Loyal customers are vital to any successful business. While bringing in a steady flow of new customers is important, too, loyal customers tend to spend nearly 70 percent more than those who are new or purchase from a business infrequently. Unfortunately, maintaining a loyal customer base isn’t always easy. You likely have a lot of local or online competitors that provide the same or similar products or services, which can make it difficult to ensure consumers choose your business time and time again.
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Inspiring loyalty requires a lot of hard work. There are no shortcuts, and constantly promoting your business will only get you so far. The good news, though, is there are a lot of tried-and-true tactics that can help keep your customers coming back. Whether you’re in the home service industry, you customize and resell wholesale t-shirts, or you run just about any other type of retail or service-based business, keep reading to discover some tips for increasing customer loyalty and getting consumers to trust your brand.
Make Customer Service Your Top Priority
Happy customers are loyal customers. The relationship between customer loyalty and customer satisfaction is huge, so providing exceptional customer service is vital. According to one study, 76 percent of consumers feel a business’s customer service reflects how much they care about their customers. And customers who feel cared about are more likely to remain loyal to a business.
Consumers form opinions about customer service every time they have any type of interaction with a business. Whether they are waiting in line to make a purchase, reaching out to a company because of a problem or even making contact via social media, each experience is used to evaluable the level of customer service the business provides.
By making customer service your top priority, you are sending the message you care about the people who buy from you or utilize your services. Likewise, failing to do so sends a clear message you don’t care. And if your customers don’t feel like you care about them, they are unlikely to return.
Create a Loyalty Program
Offering incentives for choosing your company drives loyalty, too. Setting up a loyalty program that rewards repeat customers with exclusive offers and freebies is an effective way of keeping them coming back to your business rather than going elsewhere.
Keep in mind, incentives don’t have to be complicated or expensive. Something as simple as offering a discount on a future purchase once a consumer has made 10 purchases at your store, for example, encourages people to keep coming back. Reward points that can be redeemed for discounts or gifts are a popular option, too.
Creating a loyalty program is an easy way to say “thank you” to consumers for spending their month with you. It makes them feel appreciated and will likely be remembered the next time they are in the market for the products or services you offer.
Everyone loves a freebie. Whether you tie giveaways into your loyalty program, you run a contest in which customers can earn prizes, or you give gifts to your best customers, there are several ways to leverage the power of freebies to drive customer loyalty.
When you give a consumer a gift, it makes them feel valued and appreciated. And customers who feel this way are much more likely to return than those who do not. If you are going to use this tactic, though, it’s important to offer giveaway items with a high perceived value.
Sure, you could give away free pens or keychains emblazoned with your company’s logo. Chances are, though, these low-value items aren’t likely to do much for you in terms of driving customer loyalty. When you want to “wow” your customers, something like a t-shirt, hooded sweatshirt, or blanket is a much better option. These items are also much more likely to be used and provide free advertising for your business. When you purchase blank hoodies and other apparel or accessories from a wholesaler to customize, you can create attractive giveaway items that have high perceived values without breaking the bank.
Ask for – and Listen to – Feedback
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When it comes to figuring out what your customers like and what they don’t, there’s nothing better than feedback directly from the source. Talk to your customers, and pay attention to what they have to say. Ask them for both positive and negative feedback, and find out what they think you could do to improve.
If talking to people face-to-face isn’t possible or practical, send out surveys. Short online surveys are a great way to gather information from past and current customers and gauge which aspects of your business work—and which ones don’t.
Once you’ve obtained feedback, use it to make appropriate changes. If you are in eCommerce, for example, and you have multiple people tell you they find your online store difficult to navigate, take steps to improve it. Creating an online store that’s easy for your customers to use will improve satisfaction among existing customers and encourage loyalty from future shoppers.
If you run a physical store and receive frequent complaints about long checkout lines, upgrade your process to improve efficiency. Acting on your customers’ feedback is an excellent way to show you care about them and how they feel, which, of course, inspires loyalty.
The Bottom Line
Customer loyalty has to be earned. Every time someone interacts with your business, they evaluate the interaction and consider it when deciding where to spend their money in the future. Even though much of this occurs on a subconscious level, customer satisfaction is always evolving. And when it comes to maintaining loyalty and getting consumers to trust your brand, you need to constantly work on providing exceptional customer service and making your patrons feel appreciated.
It may take some time to find strategies that work for you, but it is well worth the effort. Building a loyal customer base is vital when it comes to ensuring continued business success. By following the advice outlined above, keep your customers coming to you time and time again.
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