One of the most important tasks for entrepreneurs in the food and drink business (and most others, to be honest) is getting customers to return – again and again. So how can you keep your customers coming back for more? Here are 5 simple things you can start doing today in order to boost that all-important customer loyalty.
1. Initiate face recognition
It’s the simplest thing, but so important. A customer that feels seen and appreciated also becomes loyal to your business. It’s not just about “being nice” – you should always be nice – it’s about letting customers feel that you’re glad they’re back. If you know how they take their coffee, even better!
2. Engage Chatterbox
Encourage your staff to engage in small talk with customers. Not in an annoying and forced way, but in a way that accomplishes three things: 1) It helps your staff do a better job and perpetuates a friendly culture. 2) It creates loyal and happy customers, and 3) It allows you to gather information and intelligence you’d otherwise never be able to lay your hands on.
3. Ask for feedback
That brings us to another important point – feedback. It’s important to provide an easy way for customers to provide feedback, but if you believe so much in the democracy of the internet that you allow posts about your dirty restrooms on Yelp, it’s counter-productive. Catch thoughts, suggestions and complaints before they appear on social media. And if they do appear, act fast, be professional and be humble. Ironically, if you manage to turn a disgruntled customer around, you may well have loyalty for life.
4. Reward their loyalty
Your regulars are your most valuable asset, and you don’t have to be a large player in order to reward them. Learn more about who they are and what makes them tick, and hand out stamp cards, discounts and freebies every once in awhile. If you make them feel awesome, they’ll bring their friends, but obviously if you run a bar, you might want to exercise more caution with the free drinks approach!
5. Keep in touch
Do you have a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) for keeping in touch with your customers? Building a social media following takes a lot of time and effort, and gathering email addresses is not the easiest task. iZettle users can enjoy a new feature called Customers, which lets you collect email addresses after making a sale. That way, you can create email lists, send your customers monthly newsletters, experiment with discount codes and invite them to VIP nights.
Make sure to run your business on a point-of-sale system that boosts your customer service – discover how iZettle’s POS app can help you build loyalty!