Building customer loyalty is integral for any business to be successful and more so if you are on your own. The key here is for your customer to trust you. They will need to trust you enough in order to come back to you for your service and product. At the same time, when their trust in you is complete, only will they start to refer their friends to you.
To start with, always be sincere in your business dealings. Do not try to fake your way through in your business operations or manipulate your customer into buying your product or service, because your customer will be able to see right through you and they can feel it.
Integrity is also an important recipe in building customer loyalty. Integrity is defined as "a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes". Without integrity your business will not last long. Keep your promise to your customers. Deliver what your promised and set the right expectation. It is always better to over-achieve than to set too high an expectation that you could not deliver. Be consistent in your action and speech.
Communicate with your clients. This means listening to your customers needs as well as communicating what you want to say effectively. You need to communicate with your customers when things are going well and when things are not. When a challenge surface, provide to your customers the scope of the challenge and your proposed solutions. These builds not only trust and integrity but also confidence and credibility on your part.
Be credible. Do what you say and say only what you will do. When you say you will arrive at a certain time, be punctual (or earlier). If you know you will be late, call in advance to inform your customer. If you say you will call back, make the commitment to do so. It is OK if you can not have the information required at the time of the call. Be sincere. This also shows that you take the time to conduct proper research to get an accurate answer.
Testimonials and pass referrals. Nothing works better than a good testimony from your customers. Ask them to refer you customers. Ask if you have done a good job and would they refer to you their friends. If the answer is yes, chances are you have impressed your existing customers and they are bound to come back to you and refer their friends too!