To build loyalty in an age when consumers are looking online for the next place to dine out, you have to be smart about both the quality and the experience of buying your product—both in-store and online.
Consider these 7 tips for building brand loyalty:
- First impressions matter. Think of your first interaction with a new customer as if it were a date. Are you putting your best foot forward? Be courteous. Be helpful. If you damage a relationship early on, it will take time and money to fix it.
- Deliver on your promises. Every single time. Consistency is key. Customers come to expect a certain experience from you. If you don’t deliver, they won’t come back. From exact portioning to quality ingredients and stellar customer service, make sure you’re following the business standards you set from day one.
- Over-deliver when you’ve made a mistake. You’re going to make mistakes. Acknowledge it when it happens, and bend over backward to win the business back. It can be humbling, but customer loyalty drives long term profitability.
- Listen. And use the feedback. Listening shows appreciation. And what you hear may give you the keys to build a stronger business and brand.
- Stay in touch. But do it meaningfully. The customer database in your point of sale system gives you endless opportunities to connect with your customers. Once they opt in, send information they care about. Offers and specials are favorites, but don’t stop there. Be engaging and creative -- and use social media to continue the conversation with your guests.
For more on database marketing read: Are You Optimizing Your Customer Database
- Reward your customers. Your loyal customers are your bread and butter. Nurture those relationships by with an unexpected reward. Word of mouth from happy customers is far more valuable—and effective—than advertising.
- Socialize guest rewards. Social media plays a powerful role in brand building and driving loyalty. Reward customers who share their stories with your brand.
Posted by Jennifer Wiebe
Occasional contributor of On Point, Jennifer led the marketing for SpeedLine from 2002 to 2018. She loves, books, yoga, playing at the beach, and commenting on bad TV with her family.| Author's website