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Ask the experts: the secrets to customer loyalty – as it happened

Join us on this page from 1-2pm on Thursday 25 May to quiz our expert panel on how to grow a loyal customer base and offer better service

Today’s webchat on customer loyalty has now come to an end. Thanks to everyone who took part – we hope the blog summaries below are useful.

If you would like to get in touch with the Guardian Small Business Network, please email smallbusinessnetwork@theguardian.com.

From TripAdvisor to Snapchat, the number of platforms for businesses to interact with, and get feedback from, customers keeps growing. The panel had some advice for dealing with this in a small firm:

Naomi Timperley, says:

You have to use the [social media] channels that your customers use […] You can’t do all of them brilliantly unless you have support, but you can work out which ones are best for your business. Make sure communications aren’t always about selling – teach your customers something, ask for their opinions, share good news. If it is sales communications make them feel special.

For outbound communications tools, such as Buffer (social media) and Mailchimp (email) can help [save time] but these won’t help much when your customers are reaching out to you.

Sharing responsibility across the team for responding to social media and email enquiries, can [be useful]. If calls to your business are non-urgent then use a 24/7 call answering service who can email the message to you.

Continue reading…

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