To improve customer loyalty be authentic and consistent, communicate honestly and transparently, focus on quality, follow up with existing clients
One of the most valuable business marketing objectives is to draw in customers. However, your business’s ultimate goal is to make these customers happy to return and become loyal regular buyers.
A business needs a bunch of actions and marketing strategies to transform a first-time customer into your brand’s superfan. It can be challenging to ensure customer repeat purchases, but implementing some unique methods can make it easier to improve retention.
- What is customer loyalty?
Customer loyalty is a continued emotional relationship between a business and a customer. It is exhibited by a customer’s willingness to engage with your products or services, prompting them to purchase from you repeatedly instead of your competitors.
Customer loyalty results from customers’ positive experience and trust in your product. Loyal customers:
- Repeatedly buy from you
- Use what they have bought from you
- Engage with you on different channels
- Promote your products to friends and family
After spending time and money attracting a customer to your business, you want to work on your customer retention strategies. The goal is to improve customer experience and add value to your relationship.
- Why is Customer loyalty important?
Customers are the blood of your business. Having loyal and happy customers guarantees sustainable business growth, with studies showing that loyal customers are likely to spend 67% more than new customers.
Interestingly, the Pareto Principle shows that your loyal customers form only 20% of your existing customers, but they contribute 80% of your total revenue. Customer loyalty helps to:
- Increase revenue
- Drive repeat business
- Protect your brand from fierce competition
- Build brand ambassadors
- Give valuable feedback to your surveys.
15 Ways to improve customer loyalty
Here are some proven steps to increase your brand loyalty.
1. Be true and consistent
Customers value authenticity and consistency. If they can count on your business to deliver quality products year in year out, they will likely keep coming and recommend you to friends. Customers do not expect the quality to decrease because the economy is not favorable. Authenticity also means that if customers raise concerns about anything, they are sure you will immediately address it.
2. Be transparent and honest in communication
Your customers expect transparency and honesty when communicating with them. Customers are humans, and they would want to engage with fellow humans who set reasonable standards and exceed them every time.
They also expect you to own up if you fail to meet your standards and take necessary steps to improve. Honesty and openness show vulnerability and humanness, which resonates with your clients.
The golden rule here is to maintain honesty and transparency at all times. For instance, if your customer service desk is a team of four, don’t pretend to be forty when handling inquiries.
3. Under-promise but overdeliver
You want to outdo yourself every time, but do not let your customers get used to it. You don’t want to create an expectation that could strain your business and backfire. Value can be in the form of better or quicker services or providing something personal.
You do not need to focus on price solely. Endeavor to make your customers feel understood and valued more than your competitors. Instead of sending your customers an email template, send them a handwritten letter with accompanying flowers. Who will fail to return for more purchases at the store they feel valued?
4. Adopt the Noble Edge
Some studies show that customers are extremely loyal to businesses that leverage the Noble Edge Effect. Customers want to see your business sincerely giving back to society. Instead of telling your giving story, let an independent source talk about your social responsibility. Customers with moral aspirations will undoubtedly turn loyal to your brand even if they have limited knowledge or experience with your product.
5. Provide top-notch customer service
Customer service is one of the best ways to build a relationship with your customers. If a customer feels they are not treated well by your customer service personnel, they are unlikely to return. The purchase process is emotional, and customers want a customer service team that cares for them.
Customer services should be there for customers when needed, and the team should respond promptly to customers’ inquiries. Follow up on your promise to a customer and satisfy their needs. The customer will develop a deep emotional connection with your brand and will likely choose you over the competition even with their eyes closed.
6. Focus on quality
If customers associate you with a given level of quality, show them that they thought wrong by exceeding it. Consistent quality products offer real value to your customers, and you can always expect them to come back. These customers will become your greatest defenders and advocates of your brand because they have tested your value.
7. Regularly follow up with your existing customers
Customer loyalty is pegged on creating a long-term relationship, especially with B2B relationships. Unfortunately, very few businesses are doing a regular follow-up with the existing customers after the sale is complete.
Communication is the lifeblood of any business relationship. Customers should feel your interest in their satisfaction; otherwise, your competitors will grab them with a better personal touch. Why not compile a list of your customers and make a quick phone call to know if there are any issues with the products you sold?
8. Do not spam your customers
Email marketing is great, but many businesses abuse it by sending daily direct mails to customers. You do well to use email marketing sparingly and strategically.
If your customers receive emails daily, they may develop an aversion to your message and fail to read it.
You want to use emails when you have an offer, promotion, or campaign your think would benefit your clients. Strategic emailing is likely to make your clients long for the next deal. They are will also know that a mail from you is important and worth reading.
9. Use social media to engage your customers
Your customers are spending more time on social media than ever before. By engaging them through these platforms, you ensure they remember your brand and share it with friends.
Even without sharing, their friends will see that they liked your brand or commented on it. Social media engagement will help you retain current customers and attract new ones.
10. Send your customers a handwritten thank-you note
In this fast-moving digital age, people rarely sit down to manually write a letter. You can capitalize on this laxity and send your customers a handwritten thank-you note. It will show your clients that you care for them, not as a group but as individuals.
When was the last time you received a handwritten letter from a corporation thanking you for your loyalty? Your customers will not forget such a gesture, and they are likely to buy from you even if your competitors charge lower prices.
11. Ask for customer feedback
Customers feel good when you request their thoughts and take their input seriously. So, be direct and ask your customer how you presented your product or service and what improvements you should make to provide better services in the future.
Every customer wants to see that level of humility from a brand they love. It tells your customers that you are committed to personal growth and self-awareness. You are likely to achieve 100% customer retention when you request feedback from your customers.
12. Make your customers feel welcome
You can enhance customer loyalty by making your customers feel welcome. It is estimated that 70% of a customer’s purchase journey is dependent on whether they feel welcomed or not. A customer’s willingness to buy from you is hinged on their first impression of your brand.
Are your contact details visible and updated to make it easy for customers to make inquiries? When customers enter your store, are they well received with happy faces ready to assist them? If you work on welcoming your customers, they will keep coming.
13. Treat employees better
If you value your customers, then you value your employees even more. Your employees are your business’ face, and how you handle them is reflected in how they treat customers.
Give your employees what you promise your customers. Do you expect your employees to exercise patience, empathy, and understanding of your customers? Lead by example and do the same to employees.
14. include testimonial requests in the sales process
Always ask for testimonials from customers when changing the sales process. Phew Research Center shows that 38% of your customers do not leave reviews after purchasing a product or service, but 68% would do so if they are asked to.
It means that your loyal customers are willing to shout to the world how good your services are, but you have not asked them. You could add “Request for testimonial” in the sales process so that you do not forget. Reviews are important in helping new customers make a purchase decision.
15. Reward customer loyalty
If you want to promote customer retention, you could show that customer loyalty matters to you by giving them spontaneous gifts. Customers often switch brands when they feel undervalued and unappreciated. Therefore, ensure your loyalty program is effective and provides real value to your customers.
Did you find ways to help you improve your customer loyalty from this tried-and-tested list? Customers want to know that you are not simply interested in their money but truly care about their welfare. Positive behavior and practical steps will retain your existing customers and attract new ones, thus improving your bottom line.
What customer loyalty strategy do you think works best for your business?