How to Build Customer Loyalty During the Holidays

When was the last time you checked in on your customer service? Are you providing a good experience for your community?

Really nailing your customer service experience will boost your business in so many ways. For starters, it will help your marketing. It’s also the single most proven way to build customer loyalty – especially during busy periods like the holidays. With just a few, easy-to-adopt tweaks your business can turn gift buyers and one-off purchasers into brand loyalists.

If you can meet your customers’ needs during their most hectic time of year, they’re more likely to keep coming back to you in future. They’re also way more likely to recommend you to a friend.

This holiday season, you have a real opportunity to create momentum around your business. Here are a few simple ways to do it.

Customer Support Should be Simple

Look at your website. How easy is it to find your business phone number or email address? How quickly do you respond to questions and complaints? The holidays are usually the busiest time of year for most customers. When they need support, they don’t want to dig through countless menus to find answers. They don’t want to reach out to an email address and never receive a reply.

Really nailing your customer support should be your top priority. It will create good will and positive feelings around your brand that live long beyond the holiday season. Start by placing your customer support contact information in prominent places. Perhaps it’s on your website front page; maybe it’s in your social media bio information. Make it easy and accessible to anyone.

Prioritize responding to issues in a timely manner. If someone has an issue with a product or service, respond to them how you’d like to be treated if you were in the same position.

Takeaways:

  • How easy is it for customers to get support from you?
  • Prioritize responding to issues in a timely manner
  • Think of how you’d like to be treated if you had the issue and respond accordingly

Every Complaint is a Marketing Opportunity

Customers have never been more empowered to provide feedback. Whether it’s services like Yelp or Google Reviews, more and more customers are sharing their thoughts on companies. It’s inevitable your business will receive negative feedback at some point. If you respond to it well, it’s a huge marketing opportunity for your business.

Respond to issues publicly on the platform. Show others how you’re working to fix the problem. Matching the right fix to what the customer values will turn a complaint into a reason to keep doing business with you. Before long, you’ll have built a track record of reliability and others will know your brand can be trusted.

Takeaways:

  • Customer complaints can be turned into marketing opportunities if handled well
  • Respond publicly and demonstrate how you’re fixing the problem
  • Fixing the problem shows others they can trust your brand

Follow Up on Purchases

If you don’t follow up with a customer after a purchase, it’s a missed opportunity to build customer loyalty. As we discussed above, customers love to give their feedback. Whether positive, or negative, create a pathway for this feedback to be provided. Pick at least one customer each day and consider contacting them directly to ask how their experience was. Get their opinion for ways you can improve.

You can gather this feedback in several highly effective ways. Consider setting up a feedback form and providing a link for customers at the point of purchase. Alternatively, you can ask for feedback on social media, or through your email marketing.

Takeaways:

  • Create a pathway for customers to give their feedback – good or bad
  • Follow up directly with at least one customer per day
  • Use your available channels to gather this feedback and act upon it

Share Your Brand Story

We live in the age of social media. People are comfy sharing their story online, and they increasingly want to do business with companies that align with their outlook on life. Rather than hiding your background and values, put it to the forefront of your brand.

Start with considering why you’re in business – why you do what you do. If you can explain this to your audience, it’s the essence of your brand story.

Two examples of businesses from our community that share their story brilliantly are:

Both brands weave their story effortlessly into their website. Very quickly you understand why they do the work that they do, and it creates a compelling reason to shop with them.

This activity goes beyond just your “About Us” page on your website. Weave your brand story in wherever it feels appropriate. Telling your story and sharing your unique narrative will help you connect with your customers on a deeper level.

Takeaways:

  • Customers increasingly want to do business with companies they align with
  • Share the “why” behind your business with your community
  • This exercise goes beyond your “About Us” page. Weave it in where appropriate

Small Business BC is Here to Help

SBBC is a non-profit resource centre for BC-based small businesses. Whatever your idea of success is, we’re here to provide holistic support and resources at every step of the journey. Check out our range of business webinars, on-demand E-Learning Education, our Talk to an Expert Advisories, or browse our selection of business articles.