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Incomes buyer loyalty: That is how small firms do it [Infographic]

It's no surprise that consumers often have a more personal connection with small businesses. Doing business with an independent CPA or indie cafe owner is different from doing business with a large tax accounting firm or a national coffee chain.

But these personal connections have to be earned over time. With every interaction, one customer at a time, small businesses have to prove trustworthy. This trust forms the basis for customer loyalty.

In October 2019, we surveyed consumers to find out what they were looking for in the small businesses they supported and what entrepreneurs could do to earn their trust. Here's what we've learned about how small businesses earn customer loyalty.

Understand your customers so you can exceed their expectations.

How can small businesses make their customers love them? Here are some great insights from our research:

  • Know where your customers prefer to interact: While small businesses should cultivate relationships on every possible channel, we found their customers' channel on social media. 48% of respondents want to learn more about their favorite stores this way, with email being the following preference.
  • Understand what customers expect: If your customers prefer things like fast support or personalized recommendations, you should provide them. 76% of customers surveyed expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.

Fostering Trust: Unfortunately, many customers have become skeptical of those they do business with, which means that small businesses have to go the extra mile to earn their trust. 93% of customers said that trusting a company increased the likelihood of recommending it and continuing to buy its products and services.

Trust is the basis of every customer relationship

Memorable experiences are certainly a key aspect of customer loyalty, but more fundamental is simply to show that your company is trustworthy.

In our 2019 connected customer status report, we found that consumers are more concerned about trust than ever. Almost three quarters of those surveyed said that trust in companies is more important than last year. This is important because almost 9 in 10 consumers say that they are more loyal to companies they trust.

The most direct route to customer loyalty? Make sure that each of your customer interactions reflects the values ​​mentioned above. Be honest with people, demonstrate your reliability and let customers know that they will handle their data with the greatest care.

Then look for ways to connect personally with your customers – know how they like their coffee, remember their children's names, greet them with a warm smile – for unforgettable interactions each time to accomplish. These are good business habits that contribute to customer loyalty.

Are you looking for more insight into how your small business can gain more customer love? Check out our full infographic below or view a full size image here.

Salesforce can help you find customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can grow faster than ever. Learn more about our CRM solutions for small businesses, follow us on Twitter at @Essentials or stay up to date on Salesforce for Small Business on LinkedIn. Join the conversation with #SMBTrailblazer.

Photo via Salesforce

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