Most of us have a product or service that we only buy from one company. Sometimes we aren’t sure why. Other times, we can give a clear reason for our loyalty.
But when that happens, it’s a magical thing for that lucky business. Loyal, repeat customers will keep your business going, even during tough times. And the most loyal buyers may even become unofficial brand advocates for you.
Does this sound like the ideal scenario for your small business? If so, read on to learn how to boost customer loyalty and retention through a customer-centric culture.
What Does It Mean to Be Customer-Centric?
Customer-centric isn’t a buzzword. It’s a central principle for any business that wants to grow. Being customer-centric means putting your customers first in every decision you make as a business.
Doing that helps you cultivate customer loyalty. You’ll have clients who will buy from you repeatedly. And selling to existing customers is often far more straightforward than marketing to a new, cold audience.
Whenever you think about a strategy, marketing plan, or new process, you ask one simple question: will this benefit my customer?
To be customer-centric, you need to have an excellent understanding of who buys from you. That goes beyond mere demographics. You need to have a clear profile of these people, what motivates them, and their buying behaviours.
Being customer-centric also means having excellent listening skills. You need to survey or poll your audience and find out what they’re missing from you. And then work to fix those gaps between their expectations and reality.
Finally, customer-centric organisations all have one thing in common: they wow their buyers. They take steps to ensure every customer touch point offers an exceptional experience.
Gathering Customer Data to Tailor Experiences
Before you can wow your customer with an exceptional experience, you need to do some research. The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be to tailor your service.
Start with some analytics tools or your CRM.
Use this to track customer interactions from when they encounter you to when they buy. You should also look at what happens in the post-sales phase. The latter might mean studying feedback, reviews or complaints.
Tracking your website is also helpful. It will tell you what people look at, what services interest them, and places where they walk away without buying.
You could also run a customer survey. That will give you a more in-depth look at how your customers feel about your brand.
When gathering this data, segment it into different types of customers. That will help you tailor the experience you offer.
Making Your Organisation Customer-Centric
Once you understand more about your customer needs, it’s time to put a customer-centred approach into your business.
The first place you should address this is with your team. That will ensure your customer-first approach is embedded in your business culture.
Start with your new hires. Train any recruits on how to put your customers first. Talk about different aspects, like communication, resolving problems, and listening to what they say.
Incentivise staff who display exceptional customer service skills. You could create some branded swag bags, for example, and give these out each week to the best performer.
Improving Your Customer Processes
Next, focus on internal processes, starting with your customer service team.
Look at ways you can improve your processes to provide a better experience for your customers. For example, what happens immediately after a customer buys from you? Do you thank them for their order?
If not, think of little touches you can add to the process, like sending branded items to show appreciation.
Consider ongoing customer relationships, too. You may have long-standing customers who you don’t see that often. Cultivating that relationship, however, is essential.
So think about improving your processes to connect with past buyers whom you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Boosting Customer Loyalty With Branded Promotional Items
Branded promotional items are one of the most innovative ways to showcase your approach as a customer-centric business. When you get it right, it can have an impressive impact on customer loyalty and retention.
The trick to using branded promotional goods is to showcase your values and USP (unique selling proposition). So, choose an item, like branded mugs, that help you spread this message.
When customers receive promotional items, it does two valuable things.
It helps them recall your brand in future so that you stay fresh in their mind for when they next buy. And it enhances brand affinity, making that customer more loyal.
Some branded items are also helpful ways to boost brand visibility, especially if other people – potential customers – see those branded goods in offices or meeting rooms.
Creating A Customer-Centric Marketing Approach
If you want others to see you as custom-centric, you must make it part of your marketing. The best way to do this is through personalisation. Tailoring your marketing to your customers will help them see that you listen to them and put them first.
Focus on excellent communications in all your marketing messages. Make sure it’s consistent too.
If you talk about a marketing message in an ad, spread that message elsewhere in your emails to customers, your social media posts, and even your branded promotional items.
Make sure your marketing messages talk about how you are meeting your customer’s needs. Explain how you have listened to your customers, what your customers said, and your response.
Measuring the Success of Your Customer-Centric Approach
Don’t forget to measure every action you take to make your business customer-centric. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) to check that your approach works.
For example, you could use customer satisfaction surveys to check whether customers would buy from you again or recommend you to others. It’s a valuable way of measuring loyalty.
Improving Customer Loyalty and Retention in Your Small Business
Customer loyalty and retention aren’t things you’ll see by chance. Making customers remember and love you enough to buy from you again takes work. A customer-centric approach is the best way to achieve it.
One easy step you can take right now is to invest in some branded promotional items, like our high-quality range at Prince William Pottery. Send these to your most important customers to show your appreciation for their business.