While the “Shop Local/Buy Local” sentiment gets many Portland consumers in the doors of local merchant, the customer experience still dictates whether or not they return and continue to patronize a local business. Until recently, local merchants rarely had direct access to concrete data relating to a customer’s experience, good or bad. Local Marketing Community (LMC) Group recently launched a turnkey program to help Portland neighborhood businesses attain that feedback in real-time in order to build customer loyalty and grow their business.
“It costs seven to 10 times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to grow the value of an existing customer by the same amount. A referred customer is the most profitable type of new customer to acquire. A dissatisfied customer will return 92% of the time if the issue is resolved quickly. Many businesses struggle to identify and measure the value of the individual customers to their business and to effectively focus on growing the more valuable relationships,” said Bruce Wildes, CEO of LMC Group. “With our program, the merchant knows who their loyal and most profitable customers are and also who the detractors are, potentially before they go viral on public web sites. The LMC program gives them the tools to easily build upon their most valuable customer relationships.”
Here’s how LMC’s program works. Participating merchants give a feedback card to their customer that includes a tangible benefit for their feedback. The customer completes a simple one-minute online survey with their smart phone or computer. They are immediately emailed a validation code for the feedback card to redeem the benefit on their next visit to the merchant. If the feedback is positive, the customer is given the option to refer others to join the Local Marketing Community and to also receive other offers from other participating merchants. If the feedback is negative, the merchant is immediately notified to respond to the customer to address the concern.
“This kind of information is invaluable to merchants on a number of levels and has the added benefit of letting the merchant’s staff know that customers are being surveyed. This tends to improve the level of service, which increases retention and makes a customer more likely to refer family and friends,” said Wildes.
In addition to providing feedback, the LMC program offers a number of rewards vehicles so vendors can regularly communicate with their loyal customers. Those vehicles include:
- Birthday Club
- Anniversary Club
- Text Club
- Facebook and Twitter posts
Besides tools for customer feedback and communications, LMC’s program also provides a convenient referral platform to generate multiple referrals and develop customer appreciation programs.
LMC’s program has already enabled many local businesses to grow their business and recognize staff members.
“Statistics indicate that if a business treats a customer well, chances are 26% that the customer will become a loyal patron. Statistics also state that if we are able to exceed the customer’s expectations, chances of developing a loyal customer jump to over 80%. LMC offers the most effective tool to measure if we’re actually accomplishing our goal,” said Jeff Corey, president of Day’s Jeweler. “The customer feedback has been a wonderful reinforcement to our front line staff because they are seeing first hand that customers are appreciating their hard work.”
“Until now, smaller, local businesses didn’t have a convenient way to identify the customer, measure their experience, and then further build a relationship with them to keep them coming back,” said Reade Brower, an advocate of the LMC program in Rockland, Maine. “With LMC, it’s quite simple for both the merchant and consumer to participate. It also encourages the customer to support other participating local merchants in the community.”
LMC offers a number of affordable packages to participate, ranging from $65 to $150 per month. There’s an initial commitment of one year, with a six month opt-out. For more information, please visit www.lmcgroup.biz or contact Bruce Wildes 207 370 8210 or firstname.lastname@example.org.