Owning customer loyalty can go a long way and ignoring it will, in time, could be the demise of your business. But what is customer loyalty and what does it mean? One could say it means every time they visit their favorite preferred tire shop or coffee house they will more than likely pay a little bit more money to receive a consistent result. As a customer you want to feel secure in the purchases you make and tend to pay for the products and services that you know will satisfy everything you want from it, and maybe even a little extra.

You may not be the most knowledgeable as a business owner and that’s ok, but if you are established and with a little more love, you may increase customer value. If ‘wowing’ your customer is not a number one focus, then you may be killing your business.

Truth is, customer loyalty is in an increasingly unpredictable force of nature, and one that can wreak havoc on your business. Your basic marketing approach, outrageous price points and top-down selling type of behaviors can still sometimes turn off customers. Surely you have already pushed impulse buying, amazing flash sales, bring your dog – get 10% off, and so on… but what is it you are trying to achieve?

This is where you are primed with an opportunity to win your customer in every way you can think of. Your customer will always want to put a couple extra dollars back in their pocket, but you can help them find a greater willingness to spend more money on a valuable experience. Achieving this is not an easy task, and you definitely have to be willing to go outside of your box as well as try new and crazy things that just may all win your customers back. Remember, always make sure to put a value at the front of every cause.

Take a strong look at what your own loyalty programs are comprised of and find out why they really may not be working for you anymore. There’s also that hard truth that may never have been working. Just be honest with yourself because when it comes to customer loyalty, giving reasons for customers to return should be your number one priority.

When building a loyalty from your customers, it is not just about providing the solution, it is about having customers that will stand by you always will take your business to new heights. Steve Jobs once said, “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need before they realize it themselves”. Be the solution and make sure to develop impactful products, deliver exceptional service always and shelve the items that customer are most attracted to – and there will be a never-ending line up for your business.

This kind of loyalty can be learned nearly in the same way children learn from a young age. Think about it, we object lessons and vague truisms, but in the end, it is about sticking by something or someone regardless of difficulty. With the noblest of intentions, it becomes a sign of strong character, which is hard to come by these days.

Now that you have the energy, passion and are excited about your brand or shops growing customer attraction, what now? It’s time to take the customer experience to the next level in priority – social media! Start by finding great ways to reward customers and encourage engagement on as many social media platforms as possible. Having fans that will like and share your posts is very impactful, and it is even better to have customers buy a product from your brand and leave a good review. Word-of-mouth and brand loyalty have evolved to a more immediate way of learning about business. What better way to succeed in business than to grow fans and talk directly to your customer every day.

I know what you are asking yourself; how do I even measure that? For starters, any profile page on Facebook or a Twitter can give you insights into your company that you may not have known. The people behind social media conversations grow audiences and are able to give a face to the speaker. You now can interact and be much closer to the customer than ever before, and since customers interact directly with brand makers, more authentic information gets shared directly. This leads to customers that trust you a whole lot more.

As with all good things, there’s always going to be a bit of work. The landscape is primed and the battlefield is now both physical and digital. With the rise of social media, more and more people are equipped with a voice that is heard both far and wide. This is where you are going to want to make sure you do a bit of homework.

Did you know fast-casual restaurants lose about over 50 percent of customers after their first visit? Strengthening customer loyalty in your business while increasing sentiment through a rapidly changing consumer market, can provide customers with more choices to buy and where to buy from. It’s so important for your business to be on the screen of whatever device your customer is currently using, more often and speaking directly to your customer any chance you get.

It is so freakin’ expensive to get a new customer than to retain an existing one. Recent studies have shown an increase in customer retention totaling nearly 50 percent and an increase in profit as well! This could be you and by now I think you know that the more focus put on growing business will result in retaining existing customers, which builds great value.

At least 20 percent of businesses now are reporting an annual percentage revenue losses due to poor customer experiences. That’s not good! You can also count on 100 percent of customers will not return after a failed 1st visit, three-quarters of customers are willing to pay more for a superior customer experience and same goes for customers who have switched brands after a poor customer experience. Sounds like a huge chunk of money left on the table just from not giving a little bit back to your customer.

Winning back lost customers, keeping customers loyal and helping to impact future spending decisions are all strong factors in why loyalty programs are influential to customers. Oh, and don’t forget about the employees! Employees drive your business where it needs to go at times when you are not. If they are brought up to a higher standard in their interaction with every customer, then you can drive a consistent result and be sure that no customer goes without being impressed by your business. Have your staff start by just smiling, it works.

So what is your long-term play and future business strategy?

Looking ahead is challenging, but can be the difference in the future of your brand. The best strategy for your business is to plan. Plan events, plan social media posts, plan sales and promotions and plan for every customer that comes your way. Set realistic goals that are specific and measurable if possible, and do not ever stop pushing forward. Define your long-term play for what should build a strong foundation for your company for years to come.

Most of all, just have fun! SVBS

John Bailey | Product Development Manager at DaVinci Vaporizer. John brings over 10 years experience in business management, project management, branding and now cannabis education. John has a strong passion for health and fitness and is a fan of Doctor Who, dark scotch, anything outdoors, and photography. Contact him at (512) 954-4630 or by email at [email protected]m.