As any entrepreneur knows, products and advertising can only go so far. In the end, one of the major players that will make or break your business is the customer. The customer, however, does not only need your goods and services. You should also be able to provide loyal customers with incentives to keep them coming for more, and more importantly, to show them that you appreciate and value them. Here are some steps to do this.
- Tips and discounts. It may seem redundant, but tips and discounts are one of the most effective ways to cultivate loyal customers. These tips and discounts can be made even more useful by integrating a loyalty reward point system. This will ensure that you do not waste money on random people who will purchase your goods or avail of your services only once. Through a point based customer loyalty reward system, you will be able to determine the few but crucial individuals who do not depend on advertising and services just to patronize your business, and have simply chosen your business as the best among their options.
- Little gifts. Another way to show that you appreciate your customers is through little gifts that you can provide. These small gifts do not have to hurt your budget. A small and heart-felt token such as a Christmas card will actually suffice to show your clients that you value them very much. This is especially useful for smaller business enterprises where the management knows the actual consumers. In case of larger business, however, a small tag with holiday greetings can still be incorporated into the purchase, as long as the tags are kept simple and uncluttered so as to avoid looking too gimmicky.
- Customer support. For many businesses, customer support is provided simply because many clients are becoming more aware of their rights and more discriminating when it comes to products – that it is not just the actual product that matters, but the quality of client support that the company will be able to provide after the sale. Customer support, however, can also be an honest and heartfelt way of showing your appreciation. Remember that there are various ways to handle customer problems – either by dismissing them or searching for loopholes that will allow you to ‘provide customer support’ without actually doing anything , or to take the matter to heart and be willing to replace quickly and immediately the products that need to be serviced.
- Hold customer activities. Finally, you can also hold holiday parties that your clients can attend. Include something that will interest them, such as a sale, or even just a musical band that caters to your clients’ demographics. This will allow you and your business to interact with clients on a deeper level. This deeper level, however, can create an image of your company as more than just the shop around the corner which can garner you a loyalty that will keep your sales stable in spite of the bad economy.
By showing your appreciation for your clients, you are nurturing their loyalty and ensuring that you have a stable base of promoters and supporters that can make or break your enterprise.