Any small business owner will admit loyal customers are precious. But only the committed business owner will consistently go the extra mile to make sure it happens. When all is said and done, it turns out that customer loyalty is no accident. The people they serve remain true over a long period of time.
According to business writer Jed Williams, a 2014 report from BIA/Kelsey and Manta, based on findings from nearly 1,000 members of Manta’s online directory community, indicated a clear shift in focus to engagement and retention. According to the reported, “Achieving Big Customer Loyalty in a Small Business World,” 61 percent of the SMBs surveyed report that more than half of their revenue came from repeat customers, rather than new business. Meanwhile, a repeat customer spends 67 percent more than a new customer. As a result, only 14 percent of SMB owners now spent the majority of their annual marketing budget on acquisition.
Marketing guru, Theodore Levitt explained to us years ago that one of the things our loyal customers want is to be more than a faceless entity. They do want to feel important and they want a business relationship with us. In my thirty plus years of working with successful business owners, I have seen many examples of how they created and delivered a system that built a successful and profitable client base. Unfortunately, many small business owners will talk a good game but do not deliver on a consistent basis. As the saying goes, “To know and not to do, is not to really know.”
So what does it take to gain customer loyalty?
Jason J. Grobbel, president of Grobbel’s, Corned Beef Specialists in Detroit, MI knows a few things about what it takes to keep very loyal clients. One of them is Wal-Mart. This powerhouse of a company has allowed Grobbel’s to be their one and only nationwide supplier for corned beef. Let me repeat that, their one and only supplier. This happens very rarely with Wal-Mart. In a recent interview, Jason shared with me four reasons why Grobbel’s are able to do this.
1. Their product has a wide spectrum of consumer appeal.
2. Grobbel’s is the best at consistent delivery.
3. Their costs are very low, but with high quality.
4. They instill a passion for continuous improvement with all of its’ team members.
So this small business of less than 200 employees is able to deliver exactly what Wal-Mart and all of its other customers across the country want, and as a result it has earned a very faithful following of large and small clients.
Small business owners who do best at gaining and retaining loyal customers make sure they work their system for success. Customer loyalty is consistent attention to the little details. By identifying the important details and creating a system to make sure they are taken care of, any business owner can build a very profitable business.