The secret to customer loyalty is a smile and a friendly hello, according to a Barclays report called The Lost Art of Loyalty.
A personal and friendly relationship is the most common reason why customers feel loyalty towards small and independent retailers (59% of respondents agreed).
Over a third (36%) of consumers said they are loyal to small businesses because of excellent customer service, with 22% saying they appreciate it when businesses remember their usual order.
However, the report revealed that just 54% of small businesses employ friendly customer service and only 53% remember or record customers’ previous orders.
The study highlights a ‘loyalty gap’ among small businesses in the UK, where many are failing to utilise the simple customer service methods which could encourage customer loyalty.
Sue Hayes, managing director of Barclays Business Banking, said “This research shows just how important loyalty is and how something as simple as a smile and a freindly hello, or remembering a customer’s order, can help the profitability of SMEs.”