Ask SCORE: Focus on Cultivating Customer Loyalty

Every successful sports team has a “go-to” player, someone who can be counted on to perform and deliver whatever is needed in specific situations.

As a small-business owner, you want your firm to be a “go-to” resource for your customers, the place they’ll turn to whenever they need a certain product or service, regardless of other options that may be available.

To achieve that distinction, you have to develop loyalty among your customers. At first glance, that might seem easy to do — give them what they want, and they’ll come back, right?

Not necessarily. Customers always have wanted to feel valued and to know that their specific needs will receive special attention. But building customer loyalty has become more challenging with the convergence of trends such as easy access to data about competing companies, more price- or location-driven purchasing decisions due to economic factors, and a sense of greater expectations of value from that purchase.

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