Customer loyalty is an important element of the customer relationship, and it’s an integral part of increasing the efficiency of marketing. After all, repeat customers are much easier to maintain than prospecting for new customers. And while businesses must focus on both to succeed, the value of building customer loyalty is often underestimated.
A business of any size will do well to focus on building this customer loyalty, but what are some ways to do this? This process is relatively simple and just about knowing what customers want and what makes them decide to stay with a business.
Customers love to be incentivized to stick around. These incentives can come in several ways, from discount codes to exclusive opportunities designed specifically to make customers feel special.
For example, a business that offers accounting services may offer referral bonuses or discounted services for loyal customers. Loyalty programs are currently popular among businesses of all types, so consider offering something similar.
Customers can also be incentivized by having the best options available to them. What does this mean? This means that by ensuring that the products and services a business offers are the absolute best quality and value possible will help retain customers.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. Wouldn’t you rather do business with a company where you always knew the quality and value would be high, and where you always had a positive experience?
Much like retaining customers is easier than finding new ones, the same can be said for customers — it’s easier to stick with one business for needs instead of trying to find a suitable replacement.
Customer service is another area in which businesses can knock the retention game out of the park.
For example, let’s look at the increasingly competitive food delivery space. Uber Eats, Postmates, Grubhub, and Door Dash are just a handful of the companies competing for consumer attention in the name of convenience.
Aside from the restaurant selection, which is growing more universal across these delivery platforms, the customer experience often makes a difference as to which one they’ll choose.
The platforms that offer incentives for usage, that offer consistently quicker delivery times and the lowest fees are the ones that will achieve the highest level of customer loyalty.
So think of this example as you think about how you can best boost this metric that’s often undervalued among busy professionals. How can the business stand out from the others and offer the absolute best customer experience?
Customer service is an important part of loyalty, so ensure that at each customer touch point there is an execution of top quality customer care. This can mean phone operators, email monitors, and managers.
Even if an employee does not perform a customer facing task, think of how their task can best be optimized so that the end customer has the best possible experience.
Loyalty can also be cultivated by allowing customers to have a voice. Asking them for feedback — and genuinely listening to it — is a way to show customers that their opinions and experiences are valued.
And lastly, a business that operates with transparency will always do better in the customer loyalty column than those who try to pull shady tricks just to make a quick buck. Make sure that the business procedures are transparent and don’t mislead the customer, and you’ll be well on the way to building a profitable, loyal customer base who won’t even dream of going elsewhere.