One of the best things about running a family business is building a close-knit base of customers. Loyal customers are the bread and butter of any small business and 86% of Aussie consumers say they’re willing to shop small to support local businesses. The great news is that as a family-owned business, you have an advantage when it comes to customer retention and loyalty.
You most likely have a strong customer base as a result of great products and years of delivering stellar customer service. However, a customer retention strategy can take your relationship-building efforts to the next level, and ensure nobody slips through the cracks. If you want to keep customers coming back for years to come, here are our top tips to encourage loyalty towards your family business.
1. Reward loyalty with a dedicated program.
Almost all customer retention examples and best practices include a loyalty program. A study by Bond Brand Loyalty showed that 77% of consumers say loyalty programs make them more likely to stay with a business, and 70% are more likely to recommend a business with a good loyalty program. When paired with a strong strategy for the acquisition of customers, a loyalty program can work wonders for retention.
The best types of loyalty programs are tailored to your products and services, as well as your customer’s needs. Rewarding loyalty could come in the form of discounts, better value from existing products, upgrades, or even VIP services. Not all the loyalty program examples out there will work for your business though, so it’s best to survey your customers to see which customer loyalty program ideas resonate with them.
2. Build a solid customer relationship management strategy.
Customer relationship management is about building and maintaining the most important business relationship out there — the one with your customers.
The general principles of CRM are:
- Know your target customers’ wants, needs and problems
- Maintain an ongoing relationship with customers online and offline
- Analyse your customers’ behaviours and cater your service approach to fit accordingly
- Provide service that is as personalised as possible.
As a family-owned business, you’re already off on the right foot because you have a strong and highly personal relationship with your customer base. Technology is just an additional asset that can help you reap the benefits of customer retention, while winning back precious time.
There are plenty of customer relationship management software tools out there, including Yellow’s Pocket Office. CRM software can be used to manage bookings, send email newsletters, generate invoices, and schedule appointments for your customers. All of this means less time spent on paperwork, and means no customers are overlooked in your communication efforts.
3. Inspire with your family’s story and values.
Whether you’ve just started your family business or it’s been around for generations, odds are you have an amazing story to tell. By putting your story and values front and centre, customers are more likely to feel more connected to—and believe in—your business.
When you’re sharing your family’s story, come back to how it all started. Why did you start your business? Who’s behind it? What do you want to achieve for your customers? Showcase these on your website and through your email newsletters or social media posts. If you can make people feel connected to your family and your vision, you’ll be in a good position to build a strong relationship with customers and encourage them to keep supporting you.
4. Encourage customer feedback.
Listening to your customers is key to fostering customer loyalty and retention. Customer feedback, whether positive or negative, is valuable to your business — good reviews improve the reach of word-of-mouth, while less than ideal feedback helps pinpoint exactly where you can improve when it comes to the products or services your company provides.
One of the best ways to encourage customer feedback is to ask for it directly. After a customer makes a purchase, send out a short email survey asking them to share their experience with you. Take every bit of feedback seriously—reply to glowing reviews and encourage customers to come back, and follow up on constructive criticism to see where you can do better in the future. When your customers feel like they’re being listened to, they’re more likely to stick with you over a competitor.
We know that you value your loyal customers, and we’re here to make customer relationship management easier for family-owned businesses. With Yellow’s Pocket Office, you have access to a CRM tool that helps you work smarter, not harder. Manage customer relationships, send marketing emails, and schedule customer appointments all in one easy platform, no matter where you are. Find out more about Pocket Office and get started here.