2020 was one of the strangest years for business owners, especially for small business owners. The pandemic has had both socio-cultural and economic effects, and small business owners have been particularly hit hard. While many businesses couldn’t survive the pandemic, the ones that have managed to remain afloat have seen a dramatic reduction in sales and profit. Naturally, business owners are anxious to bring their customers back to pre-pandemic levels.
While 2021 is already underway, and governments across the world are implementing vaccination drives, current market activity is nowhere close to the pre-pandemic level. To bring back customers, their trust and confidence in your business are of utmost importance. A recent Deloitte whitepaper describes trust and confidence as the two major pillars of customer loyalty.
Tips to Gain Customers Back in 2021
Here are our top 10 tried and tested tips to help local businesses reestablish their customer base:
1) Get to know your customers, their behavior, and just what they need
Customers are the happiest when they feel understood and that their needs are acknowledged. This means you should get to know them at a deeper level, and understand their behaviors and intrinsic motivations.
An insight-driven approach to bringing back customers is possible when you use technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). When you combine that technological insight with genuine human-to-human relationship building, you will have the perfect recipe for attracting customers who are reluctant and reticent.
Using that information will allow you to understand what was missing so that you can supplement that void.
2) Offer a sense of affinity and community with a members’ club
A members’ club helps you retain your existing customers and communicate with them more effectively. Members’ clubs are a great way to acknowledge that some customers are more special by virtue of how frequently they shop at your business.
This reinforces their behavior to engage with your brand repeatedly.
Most importantly, members’ clubs offer a sense of community and belonging – emotions that are particularly amiss during the pandemic – which help make the customers feel cared for and heard.
3) Use loyalty cards to reward customers who frequent your business
Loyalty cards, similar to members’ clubs, are a great way to motivate customers to shop more frequently. Most loyalty cards work on the premise of “customer purchases X number of times, and they earn a reward Y.”
While local businesses have often used loyalty cards to bring their customers back, they only work if the means to attain the reward is easy and if the reward itself is attractive.
You can use digital integrations to implement loyalty cards. This way you can automate rewards programs in a way that is sustainable and works.
4) Use coupons to increase purchases and decrease buyer’s regret
Buyers usually feel remorse and regret after spending money, especially when the economy is at a low.
Buyer’s remorse is known to reduce frequent spending, something that will negatively affect your business. To reduce this, offer your customer base coupons that can be redeemed at a later date.
Coupons reduce the negative feelings associated with spending money or making purchases because the consumer feels as if they saved money as opposed to only looking at the amount spent. Coupons can be implemented digitally and their performance can be tracked so that you can know which work better and make adjustments as you see fit.
5) Use digital loyalty and always be just a click away for your customers
Digital loyalty management tools help you to automate the implementation of successful rewards programs.
As digital loyalty programs are based on customer insight, they have high rates of success and keep those customers returning. Also, you can present yourself as a professional and modern company that is always a click away for your customers.
Most importantly, neither you nor your customers will have to keep track of coupons, reward points, and redemption reminders.
6) Make it easy for your customers to earn points and cash them in for rewards
One of the reasons why loyalty programs fail spectacularly is because businesses make it hard for customers to earn and redeem points. It might even work against your brand if you make it complex or difficult to earn points.
A good loyalty program is easy to understand, earn, and redeem. It is also accessible digitally and can be tracked on-demand.
Customers should feel like they got something for very little effort, which is what makes loyalty programs tick.
The easier and more immediate the rewards are, the higher the success rate of your loyalty program because the customer feels that the rewards are working for them as opposed to them working for the rewards.
7) Set-up push notifications so your customers are always the first to know about any exciting updates
To help customers come back again, you need to remind them of your existence.
Customers operate based on “out of sight, out of mind.” They often forget the brands they like if they are not reminded in a non-intrusive manner.
Set up push notifications so that your customers are alerted whenever there are exciting updates from your business.
You can send notifications on a website or through a mobile app – make sure to keep it short and to the point, like an email subject line, to draw your customer in. It could be a special event or a discount sale, or just about anything that might lure customers back.
Always keep them as informed as possible.
8) Send out follow-up emails to current and prospective customers
Email campaigns are a great way to stay in touch with customers and also gain new ones. Follow-up emails should be a part of your email marketing strategy as these are sent after specific actions such as cart or site abandonment.
Studies show that emails still have a very high engagement level; the conversion rates are quite impressive too. Follow-up emails can be automated so that you can focus on running your business, instead of writing them.
9) Get personal and let your loyalty program truly represent your business
Many customers experience fatigue towards marketing messages as they are exposed to them incessantly. To overcome this, build real relationships with your customers at a deeper level by engaging them in a humanistic way.
Your loyalty program can act as an anchor in this relationship as it presents your brand accurately and authentically – this will also help you enhance customer satisfaction.
10) Regain lost time, customers, money, and energy by implementing a loyalty manager
A successful loyalty manager automates your rewards programs and works in the background to keep your customers coming back repeatedly. Digital loyalty managers like Glue eliminate many manual tasks and help you regain lost time.
In addition, it can help bring back many customers, which can result in increased sales and profits. In other words, as a small business owner, you will have more time and money to spend in your leisure by implementing a loyalty management system.
Alongside this, loyalty managers are a great way to automate loyalty marketing. They help you retain existing customers and gain new ones. With the pandemic still causing a dramatic reduction in customer footfalls, small business owners should make an extra effort to bring those reluctant customers back.
Over to You
To get your customers back and satisfied this year, make sure to invest time in finding ways to automate certain processes, but also find the time to engage your customers in a personal manner.
If you don’t yet, consider offering some sort of rewards program or coupons as a token of appreciation. And if you need to do a little overhaul branding makeover, go for it!
Do what you need to in order to get new traction with your business.