How to Build Brand Loyalty

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Probably, once in a blue moon it so happens that our local Chinese restaurant sends us a fruit basket simply because it was Easter and because we are loyal customers. We also found a note in the basket that wrote, “Thank you for being one of our best customers. We cannot wait to see you soon.”

And yes, they are probably right. My wife and I usually order from that restaurant once a week or so because the food is down right awesome. And the bar we go to regularly sometimes offers us a drink on the house. It’s nice to see owners of restaurants, bars and such establishments thanking you with gifts. And this got me thinking that small-business owners haven’t built a business from the ground up only for the money. They’re in it also to create a community and show you that they care and they appreciate your business.

So I decided to apply this example to my business. Once a month I randomly pick a client and send them a small gift, whether it’s a box of chocolates, or a wine bottle and a card that reminds them that you are thankful to have them as your client. Often times I address this aspect to all the employees if I know that I have a good relationship with the people from there. And, almost every time I receive an email or a thank you letter the following days. And this brings joy because it’s the right thing to do. It doesn’t cost me more than $30, which, in the long run will not be a problem because the revenue will be substantial.

Who doesn’t like free stuff? I like free gifts, your customers like free gifts. So how long has it passed since you’ve shown a little appreciation to a loyal customer? When was the last time you thanked that customer? Retaining customers isn’t only about providing and selling a great product or service, but also forging a solid relationship with your clientele.

By offering your customers free gifts from time to time will most definitely go a long way. For some, it may seem stupid, or silly but I assure you they don’t know what they’re talking about. Here are some of the tricks I picked up during the years from smart small business owners:

Offer gift subscriptions. Amazing Clubs is an amazing service. It allows you to choose from a vast selection of gifts, whether it’s a wine bottle, a food basket or flowers. The best thing about this service is that it allows you to buy a gift and have it sent once a month. This ensures that it’s not a one-time deal and the customer will be thinking and awaiting the gift you are sending him or her in the mail each month. Also, if that doesn’t fit the image you are trying to portray you can send corporate items from office supply sites such as Cafe Press. You can put your logo or even your company’s motto on different items.

Offer a part of your timeshare. This is extremely popular and used nowadays. The big names in the travel industry such as Marriott and Westin own timeshares. Joining clubs such as Interval or RCI allows you to put your week up for exchange. I did that about 5 years or so and it was great. I bought a week in the Maldives and traded it for a week in Paris because more people tend to go there.. Yes, it will cost you a couple of hundred bucks a year to maintain but it is definitely worth it. Afterwards, I offer it away, usually to a customer, but sometimes even to an employee or a charity.

Gift cards are a thoughtful idea. Recently I went to Super Cuts and I received a gift card. If you know me at least a bit, you’ll know why that wasn’t really a good fit for me. I sold it at 50 percent discount to Plastic Jungle, a website which allows you to buy or sell gift cards for the well-known stores and restaurants around the country. Buy gift cards at a discount and send them to customers or employees at random.

Bottom line, people like free stuff, it’s a great way to show customers and employees you care about them and it’s not expensive. Got any more suggestions? We welcome you to comment below.

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