Local Business Roundup: Reciprocal Loyalty Key to Keeping Customers

Local business news reciprocal loyalty

We know it’s impossible to keep up with all of the news in the local business space. That’s why we’ve cherry-picked the articles from this week that matter most for business owners like you.

[Customer Retention] Reciprocal Loyalty—The Best Way to Retain Customers

Source: Entrepreneur

Big box companies have been wondering for a while now, “Where have all the customers gone?” It’s not that consumers have stopped making purchases—it’s that they’ve shifted their dollars to companies that reward loyalty and provide a personalized, meaningful experience.

By nature of their size, local businesses usually have a leg up when it comes to building meaningful relationships with patrons. But they often fall short when it comes to rewarding loyalty and providing the level of customization that consumers have come to expect.

Here are two things local businesses can be doing to create reciprocal loyalty with customers:

  • Share your brand’s personality and beliefs, and make sure these things align with your customer base. Today’s consumers care about a company’s moral compass and worldview as much as they care about their prices and selection.
  • Give back to customers through support channels. Make it easy to contact you, and make sure your team is sensitive to the customers’ concerns. Use these conversations to remind your customers how much you appreciate their business.

Why It Matters: Reciprocal loyalty means (a) treating your brand like a person, and (b) showing loyalty from your brand to your customers. It all comes back to having a core set of values for your business and extending those values to every part of your operation, from the people you hire to the items you sell to the way you provide support.

[Product] 6 Tips for Launching a New Product or Service

Source: Businessweek

Adding a new product or service into your business’s mix is a great way to get your customers excited. Here are 6 things you can do to set your new item up for success:

  1. Ask your best customers to test it.
  2. Generate some publicity around it.
  3. Develop a marketing and advertising plan.
  4. Sell to existing customers first.
  5. Ask early takers to provide reviews.
  6. Look for complementary add-ons.

Why It Matters: It can be daunting to introduce a new service or retail item, but it’s important to keep your offerings fresh and engaging, both for your existing customers and new people visiting your business for the first time. Take it slow, do some testing, gather feedback, and once you’re ready to roll, turn up the heat on the marketing, PR, and advertising front.  

[Topic 3] Staff Incentives and Thank-Yous

Source: A Beautiful Mess

As a small business owner, you probably rely heavily on a few staff members to keep your business running smoothly. You may even bring in friends and family members to help during especially busy periods. These people are the face of your brand and make all the difference when it comes to your long-term success.

While you probably don’t have a big budget to treat your staff and helpers all the time, it’s important to make sure you incentivize high-quality performance and thank your team for their great work. Here are 5 simple ways to do that:

  1. Celebrate as a team.
  2. Be specific with praise.
  3. Thank people publicly.
  4. Give a thoughtful gift.
  5. Send a handwritten note.

Why It Matters: People like to be recognized for their work, whether it’s something as simple as a shout-out in a staff meeting or something more extravagant like a team dinner. Make sure to set aside time and a small budget for incentives and thank yous. Your small investment is sure to pay off in reliable, attentive service and happy customers who come back to your business again and again. 

About the Author

Ashley Taylor Anderson

Ashley Taylor Anderson is a content developer and marketer who's spent her career knee-deep in the B2B technology space. In previous professional lives, she worked as a science textbook editor, media producer, and pastry chef.

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