• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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How SMEs will drive business growth through nurturing customers’ loyalty

How SMEs will drive business growth through nurturing customers’ loyalty

One of the challenges that Small and Medium Scale Enterprises face in Nigeria is the issue of customer retention.
While many are quick to focus on marketing, strategies to ensure business continuity and plans to grow capital, only a few understand that nurturing customer loyalty is where the task lies as this will scale up the bottom line.

Industry experts believed that startups and entrepreneurs need to nurture customer loyalty as a key component of strategic business plans that will in the long run help to scale up their businesses.

In their recommendations at the recently organised 9mobile networking and business mentorship programme called ‘The Hack’ in Kano State, experts pointed out that understanding one’s customers’ needs is the first step to building a solid relationship with them.

Speaking on the topic: ‘Beyond the Talk’ at the programme, Babangida Mukaddas, head of Regional Sales, North of 9mobile, said every business owner must build trust between themselves and their customers because trust is essential for any successful relationship, including business relationships.

Read also: Digitising Nigerian MSMEs will boost GDP by N53bn – NITDA DG

Mukaddas said that for businesses to excel, they need to keep their promises and deliver on them continuously.

Another key pillar to building strong customer relationships, Mukaddas informed the SME owners, is excellent customer service. In addition, he tasked them to personalise their sales approach to each customer by learning about their individual needs and preferences, as no two customers are the same.

“Entrepreneurs must be persistent because building strong customer relationships takes time. Don’t give up if you don’t make a sale right away. Keep working hard and building relationships, and eventually, you will start to see results,” he said.

The entrepreneurs were also excited by the presentations of Tricia Olufemi-Olumide, a sales and marketing expert from TriciaBiz, who presented practical sessions on ‘Leveraging Online Platforms to Grow Your Business.’

She listed ways small businesses can be more visible on the Internet, adding that 63 percent of all shopping journeys start online.

Commenting on the strategic importance of  The Hack in Kano, Saidat Lawal-Mohammed, director of marketing communications of 9mobile, said: “9mobile is an organisation that understands business and the challenges faced by small and growing businesses.

“The Hack is designed to encourage entrepreneurs and solopreneurs looking for ways to grow their existing businesses. To help them achieve their goals, we partnered with business coaches and influencers with the expertise to walk them through the process and scale their businesses.

She also disclosed that the Hack Kano was different from others because an exhibition element was added to the programme based on the feedback from other locations where the Hack was held.

“It was an opportunity for them to showcase their business, and we think it is vital that if we are talking about how to run a business, we must provide a practical example through the exhibition,” she said.