As a blog for small retailers, we do a lot of articles about offering value to customers. Why? What retailer–from tiny internet start-ups to huge national chains–doesn’t want high value customers who are loyal, willing to spend their hard earned money with your brand, and happy to not only return again and again but spread the word about your business to their friends and family?
“When it comes to attracting high value customers, it’s about building trust and credibility, whether it’s through social media, case studies or endorsements from key influencers. You’ll know you’ve carved out a rock-solid brand when you have brand evangelists!”
Source: Olivia Ruello, CEO of Business Chicks
Attracting and retaining the right customers is an art form that every small business needs to master in order to succeed in today’s competitive retail landscape.
Below you’ll find five helpful tips to attract, retain and grow your base of high value customers:
1. Offer Convenience
Shopping that is frictionless should be the goal of every retailer. Online retail giants like Amazon are working to deliver quick and easy transaction technologies (such as the Amazon Dash button), which allows customers to re-order products with the push of a button.
This notion should be practiced offline too, especially for retailers wanting to compete against E-commerce competitors. A convenient shopping experience can be accomplished by investing in an integrated POS and website system that makes the path to purchase a smooth and seamless process whether customers are redeeming rewards, assessing inventory status, or checking out.
2. Personalize Reward Programs
Research suggests that households have as many as 29 loyalty memberships, but only 58% actually use them. In large part, this is because customers don’t believe they offer value. If you’re going to offer a rewards program, then you must offer something personalized or customized.
One UK business introduced a “Pick Your Own Offers” program that allows loyalty members to select 10 products they would prefer to receive a 20% discount on. Similarly, Etsy uses website analytics to understand and offer customers a truly personal experience.
With thoughtful consideration, your loyalty rewards program can be revamped to cater to the individual preferences of your customers so they feel rewarded and appreciated.
“People don’t buy your products and services for the features alone; they buy them because of how it makes them feel, so don’t forget to understand your brand’s ‘why’.”
Source: Business Chicks CEO, Olivia Ruello
3. Specialize in Excellent Customer Service
Business Insider Intelligence’s new Customer Service Report indicates that people are 66% more likely to shop at a business that they feel offers excellent customer service.
On the other side of the spectrum, customers who have a bad experience with your company will share that information on review sites like Yelp. And what they say matters because, as Research from Nielsen indicates, 92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or family over advertising.
“Don’t underestimate the magic of the small stuff, says Olivia Ruello. “At Business Chicks, we personalize place cards at our events for our loyal customers – it’s a guaranteed way to make them feel special and make us stand out from the crowd.”
Think of little ways you can shower your customers with special gestures that will give you a competitive advantage.
4. Forget Bargains, Offer Quality
While high value customers want value and quality, that doesn’t necessarily mean they want you to offer discounts or bargains. Customers want to spend their money on products they can trust and that they perceive as “worth the money.”
As one company told Entrepreneur.com, “We found that if users signed up at full price, they were more likely to remain loyal than users who would sign up with a discount.” Later on, after the company had established a great relationship their ‘full price’ customers, they offered discounts to reward them for their loyalty.
5. Safeguard Your Credibility
Maintaining customer trust in your brand cannot be emphasized enough! This should be a key part of everything you do, from interacting with customers to your transaction processes, the security you offer, and even the marketing and advertising material and content you create.
You should always be focused on providing your customers with a seamless experience in every possible way, and ensuring that they trust your company and its products, as well as the value you offer.
“Every contact we have with a customer influences whether or not they’ll come back. We have to be great every time or we’ll lose them.”
Source: Kevin Stirtz
“You don’t earn loyalty in a day,” Jeffrey Gitomer stated. “You earn loyalty day-by-day.” That’s how you need to approach your goal of attracting high value customers to your retail store.
Each day, focus on making every single consumer interaction the best experience possible, and the customers will find you.