Giving customers an experience they won’t forget is paramount to making sure they come back. Here are 5 tips based on our own research and advice from some of the 3,000+ local businesses in the Nift network.

How to create moments that will keep your customers coming back:

1. Feature Something Truly Unique

Are you the only place with a Game of Thrones crepe menu? Do you sell the only underwear that’ll never cause chafing? Whatever it is, find your niche. That way, customers know that you’re the best and only place to get whatever you’re offering, and they’ll remember you for it. Figure out what makes your business unique, and flaunt it. It’s the easiest way to stand out amidst every other business, large and small.

Saxx boasts some of the only chafe-free underwear on the market.

2. Make it Personal

As a small business, something you have over every huge company is the ability to make things personal. Little things, like making sure to stay friendly and positive, remembering a customer’s name or their lunch order, personalizing your response when you engage with them can make all the difference. Creating that simple connection makes you stand out, and makes them feel more connected and more loyal to you.

3. Engage Immediately – Even If You Don’t Have A Solution

Responding to a customer right away, even if you’re not quite sure what the problem is, or how to fix it, can work wonders. Showing that you’re willing to listen, or even play therapist, if not offer an immediate fix shows your customers that you care, and you’re invested in learning exactly what you can do to help.

Showing the customer that you’re putting them first makes them feel heard. It increases customer loyalty, as well as customer spending. A study by Harvard Business Review shows that customers who have great customer service experience with a brand spend 140% more than other customers.

4. Hire Memorable People

When you’re thinking about making your business memorable, it’s important to remember who exactly will be making it memorable for your customers. And that’s your staff. Hiring employees who you know can make your business memorable to your customers can go a long way. 

But how can you make sure you hire the right person? It can start as early as the interview, and it might mean hiring someone on gut instinct as opposed to experience. It’s more about their excitement: people usually put their best foot forward during the interview, so even if they have experience but lack enthusiasm, they probably aren’t the right fit.

Finding someone who feels like a great fit during the interview, but may not have quite the right experience, could be a better hire for your business.

5. Make Every First Experience Great

Have you been here before? This is the easiest question you can ask to ensure first time customers have a phenomenal experience. It’s also been shown to considerably increase sales by 10% to 16%. Boston’s Masa Latin Kitchen & Tequila Bar, and Downtown DC’s Le Desales know the value of making the right first impression: “when someone comes in the door, it’s up to us to make sure they have a great time, enjoy themselves, and spend some money,” says Matthew Mazotta, manager of Masa. 

Both businesses use Nift to bring in new customers, and Zoe Bertrand, manager at Le Desales, says that someone coming in with a Nift is a unique opportunity to make a difference, and gain a new repeat customer: “people who chose us with a Nift are excited to try you out, and it’s that first experience that’ll make them remember us as their dining destination.”

Giving customers a great first experience, especially when they’re excited, too, can earn a loyal repeat customer.

Competing with huge box stores isn’t easy. Finding ways to show your passion, through your product, your hires, and the experience you provide, increases the likelihood your customers remember your business and come back.