Welcome to another interesting business guide on 12 Tips to Earn Customer Loyalty in Nigeria. Earning customers loyalty for your business in Nigeria is not an easy achievement considering the fact that customers preferences, changes regularly. Loyalty is the act of demonstrating undivided and constant support for someone or an organization.
It is obviously true that there are certain attitudes or characters that must be continually exhibited by someone or company for them to have people remain loyal to them. As a matter of fact, there are still people who have loyal supporters despite them being bad but this article refers to loyalty in the right sense.
Just as respect is never demanded but earned, loyalty also demands hard work for it to be earned and maintained. In Nigeria, a couple of factors affect customers loyalty and for that reason, an entrepreneur practically has to work for and earn the loyalty and continued patronage of his/her customers taking into consideration the fact a business may fail without the continuous loyalty of his/her customers.
So today, I’d be emphasizing 12 basic tips that would aid you as an entrepreneur to be able to earn the loyalty of your customers!
12 Tips For Earning Customer Loyalty in Nigeria
1. Quality products/services
Quality products is a necessity here. There are too many fake products floating around town, it’s already difficult convincing people on what to buy so you selling fake products as well or substandard products and services would do you no good. When your customers realize that you’ve changed to being a quack vendor or an entrepreneur with substandard services, they’ll run and new ones won’t even come around! So try as much as possible to see that your products and services are of good if not best qualities. That way, you’ll earn the loyalty and continued support of your clients.
2. Give bonuses
Yes, bonuses are very important as well. For instance, I have this woman I usually buy Garri from at the market. She sells good, but that’s not the point. What keeps me going back to her every time is that whenever I buy 5 pints of Garri from her, she usually gives me an additional half pint. Imagine, so why would I ever think of going elsewhere? Other sellers I have patronized at one time or the other usually give me one or two cups of Garri at the end of my purchase but then I met this woman who does this. No I’m not leaving. So bonuses are important, you can choose to give a bonus to customers who purchases goods or products above a certain price. This would make them keep running back at you with such purchasing targets I bet you. Festivity periods like Christmas and Easter should also see you portraying some acts of extended kindness by way of gifts and bonuses to these people, your customers. They feel loved for this and therefore remain loyal to you.
3. Giving credits
Credits for sure has never been a good way of handling businesses. That’s because it weakens your economic stand. But given proper consideration, it’s also a somewhat beneficial way of handling business especially if you are into manufacturing sector in Nigeria. Certain customers have been with you over time and you know what the financial strengths of some of them are! Selling on credit to these customers sometimes when you know there’s a sure way of getting your money back is a good way of expressing to them how much you trust and value them. When you’re certain of retrieval means, you should consider giving them credit sales at times and be rest assured that they’d always come back to you when they have such issues and they’ll pay up, that still reflects loyalty to them which they’ll return to you too, else they’d go elsewhere when they have such needs and your support from them is somewhat reduced.
4. Impressive experience
How impressive are the experience your customers receive in your stores? Can they refer you through word of mouths to their friends? If yes, what would they tell them? Good or ugly? I’m sure, you already have answers to these! You must try as much as possible to serve your customers impressively and give them a good customer experience in Nigeria. You earn their loyalty by doing so. They’d always and always want to come back and that makes a long queue waiting at the entrance with the sole aim of patronizing your business. Swiftness to deliver, neat packaging and professional cordiality are all part of impressive services.
5. Personal welfare
Your business relationship with your customers shouldn’t be selfish, it shouldn’t only be centered on you receiving money from them and delivering or discharging your duties so don’t wear that stern face. Inasmuch that your relationship with them is already symbiotic as per teasing, it is imperative that sometimes or more often than not you should take time to care for their personal welfare. Comments like “How’s the family?” , “How’s the baby and it’s mother?”, “I hope you’re feeling good today” are all ways of showing that you care for their personal welfare. Make them feel close to you, It may not necessarily be a long conversation, it could be brief and then to business but first show that you care for their individual well being. That way, they’ll know you’re concerned and you earn more of their loyalty and likeness as well.
