Customer loyalty is vital to your business. It is always easier to sell new offerings to existing customers than to win new ones. Plus, loyal customers are likely to choose your business first rather than shopping around or going to your competitors when they are looking for something.
It is not just retail businesses that can benefit from improving loyalty. Whether your business is physical products, services, software, or even online content, the more your audience feels loyal to you, the greater your success will typically be. Loyal customers can also help a business survive when times are hard, as they are more likely to continue using you – and spending more money – because they trust you’ll offer them great value and great service.
Ensuring existing customers and users remain loyal is also a lot cheaper than marketing to brand-new customers. If you are looking for tips on how to improve customer loyalty, read on for a few actionable ideas you can try today.
Get To Know Your Customer
It is very difficult to build customer loyalty without knowing who your customer is. You need to treat every customer as an individual. Sending generic marketing emails won’t increase customer loyalty, as they will (rightly) assume that you don’t know them or care much about what they want.
By getting to know customers better, you can target them with more focused marketing, anticipate their needs, and solve any issues they may be facing.
Even simple tactics like asking customers to provide a date of birth if they sign up for marketing emails can yield benefits. For example, once you know a customer’s date of birth, you can send them a birthday email with a special discount code. They might not use it immediately, or at all, but they are more likely to remember your brand and turn to it when they do need something.
One powerful way to reward customers and inspire loyalty is to offer cashback on their purchases. Loyalize is a cashback API solution that can make it easy for you to offer cashback on online purchases and is used by over 7,000 brands in the US. Your users can accrue cashback on all of their everyday online purchases, encouraging them to keep shopping with you to receive money back.
This can be one of the best ways to garner customer loyalty, as customers get rewards with a clear value as they shop.
Classic rewards programs where customers gain points for shopping with you, using your services, or watching your content can be very effective. Offering discounts or gifts as rewards for people once they have collected enough points is a good way to make them choose you over other options because they will want to keep collecting points and aiming for rewards.
An added benefit to having a rewards program is that you can allow people to opt-in to communications from you when they sign up. This means you then have permission to send them special offers or news directly and further build their relationship with your brand.
While it may seem strange to talk about charging money to customers to increase loyalty, when traditionally we tend to think of loyalty approaches as being about giving things to the customer, subscription services are a great way to keep customers coming back. Services like Amazon Prime have proven this, and even for people like online creators, things like Patreon or Twitch memberships can help keep the loyalty of their audiences. Customers who are paying for a subscription are far less likely to shop around as they are already invested in using you and buying your products.
Naturally, this doesn’t suit every type of company or creator, as not every brand can offer value with this kind of model. However, there are all sorts of creative ways of offering subscriptions, such as companies who offer ‘club’ type deals where for a small monthly fee, customers can access discounts and special privileges.
Referral programs are useful for attracting new customers, but they can also keep existing customers coming back because it is an incentive to continue using your services or products.
Set up a referral program and offer all existing customers a gift or benefit if they refer a new customer who goes on to place an order or use the service. For example, if you are a mortgage broker, you could offer customers a gift card for every new client they send your way who subsequently goes on to take out a mortgage with you.
Referral marketing is inexpensive and effective, but it only works if you provide a good service. After all, nobody is going to recommend your company or brand to a friend or family member if they didn’t have a good experience.
Focus on Customer Service
As mentioned in the previous section, good customer service is critical if customer loyalty is important to your brand or company. Customers won’t be loyal if they are not treated with respect or the service they receive is significantly below par.
Place a high priority on customer service and monitor all interactions between your company/brand and the end user/customer. If there is a problem somewhere in the system, you will likely spot poor reviews online, negative feedback, and a lot of returns or chargeback requests.
Pay close attention to bad reviews and if you spot any recurring themes, such as low-quality products, poor service, etc., get to the root of the problem and fix it. Until you do, it is unreasonable to expect customers to be loyal.
At least one of these approaches should suit most ventures, and they can all be implemented into your strategy easily. You may also find a combination of these approaches can work for you. If you want to get more loyalty from your customers, users, or audience, then now is the time to start working on it. Putting in the work to boost customer loyalty is time and money well spent.