3 simple rules to ensure your customers keep coming back
Once you’ve got over the hurdle of starting up, the next challenge is to attract and keep customers – but how can you ensure they come back for more?
When it comes to running your own business, many would argue that starting is the hardest part.
However, once the dust has settled and you’ve started to attract customers, many business owners find that retaining them can prove to be the most challenging. No matter how good your start-up idea is, if you’re unable to foster customer loyalty and keep them coming back for more, you’ll struggle to stay afloat.
There are plenty of simple steps you can take from the outset to ensure that those all-important customers don’t stray away, meaning you’ll have that vital base with which to grow your business.
Social media interaction
It’s more likely than not that your social media accounts will be the most visible face of your business and the most popular method of communication between you and your customers.
Making sure your social media is constantly up-to-date and that you have a consistently high response rate is about more than simply sharing information. Crucially, it’s about creating a good impression with your current and prospective customers, making them feel valued and listened to, and creating an attractive brand personality.
There are a number of simple and effective ways to do this, such as using a social media management platform like Hootsuite to manage all your accounts in one place, and connecting with your followers via user-generated content.
Make sure that you set aside a certain amount of time each day to focus solely on social media responses, as users will be able to see how responsive you are to them. You should also read our updated rules of social media to steer clear of avoidable gaffes.
Secure online payments
A pretty crucial component of any start-up, ensuring that your customers can pay for your goods and services online with 100% security is also a vital aspect of gaining and maintaining a good reputation.
Businesses are nowadays heading towards the entirety of their transactions taking place online, with a particularly prominent example being the growing online slots industry, which took the concept of a physical game and expanded upon it greatly, adding themes and mechanics that were not possible in the non-digital format.
With any business, the customers need to know that their money and details are secure, but this is doubly so with start-ups, given that 95% of credit card breaches come from small businesses. Make sure you’re using payment platforms which are trusted and up-to-date, and you should never store customer payment data as a rule.
Loyalty rewards for customers
The best way to keep your customers loyal is to reward them for it, best done through reward schemes which encourage regular use of your services as well as being a memorable gesture which will make the customer feel valued.
Such schemes should always be simple to understand and cost-effective, such as ‘sweetheart deals’ or a VIP club scheme in which loyal customers are entitled to special deals which make them feel exclusive, such as free bonus products, privileged access to time-limited deals or discounts.
Some companies also offer one-off gifts or complementary services to customers who have stuck around for a certain period of time. The key is to make sure customer loyalty is rewarded in a way which makes them feel exclusive and valued above one-time users.
Customer retention is a consideration you can’t afford to neglect. Getting those customers to give you their custom more than once is the absolute key to a successful enterprise, and these methods will not disappoint.