Customer loyalty is one of the greatest accomplishments that a business can achieve. Turning a prospect into an advocate of your business by using your retention strategies or loyalty marketing is a great and fulfilling process to witness.
Loyal customers are what keep the business’ revenue flowing and steady. In fact, 65% of a business’s transactions come from existing customers. Plus, it’s also cheaper for companies to market for retention purposes than acquiring a new customer.
Having a group of loyal customers can benefit companies in various ways. Not only do they bring in more sales, but they also market the business on their behalf.
9 Ways To Increase Customer Loyalty
1. Make Exceptional Customer Service A Priority
If you want to increase customer loyalty, you need to make excellent customer service a priority. It is through customer service that your customers feel that you’re a business like no other.
To start giving exceptional customer service, you need to treat your customers how they want to be treated. Sure, you have your perception of how they should be treated, but that perception might have some difference in how your customers think.
You might think that your customers need constant attention, so you ask your team to constantly ask if they need assistance. But on the side of your customers, they don’t like this type of treatment. So it’s important to understand what your customers want and not what you think.
Another way to provide exceptional customer service is to train your staff. Training your team members on how to treat your customers will ensure consistency in customer service. It allows every customer to be treated the same way.
Providing exceptional customer service is one of the best ways to increase customer loyalty. The transition from a paying customer to becoming an advocate of your business happens organically, making it more satisfying.
2. Know Your Customers
Knowing customers deeply is what makes a brand reach global recognition and high status. They can scale globally by understanding their market, which ultimately increases their sales and bottom line.
But how can a business know more about its customers? Other than personally talking to them, businesses can do so through collecting data and feedback.
These are great avenues for knowing more about your customers since it’s coming directly from the source. This removes all the guesswork in the process, making it easier and faster to understand your market.
A business that showed they know their customers would be Orizaba Original.
Look at how detailed they are when explaining the product description. They even mentioned the height and weight of the model used in the picture so customers will have a better idea of the size of their product.
The business is being specific because they know that the customers in their industry are afraid of getting the wrong product. They have done their research when it comes to the common pain points of its market.
For you to have an initiative like this, here are some ways to collect some insights about your product:
Online or personal interactive events - Most businesses don’t do this because they think no customer would allocate their time to these events. But with a few incentives and exciting content, these personal or online meetings can be productive and valuable.
Send email surveys: If your business has an email letter with a good amount of subscribers, it’s a good idea to let them answer a survey. It is through those questionnaires that you will get an objective answer to your questions.
Use social media: Social media is a great platform for hearing and reading what your customers say about your business. Nowadays, most consumers go to social media to either vent about your products or praise you for exceptional customer service.
Pop-up surveys, forms, or quizzes: If your customers spend a lot of time on your website, creating a pop-up survey or form is a good strategy to know more about them. Sometimes, businesses do this with an incentive attached to completing a form. The incentive can be a discount, a free ebook, or a free session with the business.
Utilizing these surveys and forms will give you a deeper insight into what your customers like, what they expect from you, and how you can improve your overall service.
3. Be Reachable
In today’s business landscape, the brand that’s more available to its market is usually chosen over the unavailable ones or the businesses that are hard to contact.
Consumers want to do business with companies that they can easily reach. This is an important aspect in their buying decision since if they have any concerns about the product or the delivery process, they need someone from the business to raise their concern.
Businesses can be reachable by displaying their social media accounts, their emails, or even their office phone number. But if you’re going to display these pieces of information to the public, make sure that you’re active on those avenues.
The last thing you want to do is promote your social media accounts or email, and when they try to reach you there, no one is responding. There’s nothing that turns off a customer faster than poor customer service when they need it the most.
A good example is how Transparent Labs is still reachable and answers fast even though customers ask questions on their whey protein, pre-workout, and other supplement social media posts.
4. Make Every Process Smooth For The Customer
Another great way to increase customer service would be to take note of every process that your customers go through when transacting with your business.
If you can make every process as smooth as possible, it could lead to several benefits. That’s why businesses subscribe to marketing automation software like HubSpot CRM, Zoho CRM, and SalesForce since it makes processes easier. It can increase customer spending, decrease cart abandonment emails sent, and a greater customer experience.
But marketing processes shouldn’t be the only thing made easy - every process that a customer goes through should be done with ease.
We’ve all been there wherein we were trying to buy a product, but the website navigation and flow were too confusing. Another common scenario would be the delivery of the product kept being delayed.
If you can solve these common pain points for your customer, you’ll be able to provide a seamless and smooth customer experience.
Remember, 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. A research done by Kolsky showed that 72% of customers would share a positive experience with 6 or more people. On the contrary, if a customer is unhappy or dissatisfied with a service, 13% will share their experience with 15 people or more.
Given the importance of a smooth customer experience and business processes, a lot of companies are now prioritizing customer experience over their products and pricing strategies.
This shows how more and more businesses are focusing on customer experience to successfully scale and grow their revenue.
5. Reward Customer Actions
When a customer becomes a frequent buyer in your business, rewarding them is an effort that’s greatly appreciated. When you do this unexpectedly, your customers will love this gesture.
It shows them that you’re aware of their presence, and you appreciate them for doing constant transactions with your business.
Remember that these actions can go a long way and can strengthen your relationship with them.
