Friday, June 24, 2011

Defining Customer Loyalty

Defining customer loyalty is a challenge all business's face.  However, lets face it loyal customers are the back bone of any business, be it a brick and mortar, on-line, a chain store, a small mom &; pop store down the street or for handmade artisans. Anyway you look at it a loyal customer will repeatedly purchase from you, will refer people to you and will think of you when it comes time to purchase gifts. Yet, what makes a customer loyal? What sets apart one business over another in the minds of the buying public?

Here are a few things we have come up with that generate loyalty from those businesses’s we repeatedly purchase from.

1.) Clear, easily found policies. While I don’t mind dealing with different policies and there isn’t anything specific that I look for, the lack of them or inability to find them easily is a turn off.

2.) On-line, no shipping charges. We know that ultimately we are paying for shipping. See our shipping blog here, for full explanation.

3.) Coupons to use on next purchase. While I don’t expect this every time, once in a while it is a nice surprise to receive.

4.) Mailing lists and the ability to opt out of receiving notices. If they don’t have an opt out option I am not interested. F.Y.I. currently Entwined Vines is not maintaining or creating a mailing list, perhaps in the future we will revisit this option.

5.) New and different items, while maintaining core items. I know that seems contradictory, yet certain products like lotions, soap and other consumables, a store that carries them consistently and maintains quality will have me returning time and time again. Yet, other stores that carry items, such as clothing, new items and the same quality in the new items are a must.

6.) Communication, be it in person, via email or phone. If communication doesn’t happen frustration occurs and chances are I won’t shop with them again.

7.) On-line it is important that I actually receive what I order. If it is an item where color is an issue, it should be close. I know pictures never truly portray the exact color, but it needs to be close.

These are just a few of the ideas of what inspires customer loyalty within us.

What inspires customer loyalty for you?

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