The 3 Keys to Customer Loyalty
You shouldn’t need loyalty programs to get repeat customers. Loyalty is something you must earn, writes Adrian Swinscoe in a CustomerThink article. Swinscoe says there are three keys to loyalty:
Say you’re a hair stylist. You can offer all the discounts and perks you want for signing up for repeat customers, but if your clients don’t like you, they’re not going to keep coming back, no matter what your prices are. Swinscoe write that, “So much of the difference between a good and a great experience comes down to how we feel about the people serving us.” Are you engaging your clients in conversation that is not only relevant to them, but stimulating in a positive way? Or, say they’re introverted; they may be more comfortable with just the radio or TV on in the background and not being forced into conversation. Pay attention to what makes your customers comfortable and happy and act on that. Don’t just gab on about things that they are obviously unhappy with or make them speak when they don’t want to.
You’re human. You mess up from time to time. You may accidentally cut off too much of the customer’s hair or miss a section of hair while you’re coloring it that the customer doesn’t notice until later. When these things happen, you take responsibility for them. Don’t make excuses or, worse, try to put the blame on the customer in some way. Apologize and make things right. That’s where the third point can help you out…
Offer to fix your work for free if you mess up and/or offer a discount for the next time they come in, promising to get them more involved with the styling process to make sure their hair turns out exactly how they want it. And don’t just be generous when you mess up. While you’re helping the customer, you may notice other things that you can help with (for a hair stylist, that may be frizz or hair that’s been repeatedly damaged by a straightener). Ask the customer about these potential issues and then educate them or offer solutions. Point out some products you have that may help and offer them a small free sample for them to try out to see the results for themselves. Going above and beyond for customers when you don’t need to is one of the best ways to inspire loyalty.