Spring appears to have finally emerged from the dreary fog of winter. In neighborhoods across the country people are spending hours outside getting their hands dirty with a little gardening. Small business owners should forgo the carrots and spinach this spring and instead focus on cultivating their super fans.
Super fans are developed from your most loyal customers. These customers are the ”regulars” making it a point to shop at your business and more importantly they introduce your business to all their friends. Take a moment and try to identify your top five or six most loyal customers. With a little cultivation you can turn these customers into your super fans.
Cultivating these super fans is easier than you might think. Super fans thrive on a combination of the three R’s, relationships, recognition, and reward.
Relationships - engage with these customers. Talk with them, email them, ask for their advice, make them feel as though they have a say in the ongoing development of your business. Get to know them by name, know what they like and what they don’t like.
Recognition - show your appreciation for these customers in a public way. Put their picture on the wall, name a new dish or cocktail after them, mention them on Facebook or Twitter, acknowledge their help when talking with other customers. The possibilities are endless, get creative and do something that makes sense for your business.
Reward - show your appreciation by giving back to these customers. It can be as simple as a free appetizer or a special discount on occasion. Taking it a step further, give them special exclusive access to new products or features, use them as beta testers for evaluating potential products, and even provide them with marketing swag like branded coffee mugs, keychains, etc. Use restraint with rewards though, you don’t want to give the impression that you are buying their support.
By making a concerted effort to develop your five or six most loyal customers through a strategy that encompasses the three R’s of relationship, recognition, and reward these customers will become evangelists for your business. They will tirelessly promote your business and become an invaluable asset at your disposal.
To bring it home, LocalUp site owners are in a unique position to capitalize on the power of super fans. Not only will your LocalUp site enjoy a following of loyal customers that can be cultivated into super fans, but each restaurant you work with will have a group of super fans. The restaurant’s super fans hold incredible potential for your LocalUp site, but a careful and well though out strategy is critical to tap into their power.
Do you think cultivating loyal customers into super fans will add value to your business?