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- Does your business see the same faces coming back to use your services or buy your products?
56% of all customers would prefer to stay loyal to a business that they believe understands them. It is a natural instinct for customers to bond to a company that they know and trust and this type of relationship can be very long-lasting.
But how do you increase customer loyalty in your business?
In this article, we will be exploring what is customer loyalty and how you can improve it in your business.
What is Customer Loyalty?
Put simply, customer loyalty refers to a companies ability to keep the same customers coming back over a period of time.
Loyalty is a measure of how likely a customer is to use your products or services again.
Excellent customer loyalty creates word-of-mouth marketing. It turns your customers into brand ambassadors who will recommend your business to all of their family and friends.
Increasing customer loyalty should be a continual objective in any business.
It is Cheaper To Retain Customers Than To Obtain New Ones
If you constantly have to hunt down new customers, it is going to cost you.
82% of businesses believe that retention is cheaper than acquiring new customers.
While your business will no doubt have a marketing strategy, to rely on brand new customers all the time will put pressure on areas of your operation poised for generating footfall.
To add to this fact, if you are not retaining your customers, there is usually a good reason. You are delivering sub-par customer service, or your products are not meeting the desired quality. If you are leaving a bad impression on your customers, this will translate into negative reviews.
If your reviews are bad, this will make it even harder for your marketing team to bring new customers to your business.
Work hard at retaining your existing customers.
Reward Your Loyal Customers
Having a rewards program is an excellent way of giving back to the customers who keep coming back.
If you run a store, have a loyalty card that offers a discount whenever a customer makes a certain amount of purchases or reaches a specific spend.
Many companies offer a free gift on the customer’s birthday- touches like this help to make a customer feel special.
74% of women and 60% of men would recommend a loyalty scheme that they used to a friend.
Loyalty cards offer a great window into a customer’s buying habits while providing you with useful demographic information that you can feed into your marketing strategy.
Online businesses can offer loyalty schemes effortlessly. You’re already taking a certain amount of personal data whenever a customer buys anything or uses your services. By letting them know that if they keep coming back, they will earn something, they’re more likely to return.
Use the Right Communication Tools
To improve customer loyalty in your business, you need to focus your attention on how you communicate.
Sending out personalized communications will allow your customers to feel special.
If you know your customer’s dates of birth, why not use an automated service to send them all an email to drop them digital birthday cards?
There are ways of streamlining communication using the right CRM software. However, you always need to remember that when you are communicating with your customers, they are people, not just numbers on a screen.
Engage Your Customer Community
Social media is one of the best ways of building up a real bond with your customers.
Create meaningful links with your customer community by posting regularly. Don’t just bombard your followers with your latest deals. While promotion should be part of your aims, your social accounts are there to build relationships.
Tailor helpful posts that will help your followers out. Maybe there are articles that you can share that are loosely linked to your products or services that will help your customers get the best out of them.
Build ways for your customers to engage with you. Post contests or share the type of content that will generate responses in the comments section. Not only will this allow your posts to reach the news feeds of your follower’s friends, thus extending your reach, it will also give you an insight into your customer’s thoughts.
Make sure you respond to your customers on social media. Stay in tune with your brand when you are replying. If your style is witty, play to this angle in all of your replies.
Use social media listening apps to find out when people may be talking about your brand. This is a great opportunity to either get in there and engage with your customers or, to learn where you can be improving.
Deal With Customer Complaints
If your customers have a problem with the products or services that you have supplied, listen to them. Take their feedback on board and apologize. Do whatever you can to make amends and try and learn from their negative experience.
If you do everything possible to understand a customer’s concerns, and can demonstrate that you care enough about their experience, then you may retain that customer.
Log all customer complaints and regularly, then review them and learn from them.
Keep Your Customers Close
What is customer loyalty? It is one of the most important things that a customer-facing business needs to think about.
Once you have developed a plan on how to increase customer loyalty, do everything you can to keep them close. New threats will emerge to take your customers from you. This may come in the form of competitors or technological change.
If you remain focused on delivering engaging customer service that rewards those that keep coming back, you will be able to weather any threats to your business.
Which companies are you most loyal towards? Who looks after their customers best?
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