How do you increase customer loyalty?
Without customers, businesses wouldn’t exist. But not all customers are created equal! Did you know, it costs up to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing customer? It makes good business sense then to actively build your customer loyalty. Strong customer loyalty leads to repeat business, word-of-mouth promotion and a good reputation – win, win, win.
Every single day, people make purchasing decisions based on their own needs, wants and desires. Large companies can spend billions of dollars annually studying what makes consumers tick, and although you might not like it, your every move online is being monitored by Google, Meta and more to see what you are viewing, searching, clicking on and purchasing.
Studying people’s buying habits isn’t just for the large companies though. Small businesses are seeing great success in understanding which post codes their customers come from to shop and then targeting them online. So, without investing thousands of dollars into market research, we have compiled a list below of simple things your business can start doing to increase your customer loyalty, with the aim to ultimately increase sales.
While there are only eight strategies listed, there are of course a multitude more options available to boost customer loyalty. Remember that it costs us up to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain one you already have. If you create an experience that people want and makes them feel special, then the price won’t matter.
8 strategies to build customer loyalty
Your customers want to feel connected to and aligned with your business and once you create this wonderful connection, they are more likely to recommend you to others. Ensure that customers hear from you throughout the year and not just when they turn up to purchase something. While digital marketing has been around for decades, we still need to remind some businesses out there to gain customers’ email addresses and phone numbers. These critical details will form a database that you can continue to invest time into and craft specific (and automated!) messages that your customers might enjoy. These messages could be highlighting new products or services that you have added, a new model being released, or simply a further chapter to your brand story.
Do something special
Do you ever call a customer at random and thank them for their business? Do you ever send them a movie voucher or offer them an added gift with purchase? It’s the little things that can show a customer that you are really grateful for them. It often doesn’t have to be anything expensive, just an acknowledgement.
Ask for a referral
The customers you have attracted to your business are part of your tribe. As they say ‘birds of a feather flock together’ so it would be likely that the people your current customers know could also be your customers. Simply asking your customers to refer you to a friend could be a great way to grow your business and also a great time to thank your existing customers. You can share your vision of growth and showcase your plans of creating an even better customer experience. Remember, everyone wants to know “What’s in it for me?”
Have a good team culture
Customers can ‘feel’ the mood of a business from the moment they enter. So, make sure you leave them with a positive lasting impression. Too often people choose to shop elsewhere because of a particular person they dislike or after a bad experience they have had. Trying to lure that person back and convincing them to trust your business again will take time, and money.
Train your staff
Ensuring your team are friendly and helpful is one thing, but ensuring they have a good understanding of what they are selling is another. Customers often want information prior to making a purchasing decision, and businesses lose sales every day due to poor product knowledge, forcing potential customers to shop elsewhere.
Customers these days are demanding quick transactions. Don’t hold customers up at the counter with painstaking paperwork. Adopt point of sale (POS) software to enhance their experience and let them get out the door so they can start using their new purchase as soon as possible. If you sell product or services, you need an e-commerce website. Allowing your customers to buy from you or book your service any time of day, night or holiday is great for you and great for them. Convenience is everything.
Be part of the community
How is your business engaging with or supporting the community? You don’t have to be a social enterprise to incorporate an element of social or environmental responsibility into your business. By publicly sharing how your business is supporting the community (charities, sports clubs, causes) or environment (clean-ups, plastic-free, recycled product, causes), you build connection with customers who share similar concerns. This then builds trust, and after a good customer experience, you guessed it, customer loyalty.
Develop a customer loyalty program
Loyalty programs offer customers rewards, discounts, early sales or specials and other incentives as a way to attract and retain customers. These are designed to encourage repeat business and when implemented properly (the right program for the right business), can be very successful.
Want to build customer loyalty for your brand?