RMM: 3 Ways You Can Reinforce Customer Loyalty
September 11, 2013
•IADT General, Retail Merchandise Management
• 0 Comments
Do you know the 80/20 law?
Also known as the Pareto Principle, this law refers to the theory that 80 percent of your sales come from only 20 percent of your customers, meaning that your most loyal customers are the most important part of your business. As retail merchandise manager, you must take into consideration what your customers want and how you can get it them.
Only when you keep these needs in mind can you maintain your brand and begin to create a loyal customer base. Start learning how to create and reinforce customer loyalty today by learning these three tips:
1. Satisfy the Customer
Satisfying your customer again and again is the easiest way to establish customer loyalty. When a customer can depend on you to fulfill their needs, you increase the chance that they’ll return.
You can start by establishing customer service practices and training your staff to focus on the customer. Making sure the customer is treated well every time they come into the store can reinforce an initial good experience and prove that you are focused on customer service and customer needs.
But according to the editors of eMarketer’s newsletter, customer satisfaction can begin before then. According to the retail organization’s report, “authentic customer loyalty starts with a retailer understanding what really matters to its customers during the research, transactional and after-sales phases of the customer lifecycle.”
In other words, it is important for you to understand what customers want at every stage of the buying cycle. An effective technique is to focus on personas of diverse customers and their needs.
2. Engage with the Customer
From the moment a customer enters your store, you should be engaging with them.
Acknowledge customers individually – greet them, learn their name and ask them what you can help them with. Not only will they appreciate the individualized attention, but your customers can view you as an immediate resource.
Basically, customer loyalty is dependent on you treating customers the way they wanted to be treated. The Customer Loyalty Institute believes this can begin before you even work with a customer – you can start by treating your staff well. By ensuring your staff is happy at work and loyal to your brand, you can ensure that customers interact with employees who treat them well and who actively promote your company.
3. Reward the Customer
Whether you work for a small business or a larger company, it is important to make customers feel appreciated. You can do this easily by implementing a reward system. If you reward customers for making purchases, you can create an incentive for them to make more purchases in the future.
Know your customers and consider the ways they might feel most appreciated. Even something small and inexpensive can be effective.
Don’t forget about social media – which, according to the GP Strategies customer loyalty and analytics company, can “positively influence customer acquisitions and loyalty.” Keep your accounts up-to-date with daily or weekly posts.
Rewards can be more than coupons or early bird sales. You can follow up with the customer on their most recent purchases through personalized emails and mailings. You can use Instagram to share “behind the scene” pictures with followers. You can also share tips and articles on Pinterest. Be creative – and your customers might appreciate you more as an authority and a resource.
According to Retail Info Systems News reporter Adam Blair, these are the top eight customer loyalty leaders in their respective categories. The percentages reflect customer engagement levels, as assessed by the 2013 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index:
- Online Retailer: Amazon (96%)
- Natural Food Store: Whole Foods (93%)
- Home Improvement: Home Depot (90%)
- Discount: Walmart (89%)
- Athletic Footwear: Skechers (86%)
- Sporting/Recreational Goods: Dick’s Sporting Goods (83%)
- Apparel: J. Crew (82%)
- Department Store: Kohl’s (80%)
Have you ever shopped at any of these companies? If you have purchased something from one of these companies on more than one occasion, what keeps you coming back? Are you a part of a rewards program? Does the company do something specific that you benefit from, enjoy or just simply appreciate?
You can model your efforts to establish customer relationships and increase loyalty after your favorite stores.