6. Return/Replacement policy
When a customer brings in a item purchased earlier and claims its bad, how do you react? Granted, you’ll loose some money by replacing that item but that is really the best thing to do. But then, that is why you have to carefully check before selling out any items to them and secondly you also have to study to know if there are certain persons among them who are used to bringing in such problems and exercise extra carefulness when dealing with them. But sometimes even after taking these precautions, such problems still arise. Then this is where replacement comes in, replace the bad items and apologize. That way, you’re rewarded by their loyalty which returns to you. They grow confidence and trust in you!
7. Give them attention
While serving customers at your place of business in Nigeria, it is vital that you take enough time to attend to them. Don’t be in a hurry to rush up to the next one. You may end up dissatisfying the other and you loose their loyalty when they leave you for another. Take your time to attend to them, that is why you may actually need some help at your place of business so that the full weight doesn’t rest on you. Be patient enough with each one of them and attend to them carefully, they’ll feel more satisfied and valued that way. Your mind should really be relaxed as well and beg the others from time to time to hold on a bit until you’re done with the current customer. Give attention to rendering satisfactory services to them. It’s worth the effort!
8. Clean environment
Hygiene basically applies to Manufacturing entrepreneurs who are into edible products while neatness applies to all entrepreneurs in every act of business. If you’re an entrepreneur into manufacturing sector and you’re having issues with personal hygiene either with your clothes looking unkempt or your hairs or any other part of your body lacking in hygiene, believe me over this fact that no matter how neat your production environment might be, people will find it hard to believe that your products are actually healthy. They’d rather believe, it’s poison and with this you can’t earn the expected loyalty of your customers. And if you’re a vendor with a somewhat dirty or not-too-clean store or shop, customers would always murmur about it (if you observe closely) maybe not to your very face but they show they are not too comfortable with this and this clearly affects your reputation as well as with you loosing out on customers loyalty!
9. Listen to them
More often than not, customers make complaints or comments about a couple of things, about services, particular products or packaging, these remarks are what you should really lend listening ears to. Take note of these complains and try as much as possible to work on them they are very crucial no matter how harmless they really may seem. Out of the heart’s abundance the mouth speaks, I’m sure you’ve heard that. Sometimes, they may be trivial, they may be minor, at other times they may be well established and very audible. No matter what the case may be, it’s really important to give attention to these areas of cordiality. It would not only correct problems but would also give your customers the impression that you are discreet and clever and also that you have their complete satisfaction at heart. Loyalty is earned with this too! It’s very important.
10. Make it affordable
You really should avoid excessive costs or adding more costs to your products and services. Logically no entrepreneur would want to seem unaffordable but sometimes without knowing it you could appear to be. Nigerian entrepreneurs must strive to strike and maintain a balance in the cost of their dealings and charges for service. You don’t have to charge at a price too far from what’s right with the assertion that if worse comes to worst, customers would still price as much down as what it should be. Some may just feel not to keep pricing and leave. You can’t earn their loyalty this way. You just have to be affordable at all cost, this earns you loyalty and continued patronage from these people!
11. Relate with them
One of the greatest assets an entrepreneur should have is the ability to market and sell one’s self. You must be very convincing, whether by being a sweet talker or a preacher. Whatever means, the bottom line is you have to reach that target of convincing them of your competence in satisfying them and of your ability to identify with their needs. Always say things in a convincing manner. By giving enough clear and provable reasons to your prospective customers and active customers as to why they should patronize you and why they should try out a new product fr you respectively, you earn their loyalty when they can testify to the truthiness of your words at the end.
12. Be punctual
If your time for commencing business on a working day is 8:00am, ensure at all cost that you always and always meet up with this time because you may really not understand that customers are aware of this and through one way or the other they would always check for your punctuality. How do you feel when you run into a store at 7:50am hoping to get some stuffs quickly on your way to work where you should actually be at 8am only to find them not open for business yet? It’s a real bad feeling! That’s how customers too feel when they don’t find you when they need you. Punctuality is a helpful tip for earning customers loyalty in Nigeria. It’s hard work and needs to be worked with. Let them know you’re usually here at this time and stick to it. It helps them in planning their own schedule as well. When they are not disappointed by your services or time of delivering your services believe me you earn more of their loyalty!