As an entrepreneur, you can raise millions of dollars in investment rounds. But no amount of money will help you buy customer loyalty. You have to earn it!
Building customer loyalty can positively influence the profitability of your business, as loyal customers tend to spend more, provide positive feedback, and bring in new customers through word-of-mouth.
However, great things rarely come easily!
With the market flooded with options, it is difficult to make customers open their wallets for you time and time again. A single poor experience can make them lose trust and switch to a competitor selling near-identical products or services.
But that’s no reason to be gloomy. We have curated 8 expert actionable strategies that will help you prevent customer churn and boost loyalty.
Ready to turn fleeting customers into forever fans?
Let’s get into it!
What Is Customer Loyalty & Why Is It Important?
Customer loyalty refers to the degree of commitment that customers have toward a particular brand, product, or service.
It represents a customer’s willingness to repeatedly choose and remain loyal to a specific company over time, despite various competitive offerings that may be available in the market.
Loyal customers are not just one-time purchasers; they exhibit a strong preference for a particular brand and tend to make consistent, repeat purchases. They are more likely to recommend your business to others, join loyalty programs, and spend more.
60% of loyal customers would be happy to recommend your brand to their friends and family members.
Customer loyalty is a valuable asset for businesses as it leads to several benefits:
- Increased Retention
Loyal customers are more likely to stay with a company over an extended period, reducing customer churn and enhancing customer lifetime value.
- Higher Revenue
Loyal customers make frequent purchases and are often willing to spend more on premium products or services, contributing significantly to a company’s revenue.
- Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Loyal customers can become brand advocates, promoting the brand to their friends, family, and social circles, which can lead to new customer acquisition.
- Brand Reputation
A loyal customer base helps build a positive brand reputation and fosters trust and credibility among potential customers.
- Cost Savings
Retaining existing customers is generally more cost-effective than acquiring new ones, as it requires fewer marketing and promotional efforts.
How to Build Customer Loyalty – 8 Strategies That Work Like a Charm
Now that we know about the importance of customer loyalty, it’s time to put things into action. Let’s explore eight strategies to boost loyalty and encourage repeat purchases.
1. Uplift Customer Service With Help Desk Software
Imagine you contact a brand for support only to realize that you are made to wait for hours before being connected to an agent.
Would you be willing to buy from this business again?
Customer service plays a pivotal role in building customer loyalty. It directly impacts how customers perceive a brand, influences their overall experience, and determines how much they can trust your business when things go haywire.
According to a Microsoft study, 96% of customers said that customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a business.
So how do you offer delightful support without breaking a sweat?
The answer lies in embracing automation technology through powerful help desk software.
- Monitor All Complaints & Requests in One Place: Help desk software enables your support team to capture customer requests and issues via email, live chat, web forms, self-service portal, and multiple other channels. This helps you centralize all customer communications and give your agents greater visibility.
- Automate Repetitive Tasks: A help desk ticketing system offers multiple automation capabilities to help you rise above mundane and time-consuming tasks. For instance, you can create canned responses to share faster replies. Similarly, you can choose to automatically assign tickets to agents and share automated surveys with customers.
- Monitor Team Performance: Help desk reports and analytics provide insights into customer issues, resolution times, and support team performance, enabling businesses to improve customer service, identify trends, and enhance overall efficiency.
Read More: 20 Best Help Desk Software of 2023
2. Encourage Repeat Purchases With a Loyalty Program
Do you know what popular brands like Sephora, Amazon, and Starbucks have in common? They are all known for their awe-inspiring loyalty programs.
79% of customers said they are a part of at least one retail membership, loyalty program, or subscription.
By creating a loyalty program, your company can reward repeat customers with suitable discounts, offers, and freebies.
For example, you must have heard about Starbucks’ famous loyalty program, which rewards customers with stars for each purchase. Coffee enthusiasts can then redeem these star points to unlock perks like free drinks or personalized offers.
Here are some ways loyalty programs can help you build customer loyalty:
- Incentivize repeat purchases: Loyalty programs encourage customers to return to your business to accumulate points or unlock rewards, increasing the likelihood of repeat purchases.
- Gain a competitive advantage: A well-designed loyalty program can set your business apart from competitors, making it more attractive to customers who value the additional benefits and rewards you offer.
- Attract new customers: Limited-time promotions or loyalty benefits can attract new customers who might be hesitant to try your products at regular prices.
