In high school, all of my friends were going out for track, and somehow, they convinced me that I needed to join them. The only problem was that my friends were fast, strong, and just naturally gifted athletes.
I, on the other hand, was not.
But I figured that if I went out for long distance as my event, I could at least endure, be consistent with my workouts, and hang in there. And that’s what I did. It wasn’t pretty, but I never gave up.
Looking back, I’ve learned that this is a theme that has run throughout my entire life, especially when it comes to my business.
I’ve never been the fastest, strongest, or most gifted, but I have tried to go the extra mile by enduring the ups and downs and by continuing to show up every day to be consistent.
I truly believe that going the extra mile helps develop customer loyalty. And in my experience, this is done in three equally important ways:
First Impressions
We’ve all heard the famous Will Rogers quote: “You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.” It’s so true! Think about it—the minute you walk into a business or restaurant, you know if you want to stay. In the same way, the first time you visit a website, you know pretty quickly if you want to give them your business.
Some simple ways I’ve tried to make a first impression with my online business include:
  • Personally message anyone who “likes” my public Facebook page.
  • Send handwritten notes to my new customers
  • Email my new clients a welcome packet filled with resources to help them get started
Ask yourself: Is there anything else I could be doing to make a good first impression to show my customers they’ve come to the right place? 
No matter what kind of business you’re in, I’m willing to bet that many of your daily tasks are simple.
Notice I said simple, not easy. Much of what I do each day is relatively simple, but it’s not easy to be consistent.
If you’re an entrepreneur, there will be days when you’re just not feeling it. Those are the days when you need to pray, dig in, and show up anyway! (Filling out the first page of the daily guide of my swHw Business Trackeralways helps me on those days.) 
I’ve been in my business now for seven years. Every month, there are people who previously told me “no” at the beginning who are now coming to me for help.
It’s not because I now have some fancy marketing strategy that I didn’t have before; it’s just that I’ve stayed the course and haven’t given up.
P.S. If you have a newsletter that you periodically send out to your list and you’re feeling discouraged because of the open rate, don’t give up!  Research shows that if you remain consistent, if/when your prospects are ready for the service you provide, they are more likely to reach out to you because they continue to see you in their Inbox!
Ask yourself: How is my consistency affecting my business? 
I recently tried ordering a shirt from an online store that I love.  They were out of the shirt I wanted in my size, so I emailed the company to find out if they would be restocking that particular item.
A girl named Rachel immediately replied to my email telling me that they had one shirt left in my size in the storefront display, and that she would take it down and mail it out to me immediately.
Will I be quick to shop with them again? Absolutely!
People do business with people that they know, like, and trust.  So if we are in business for ourselves, we want to do everything we can to WOW our customers.
Here are some possible examples:
  • Offer a Customer Loyalty Program to your clients as a sign of your appreciation for their business
  • Send a small gift when a customer sends you a referral
  • Track your customers’ package and let them know when they can expect to receive it
  • Handwrite a note and include it with their purchase
  • Acknowledge your top clients’ birthdays and/or anniversaries
  • Deliver a yearly gift for your VIPs (For example, my husband delivers pies every Thanksgiving to his top clients. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive–it’s the gesture that counts!)
  • Send them a short voice message to let them know you’re thinking about them
  • Ask them how you can pray for them
  • …(More ideas inside the Guide of the swHw Business Tracker)
Ask yourself: How will I WOW my customers today? (And then do it!)
There will be days when you’re not wanting to go the extra mile. And on those days, remember that you’re not working for man, but for God:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,” — Colossians 3:23