June 18, 2013

Don't let customer loyalty become a 'lost art', claims report

SME decision makers should be fostering customer loyalty with a view to driving business growth, reports freshbusinessthinking.com.

'The Lost Art of Loyalty', a report by Barclays in partnership with Kingston University Small Business Research Centre, revealed that a 'smile and a friendly hello' is why 59 per cent of consumers feel loyal towards small retailers but only 54 per cent employ this practice.

In addition, 22 per cent said they valued businesses remembering their usual order but only 53 per cent of firms are remembering customers' previous orders, cites frrole.com.

As a result business decision makers, such as a firm's CEO, may want to reinforce customer loyalty strategies in their customer-facing employees through coaching and training initiatives.

Professor Robert Blackburn, representative of the Small Business Research at Kingston University, believes that it is "vital" for SMEs to know what fosters loyalty amongst customers.

Commenting on the report, he said: "While the majority of decision makers recognise the importance of personal relations with customers, they are failing to develop their own customer loyalty strategies.

"SMEs are in a unique to embrace these traditional values of loyalty and should consciously build on their natural competitive advantage of being a smaller business as this can make a real difference to business survival and growth," he added.

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