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. Here are 5 simple things you can start doing today in order to boost your customer loyalty.
1. Initiate face recognition
It’s the simplest thing, but oh, 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 the customers feel 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 makes your staff more prone to doing a great job. 2. It creates loyal and happy customers, and 3. It allows you to gather information and intelligence you’d otherwise never lay your hands upon.
3. Ask for feedback
…Which brings us to another important point: feedback. Do you have an existing way for your customers to give you feedback on your work? Do you believe so much in the democracy of the interwebz that you prefer they write a post about your dirty restrooms on Yelp? Please don’t. Catch thoughts, suggestions and complaints before they appear on social media. And if they do appear on social media, you must act fast, professional and humble. (And here’s how…) Ironically, if you manage to turn around a disgruntled customer, you might 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 (naturally, if you run a bar, you might have a different view on regulars and their friends…).
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 from customers after making a sale. That way, you can create email lists and send your customers monthly newsletter updates, experiment with discount codes and invite them to VIP nights.
Read more about iZettle Customers here.