Rewarding them shows the human side of your business. It paints a picture that you don’t just see them as paying customers, but you think of them as business friends.
Rewards can come in the form of:
- Price discounts
- A small gift
- A present for their special occasion
- A personalized thank you note
- Giveaway a free item
- Invitation to early access
- A gift voucher
- A coupon for other businesses
6. Showcase Social Proof
Before any customer buys a product from a business, especially in the online world, they first look at whether the business is legitimate or not. If they can’t see any reviews regarding your business, they might hesitate to buy from you.
Showcasing social proof isn’t done to brag and show off that people liked your product; instead, it’s a way to boost the confidence of your market. Social proof can be reviews, feedback, testimonials, and ratings.
When customers see that previous buyers loved your product and only had positive things to say, this increases your prospects’ confidence that you’re indeed a trustworthy company.
Other than increasing confidence, it also builds trust. Neglecting the importance of trust is a crucial eCommerce mistake. Businesses should strive to do this from their market since most people are skeptical whenever they transact online.
Aside from feedback and reviews, social proof can also be prestigious awards you’ve gotten from respected and well-known companies, events, and channels.
To increase customer loyalty, you can showcase social proof by spreading them across your website. You can place it on your home page or share it on your social accounts.
You can even dedicate a whole web page for your social proof, just like how Close did. The business had a whole page only for their customers’ stories regarding their products like predictive dialers, CRM software, and other sales toolkits.
Another good example of showcasing social proof is from Inflow Inventory. Coming from the Saas industry, a lot of skeptics don’t believe the products from this niche.
So to counter that perception, the business displayed the reviews and the different awards it gathered throughout the years on their homepage.
Lastly, to make your social proof engaging and visually appealing for your prospects and customers to see, you can use a slider on your website just like how this website lined up a bunch of reviews for its customers to scroll on.
7. Be Honest And Transparent
Today’s business landscape is always about landing a sale or converting a prospect to a customer. Having this focus sometimes puts businesses in a position to curate something that’s not true just for them to make a sale.
That particular method of marketing will never benefit businesses in the long run. People are quick to call on fake businesses, and that perception can stain the legacy of any company.
To avoid all of this, it’s always a smart move to choose to be honest and transparent. Applying these two things can win over new shareholders, employees, and public sentiment. Consumers always appreciate businesses that choose to be transparent in the public’s eye.
What they don’t appreciate is a business saying they have 24/7 customer service and it turns out they only have a chatbot that answers basic queries. You also don’t have to promote your product that it is 100% organic just because it’s the new trend in your industry.
Being honest and transparent from the start will save you a lot of trouble. If the market finds out you’re dishonest on the things you’re promoting, you will have a bigger problem at your hand. That will only lead to disappointment and unhappy customers.
Customers greatly appreciate honesty and transparency in any industry. You don’t have to worry if you can’t do everything. Your market is more understandable than you think.
8. Personalize Your Content
Any great marketer and brand designer knows how effective personalization is. Personalization is a strategy used by many businesses across various industries. Great businesses use it on communication while others leverage it on their content.
Personalization can be knowing your customers’ common problem in your niche and using it on your content to make it more relatable and desirable.
Look at how this website addressed a common problem (privacy) in their industry to make its services more appealing to its audience.
Adding a personalized touch to your content can lead to higher conversion and retention rates. 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized and tries to hit a general portion of the market. Most consumers prefer content that speaks to them.
Businesses can no longer neglect the demand for personalization. If you haven’t been applying this strategy to everything your business does, you’re missing out on potential opportunities.
Retail TouchPoints reported that 36% of consumers said retailers need to do more personalized experiences. Accenture also mentioned that 91% of customers are more likely to shop with businesses that offer relevant recommendations.
Given the importance of personalization, more and more businesses are prioritizing this element in their operations. ForresterHQ reported that 89% of digital businesses invest in personalization, while SmarterHQ said that 51% of marketers made personalization their top priority.
If you haven’t been applying this strategy to your business, try to start using them and observe what happens to your metrics.
9. Create A Rewards Program
A rewards program is considered one of the best growth hacking strategies and is also an effective way to increase customer loyalty. These programs incentivize customers who are avid buyers of your business. This method isn’t focused on attracting new customers, but rather it is about rewarding current and loyal ones.
The structure of the rewards program can vary for different businesses. Some go for a point system while others reward through special deals, single-use coupon codes on sister companies, promos, and discounts.
A rewards program increases customer loyalty because consumers would rather go for businesses that incentivize their spending than shopping with a business that does not reward them.
Plus, a rewards program can make your customers feel good when they buy from you. It makes them feel like they’re earning while shopping or saving money when they do business with you.
Here are the other benefits of creating a rewards program:
- Reduced costs
- Increased email list
- Boost profits
- Better conversion rate
- Improved metrics
- Higher rate of customers retained
- Increased customer lifetime value
There are several ways to increase customer loyalty - you can do one strategy or implement them all. What’s important is you do these things genuinely. Don’t be too aggressive but also don’t be too passive.
If you want a large group of loyal customers, you need to turn your current customers into advocates of your business. And you can only do that if you’re willing to understand them better.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. You can follow him on his journey from 0 to 100,000 monthly visitors on novumhq.com. His articles include some of the best growth hacking strategies and digital scaling tactics that he has learned from his own successes and failures.