Customer loyalty measures how likely existing customers are to do repeat business with your company. While each industry has its own way of measuring customer loyalty, the simplest way is reviewing existing customer's lifetime purchases in your database. While they may not always be making large purchases, it's likely that over their lifetime with you, they will top revenue earned from one-time big buyers.
Loyal customers will consistently buy your products regardless if they are on sale or not and recommend you to friends and family. Keeping this audience large enough to keep you afloat is vital to the overall success of your business. There are several other benefits associated with having loyal customers, including positive online reviews and free word-of-mouth advertising. Here are five simple ways to build customer loyalty.
1. Know Your Customer and Let Them Know You
Customers are more likely to remain loyal if they feel valued by you. Things like remembering their birthdays, the ages of their children, and the last item they bought from you are all little things that go a long way in customer retention. Implement a trigger email program that sends a birthday email and offer discounts during their birthday month.
It's also important to be transparent about your business with your customers. Are shipments delayed? Send an email letting them know so they know when they can expect their product. Did you just release a new product or hire a new CEO? Send a personalized message to your customer base announcing the exciting news before they hear about it from another media source.
When applicable, assign a customer service rep to new customer accounts to help them through the initial set up process and stay with them throughout their customer life cycle. This allows a rep to get to know that client, understand their company, and learn their business goals so they can better assist them. Sending "Welcome to XYZ Company" cards to new clients from their rep is a great way to make them feel valued right from the start.
2. Reward Loyalty With a Customer Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are a great way to reward existing customers for their loyalty and attract new customers at the same time. There are several ways to do this, including:
- Credit Cards - Industries like retail stores and airlines are known for rewarding loyal customers with credit card perks and cash-back savings like $200 back for every $1,000 charge to their card.
- Mobile Rewards - If you're not in the position to offer your customer base credit cards to earn rewards with, take Starbuck's lead and create an easy-to-use reward program for loyal customers to use. Using just a rewards or gift card and smartphone, existing customers can start earning points each time they make a purchase, and you can track their order and payment information.
- Punch Cards - If credit cards are too much of a commitment and you don't have the technical means to establish a mobile rewards program, punch cards are a simple and easy option. You determine how customers earn punches and reward them once a goal is met. For example, maybe they get a punch each time they purchase a cup of frozen yogurt. After ten times they earn a free cup of their favorite froyo.
3. Make Customer Loyalty Easier
Increase customer loyalty by continuously making their experience with your company more user-friendly. Many fast food and coffee shops let customers order and pay for their purchases from their smartphone while online retailers have started to offer one-touch ordering that pulls customer credit card information up, allowing them to complete their purchase without having to dig out their wallet.
Cable and internet companies are known for using automation to improve their customers' experience, directing them to the correct representative based on the phone number they are calling in from. From there, reps can pull and see the necessary information to help address the issue, including scheduling technicians coming out to fix the problem. Have the same rep follow up with a call once the issue is resolved to make sure the client is happy and doesn't have any other questions. These simple steps can help companies ensure positive customer experiences, improve customer retention, and increase positive customer feedback.
4. Be the Best at What You Do
It sounds almost too simple to be true, but a simple tactic for increasing customer loyalty is to be the best around. Customers have many brands to choose from, but most likely can't afford to shop with them all. Focus on delivering a quality product at a price point that works for your customer base. Develop a value proposition for your brand and use it to promote your product. When individuals can connect with your company, they are more likely to become and remain loyal customers.
5. Welcome Customer Feedback
Customer feedback goes hand-in-hand with customer loyalty. Positive reviews will help attract new customers, providing excellent products or services will convert new customers to loyal customers, and happy customers leave good reviews.
Make sure everyone in your company who is client-facing pays attention to customer needs and actively works to resolve any issues. You can also provide customer service through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google My Business. If you have customer email addresses, send a follow-up email asking them to leave a positive review.
It's no secret that it costs more to attract new customers than it does to keep loyal customers happy. Take time to learn what's relevant to your customer base and identify ways to increase customer retention.