trust with your customers. The same can also be said for staying true to your business and brand – and to focus on what your business does best. In the long run, authenticity can create lifelong customers.

By taking time to review and renew your business, customers won’t be the only ones happy; you and your staff will also reap the rewards of business success.

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