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Work Smart: Encourage consumer loyalty

by JJ Ramberg /

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Acquiring a new customer can be tougher, and generally more expensive, than keeping the ones you have. MSNBC Your Business' JJ Ramberg has a few tips to earn you consumer loyalty.

First, encourage your customers' involvement. You can use them for direct feedback via surveys, phone calls, and focus groups. If they feel like they have a say, they're more likely to stick around.

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Next, always be transparent as a business owner. People understand that things don't always go as planned. So, if something goes wrong, the worst thing you can do is try and hide it. Be honest with your customers, let them know what went wrong and make a promise to do better next time.

Also, everyone loves surprises, so do something nice and unexpected every once in a while. Touches like a free gift or an invitation to something unrelated to your business can go a long way.

Finally, utilize a customer loyalty program. A simple program like a punch card will keep customers coming back for more.

For more tips like these, check out the MSNBC Your Business Facebook page, or tune in to MSNBC at 7:30 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays.

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