3. Back to Basics: Entice Customers With Discounts & Offers
Who doesn’t love a good discount? We all do!
Nearly 70% of millennials actively look for a deal before they buy a product. Moreover, 80% of them agree they would try a new brand if it provided a decent discount.
On the one hand, discounts and special offers can help you attract the attention of prospects. Once they experience your offerings, these customers can become loyal patrons.
On the other hand, when you help existing customers get the best deals and offers, they feel appreciated and valued. This act of recognition reinforces their emotional connection with your brand and encourages them to continue supporting your business.
So is there a famous brand that uses discounts to build customer loyalty? Glad you asked!
Amazon’s “Today’s Deals” is a marketing strategy designed to drive customer engagement and increase sales.
The idea is to offer time-limited discounts and promotions on a wide range of products, encouraging customers to make immediate purchases. This has helped the brand encourage customers to visit its website daily and make the most of the best offers.
4. Use Social Proof to Build Trust
What is the one word that goes well with “loyalty”? Yes, you guessed right – Trust.
Social proof in the form of reviews, recommendations, celebrity endorsements, etc., can help you build trust and pave the way for long-term customer loyalty.
|“When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customers say it, it’s social proof.” – Andy Crestodina|
Whether we realize it or not, human beings are social animals. Our smallest decisions are often influenced by the thoughts, opinions, and behaviors of the people around us.
Gymshark, a retailer of gym clothes and sports apparel, was quick to embrace this idea.
To win the trust of its audience, Gymshark takes the help of several well-known athletes. It showcases the athletes’ unique stories on its website to create social proof, inspire fitness freaks, and boost sales.
5. Provide Multiple Channels for Feedback
Customers have a lot to say about what you sell. The only question is, “Are you listening?”
Providing customers with multiple ways to share feedback is crucial for businesses to gather valuable insights and improve their products or services. Different customers may have varying preferences when it comes to sharing feedback, so offering various channels ensures that you capture feedback from a diverse audience.
77% of customers view brands more favorably if they seek out and implement customer feedback.
Here are some effective ways to give customers multiple options to share their feedback:
- Online Surveys
Create user-friendly online surveys using platforms like Google Forms, ProProfs Survey Maker, or Typeform. Make sure the questions are clear and concise to encourage maximum participation.
- Feedback Forms on Your Website: Add a dedicated feedback form to your website, making it easily accessible to customers. Consider having a pop-up form or a prominent link in the navigation menu.
- Social Media: Engage with customers on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Respond to their comments and direct messages promptly, encouraging them to share their thoughts openly.
6. Stand for a Cause to Stand Out
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our understanding of how health crises or social issues can influence consumer behavior.
Modern customers have become more conscious of the brands they engage with on a day-to-day basis. More than ever, they want to be loyal to brands that reflect their personal values and beliefs.
According to the Aflac CSR Report, 55% of consumers said it’s important for businesses to take a stand on social issues.
Investing in corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a great way to showcase your brand’s higher purpose and foster authentic relationships with your customers.
If you are looking for some inspiration, TOMS can be a perfect starting point.
This iconic footwear brand pledges to give one pair of new shoes to the underprivileged for every purchase of TOMs shoes. This one-for-one model has helped the brand grab the attention of like-minded individuals who are always ready to give back to the community.
Read More: 30+ Empathy Statements for Customer Service
7. Appreciate Customers for Choosing You
Customers have more options today than ever before. And guess what? Tomorrow they will have even more.
This makes it all the more important to appreciate them for choosing you. A small token of appreciation can go a long way in making them feel valued and respected. Don’t be surprised if they choose you a million times over.
|“It’s easier to love a brand when the brand loves you back.” – Seth Godin|
Here are some proven ways to appreciate customers like never before:
- Personalized Thank-You Notes
Sending personalized thank-you notes or emails to customers after their purchase or interaction shows that you value and remember them as individuals. Mentioning their specific purchase or the reason for appreciation adds a personal touch.
- Social Media Shout-Outs
Show appreciation publicly by giving your customers a shout-out on your social media platforms. Feature their positive reviews, testimonials, or user-generated content to showcase their support and engagement with your brand.
- Host Customer Appreciation Events
Organize events or webinars exclusively for your loyal customers. These events could include product demonstrations, expert talks, or workshops that provide value and strengthen the bond with your customers.
