Loyalty is one of the virtues you need to get by in life, but when it comes to business, you need it to survive. Research shows that repeat customers spend 67 percent more on your business than new customers. Not just that, running campaigns to generate more leads and eventual customers is nine times more expensive than it will cost you to retain old ones. What you need for your business to grow and become a brand everybody knows, is getting your customers coming back even when they have other options.
Your profit will never decline and your customers would do more to advertise your business than the media would do for you. Also, it saves you a lot of money you would have spent on marketing campaigns for new customers.
Consider using these nine ways to create and maintain customer loyalty.
1. Let your product or service be top-notch
Ever gone to a coffee shop and kept going back because the taste of that coffee was different from the ones you ever had? Not just that, their service was fast and swift, and you also got a smile from the person serving you. No one is loyal to a wack idea, person, product, or service. If you want your customers to become your brand ambassadors then you need to give them something exceptional to come back to.
Sometimes, even without saying any words to them. They will come back and bring their friends. And they will recommend you to anyone who they think needs to hear it.
When you give customers a mind-blowing service that they can’t seem to get anywhere else in the world, they will be devoted and sold out to your company. Ever wonder why Apple has such loyal customers? Create a great product. Give a swift and smart service. Let the ideas you sell to them be unique and nothing like what they have seen before.
2. Frequently update your communication channels
Communicating effectively and frequently with your customers will keep your memory fresh in their minds. Create a database with their contact information. Send them friendly reminders, holiday and birthday greetings, and special offers. You can also inform them ahead of any new product or service you want to create.
Throw in fun tips and messages and share things that will elicit fun responses from them. Not just that, send emails and links to videos or blog posts that you think will be useful to them.
3. Reward Loyalty
One of the easiest ways to build customer loyalty is to throw in extra perks to serve as a reward. Something as small as a meet and greet can do wonders for you in the minds of your customers. It won’t cost you a lot, but it will help you achieve the result you need.
It will mean a lot, and others will get the motivation to reach that level. You can set up a system where customers earn points when they make purchases, or giving them a VIP status that comes with some perks and rewards.
4. Add a personalized touch to your services
Taking orders and fulfilling orders are some of the things we always rely on technology to help us achieve in business. No doubt, automation helps improve the overall customer experience. But in reality, not all your customers are patient enough to navigate the loops of automated responses, directions, and redirections.
It can be frustrating.
What if you limit that aspect for your loyal customers. Give them a more personalized touch instead and give them that VIP feeling that they crave.
5. Offer great customer service
For a very obvious reason, people always go to where they are celebrated not where they are tolerated. Excellent customer service earns you lifelong customers.
Be patient and address customers’ concerns with an intent to solve them in the shortest possible time. Let your business be approachable. Make it easy for them to speak out their concerns if they have any. Display your contact details where it can be easily seen, your email, social media account, and phone number.
The cliché that says “businesses should over promise and under deliver” should be your hidden business watchword. Exceed your customers’ expectations and be consistent with it. If you promise to deliver their orders in 24 hours, if possible, get it across to them in 18 hours or less.
Do what you promised to do and do it better. Surprise them when they do not expect it. it is always the little things that matter. When you satisfy your customers this way, they will market your business themselves and nothing can be more convincing than word of mouth marketing.
7. Build a solid reputation and maintain it
If you keep falling back on promises made over the years. You may lose more customers than you are able to gain. Consciously build a reputation for being reliable, dependable, and consistent. If changes occur in the mode of your service delivery, let them know about it before it happens. It will help them trust you better.
8. Don’t forget to smile
As simple as it sounds, a smile can be a very powerful tool you’d need in getting loyal customers. According to this research, customers who were smiled at when they came into a store spent 67 percent more than customers who were not smiled at.
A friendly and warm greeting when people visit your physical store or even call in will definitely help your business more than you imagined. A smile is the first on the list of great customer service.
Don’t hold back a smile and don’t forget to be friendly.
9. Hire customer-focused employees
Your employees matter a lot too. They should work in line with your vision of delivering the best service to your customers even when you are not there.
Invest and employ people who have the right attitude and are committed and focused on the customers. But beyond that, do your best to improve your employees’ experience too because when you do so, you are equally improving your customer experience.
What has your experience been in building customer loyalty over the years? Drop a line below and let me know.
Quick correction in the sixth point. The cliche is to “under-promise and over-deliver”, not the other way round.
Great read. As a customer I couldn’t agree less with the points.
A smile makes the difference too.