There are a seemingly endless amount of choices out there when it comes to just about every category of retail shopping, so how do you make sure your customers come back to you and not a competitor? Millennials are quickly becoming the most sought-after group of shoppers, and the good news is that according to a study done by inc.com, more than 50% of millennials say they are very loyal to their favorite brands. Now, how do you get them to love you the most?
Keep the Focus on Customer Experience – Think about your own shopping experiences. Aren’t you the most happy and satisfied as a customer when stores make the the check-out and the return process simple and easy, the employees are knowledgeable and pleasant and they are happy to help you with anything you need while you are shopping? As a specialty retailer, paint & decorating store owners have to be especially vigilant about having knowledgeable staff helping customers. While most of a paint dealer’s business is done in-store, keep an eye on your website also, and make sure it is easy to navigate and clearly shows customers everything you have to offer. The internet has ensured that shoppers are well-connected and they do not hesitate to share bad experiences online.
Offer Rewards Your Customers Really Want – Focusing on rewards that will keep them coming back are the most effective. Offer things like credit after someone purchases a certain dollar amount three times, a discount or credit when someone refers a friend, or a gift card when a customer completes a customer profile. Rewards do seem to motivate people regardless of previous spending habits or even income.
Don’t Ignore Social Responsibility and Corporate Accountability – This may be one of the best ways to garner loyalty from your customers. Everyone likes to be associated with a good cause, something that makes life better for not only themselves, but others. Millennials care about what values motivate your business and they will be loyal to stores who show that they care about the environment, the community they in which they are located, and the customers they serve. Whatever it is that you care about, let your customers know about it, and don’t just say it, back it up with action! Become a local old paint drop-off center, hold a fundraiser to repair a local playground, offer the students in your area cash for college (the PDRA $5000 Scholarship Competition is the easiest way to do that). Be consistent, also. Enforcing your values inconsistently can create confusion and backlash from disappointed customers.
Keep Track of What Works – Customers react and respond differently to the various methods you use to build loyalty. An up-to-date POS system can be an invaluable tool to help you keep track of who responds to loyalty programs. Thinking about the entire customer cycle from first contact and acquisition to customer reactivation is extremely important. If no one responds to a discount as a reward, switch to a gift card option. If people don’t seem interested in one social program, try another one that will capture their attention.