8. Don’t be Afraid to Go Above & Beyond
Customers can get bored of brands that deliver mediocre experiences. Going above and beyond for customers is an excellent way to exceed their expectations and create memorable experiences that foster loyalty.
|“Going above and beyond involves making customers feel special and helping them out even when it may not make sense.” – Neil Patel|
Here are some strategies to achieve this:
- Get Proactive: Predict customer needs and address potential issues even before customers ask for it.
For example, you can immediately alert customers of shipping delays or service interruptions. Netflix does a great job of updating customers about service interruptions directly on its website.
- Underpromise & Overdeliver
Always aim to exceed the expectations set during marketing, sales, and customer service interactions.
For example, if a customer ordered a dress for their birthday, you can dispatch it a few days ahead of schedule. This will give the customer enough time to alter the dress for the perfect fit.
- Add an Element of Surprise
Surprise your customers with hand-written notes, personalized gifts, or unexpected rewards. You can even share personalized video messages or emails on their birthdays or wedding anniversaries.
What Are the Four Types of Customer Loyalty?
There are four commonly recognized types of customer loyalty, often referred to as the “loyalty ladder.” Each type represents a different motivation for customer loyalty.
These customers are at the top of the loyalty ladder. Loyalists are emotionally attached to the brand and are committed to it regardless of external factors.
Their loyalty is driven by positive experiences, trust, and a strong brand connection. Loyalists are more likely to become brand advocates and willingly recommend the brand to others.
2. Convenience Loyals
Convenience loyalty is exhibited by customers who choose a brand primarily for its convenience and ease of access.
These customers may not have a strong emotional attachment to the brand but continue to be loyal because of factors like proximity, user-friendly interfaces, or availability. Convenience loyals may switch to another brand if they find a more convenient option.
3. Price Loyals
Price loyalty includes customers who are primarily driven by low prices and value for money.
They are loyal to a brand because it offers products or services at a competitive price point. Price loyals may be less emotionally attached to the brand and can be swayed by discounts and better deals from competitors.
4. Inertia Loyals
Inertia loyalty refers to customers who remain loyal due to the hassle or effort involved in switching to another brand.
These customers may not be particularly satisfied or loyal to the brand but continue using it out of habit or because the switching process seems inconvenient. Inertia loyals are at a higher risk of churning when faced with a significant change in circumstances or when a more compelling alternative becomes available.
How to Maintain Customer Loyalty
Let’s say you succeeded in making customers buy from your brand a couple of times.
Now what? How do you sustain this loyalty for a long period?
Maintaining customer loyalty requires consistent efforts and a customer-centric approach. Here are some key strategies you can adopt today:
- Excellent Customer Service: Provide exceptional customer service by resolving issues promptly and going above and beyond to meet customer needs. When customers feel their problems are adequately addressed, they are more likely to continue doing business with the company rather than seeking alternatives.
- Personalization: Tailor interactions for individual customers by offering personalized recommendations and exclusive offers. By understanding each customer’s unique needs and interests, businesses can offer customized solutions that resonate with them, leading to higher satisfaction and loyalty.
- Consistency: Deliver a consistent experience across all touchpoints and interactions with the brand. Whether a customer shops from your online website or retail outlet, it’s important to deliver a consistent experience.
- Communication: Stay engaged with customers through regular communication, updates, and feedback requests. When customers feel that they can rely on the company to provide accurate information and honest interactions, they are more likely to develop a sense of trust and loyalty towards the brand.
- Quality Products/Services: Maintain high-quality offerings that meet or exceed customer expectations. Customers trust that the brand will provide value and performance, leading them to become repeat buyers and advocates for the brand.
- Follow Up: Follow up with customers after purchases to ensure their satisfaction and address any concerns.Regular follow-ups establish a pattern of proactive communication, which helps build trust and credibility.
Drive Loyalty & Grow an Army of Brand Advocates
Customer loyalty is not just a nice-to-have but a must-have for any business that wants to survive and thrive in the long run. It is the result of consistently delivering value, quality, and satisfaction to your customers and exceeding their expectations.
By prioritizing exceptional customer service, initiating loyalty programs, and taking regular feedback, you can lay the foundation for lasting connections with your customers. Moreover, you can think of ways to give back to the community to create an emotional connection with your audience.
Wondering which tool can help you provide superior customer service and drive loyalty? ProProfs Help Desk can be your ideal support partner, helping your team handle customer interactions on multiple channels, capture feedback, and automate repetitive tasks.
So embrace the art of building customer loyalty and witness the transformation of your customers into brand advocates!
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