There are numerous ways to get ahead of competition in traditional as well as healthcare retail environments, but the true key to success is retaining the most important resource of all – your customers. Having a beautifully designed space or being in an optimal location can certainly help, but it's impossible to boost customer loyalty without making a concerted effort to do so.

Here are three great strategies to ensure that your customers will come back again and again.

1. Improve customer experience 

Good customer service is about providing an experience.

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's not as simple as it sounds. Note that it's no longer about offering great customer service as much as it is about providing an experience. This includes being helpful, friendly and welcoming, but a large part of the experience is providing customers with something extra. Often this can be achieved by simply paying attention, learning the customer's name and tastes, and listening to their ideas and concerns so you can interact with them on a more personal level.

This approach is not restricted to your physical store, either. Since your customers have the opportunity to interact with you through online platforms (and vice versa), it's important to extend the same high quality of service across every channel. While you may view your store and your social presence as separate entities, your customers do not, and someone who has a negative experience with your brand online will not try again in store.

How can customer experience lead to greater retention?This is the face of a customer who will definitely visit your store again. 

2. Invest in rewards and loyalty programs 

This one is simple: people like rewards. Offering customers bonuses for your products or services is a great way to make them want to continue visiting your store. Research from KPMG indicates that loyalty programs are not just worthwhile but essential:

  • 85 per cent of revenue growth comes from loyal customers.
  • 74 per cent of shoppers will go out of their way to shop somewhere with a loyalty program.
  • 80 per cent of consumers get excited about new ways to earn loyalty points.
  • 90 per cent of millennials belong to a loyalty program.

Your approach to rewards may take the form of occasional free giveaways, or one of a number of different loyalty programs, but the numbers are clear: A loyalty program is absolutely worth the investment.

Can data analysis improve customer loyalty?Data analysis brings a whole world of information to your fingertips.

3. Take advantage of whatever data you can

Big data can be daunting, but it's making waves for a reason; we now have greater insight over customer habits than ever before. Having a website or store app were once viewed as additional sales channels, but they are now ways to attain valuable insights.

Data collected from these channels can be collated and used for a myriad of reasons: Understanding browsing trends, identifying popular or slow-moving products, buying habits and much, much more. While these can inform the way you lay out your store or influence future buying decisions, the most value comes from understanding your customers. With this information, it's far easier to provide your customers with the exceptional experience we mentioned earlier in this article. 

When you're rolling out new branches of your business, it's important to set yourself up to succeed from the very beginning. Innova Design has almost 30 years of experience in roll outs across the retail and healthcare sectors. We can help you get the most out of your new branches so you can get the most out of your business. Contact us today