Seven Ways to Build A Loyal Customer Base
Building a loyal customer base requires more detailed work than complex work. It takes time to learn what your customers want and bring it to life in your business. Equally important for improving customer loyalty is ensuring your approach is rooted in genuineness, appreciation, and honesty.
Earning consumer trust and confidence can impact all things in your business, but it’s not a simple feat. People aren’t prone to giving companies a second chance when they have a bad experience at any point in their customer journey.
Focusing on building loyalty from introduction to purchase and beyond ensures customers have the best experience and that the relationship never ends.
Let’s get into seven ways to build a loyal customer base and keep them coming back for more.
Focus on Developing Genuine Relationships
First-time purchasers turn into loyal customers when they feel like a business “gets them.” In other words, people stick with people and companies that care about building a real relationship with them.
Your customers shouldn’t feel like all you want is a sale. Instead, they should feel like a valued member of your business’s community. They should feel understood, appreciated, and cared for in every interaction with your company.
Focus on developing genuine relationships with your customers. Feed them helpful, high-quality content regularly. Communicate with them every chance you get. Learn about who they are, what they do, and how they think. Use every opportunity to grow your relationship with each customer organically.
Ask for Feedback
Asking for feedback is easy, but actually getting it is hard — and collecting meaningful feedback from customers is even harder. However, it’s so worth it to figure out how to solicit valuable feedback from your customers.
You can find out precisely what will keep your customers loyal to your company long-term straight from their mouths. Allow customer feedback to guide your retention efforts. And continually improve the customer experience by putting it to use.
Surveys aren’t the only way to get feedback from your customers. You can also:
- Implement social listening tools
- Start the conversation via email
- Put a contact form on your website
- Explore usability testing
- Interview customers one-on-one
There’s also a huge opportunity to ensure your customers feel appreciated by the way you ask for (and respond to) feedback.
Show Your Customer Appreciation
Have you ever heard the phrase “show, don’t tell?” You have now, and you should apply it to your customer appreciation strategy. How can you show your customers you appreciate them rather than only talk about it?
Start by providing them with a tailored experience with your product. Personalize your interactions with each customer based on their past engagement with your business, who they are, and what they’re interested in.
Then, shower them with goodies like discounts and coupon codes. Send them thank-you cards after purchases. You could also invite them to product launches and grant them access to purchase these products early.
Create a Loyalty Program
Your customer loyalty program recognizes and honors customers for their repeat business and engagement with you. Customers are more likely to come back when they’re rewarded for it. So, it’s an excellent idea to build a loyalty program unique to your customers.
It doesn’t have to be the standard “get a point for every purchase and get rewards at every tier” loyalty program. If your customers would love discount codes over everything, center your loyalty program around those. Or, if they want free merchandise, make that happen for them.
Bottom line, your loyalty program should be all about what your customers want in exchange for their devotion to your business.
You don’t have to create physical loyalty cards; they can be virtual. Wendy’s, for example, built a mobile phone app that creates a QR code for each coupon they offer. The code is scanned before you pay for your meal, giving you a discount or points towards future meals, etc.
We recently learned of software that set up a loyalty program, including virtual coupons and virtual cards. It’s called Zapable. It can build a loyalty program for your company or, if you have a marketing agency or consultancy, you can build loyalty programs for your customers.
Here are some things Zapable can do:
• Send out an instant ‘push button’ notification to clients or customers with the app, such as: “Get your free donut on your birthday” or “Weekly Special: Buy one candy bar, get another one free”.
• Allow your customers or your clients’ customers to take orders online or book reservations right from their phone. What a time-saver for them and for you,
• QR Scanning Digital Loyalty Card. “Buy 6 Coffee, Get 1 Free”. Virtually stamps customer’s card.
Prioritize Customer Service
As much as we never want customers to have a poor experience with our business, it happens. The longer someone is a customer with your business, the more likely it is for them to have an issue at some point in their journey with you.
Don’t be the business that has to scramble when things go wrong for customers. Instead, be prepared for customer service issues before they ever happen. The goal should be to quickly resolve every issue to the satisfaction of your customers.
Implement a 24/7 customer service communication channel, whether it’s an email address people can send their complaints to or a chatbot on your website. Commit to a reasonable response time as well.
Always treat your customers with respect, no matter how upset they are. Be honest and transparent in your communication with them. Furthermore, put empathy and understanding at the forefront of your entire customer service strategy.
Treat Employees Well
Treating employees and virtual assistants well has more to do with building a loyal customer base than most people think. When your employees are happy, they’re more productive. They’re more willing to put their best foot forward at work. They’ll become advocates for you and your products because they truly believe in your business.
Most importantly, it means better support and care for your customers when your employees are doing well.
The first step is creating a positive work environment in your business. Provide your employees with the resources to maintain a healthy mind, body, and emotional state. Open up two-way communication. Give them the tools and technology they need to excel in their roles. Also, offer them flexibility in their work schedules.
Then, shine the light on your employees. Talk about them on your company website. Highlight their accomplishments. Celebrate them often. And reward their loyalty to your business; it’s as important as customer loyalty.
Be Active Online
People are more inclined to support a business that’s active online these days than one that isn’t. A dynamic online presence shows customers that your business is serious about maintaining connection and communication with them.
Your website should be up to date with an exceptional user experience. Dive into social media and create out-of-the-box content to engage current customers. Leverage email marketing to deepen customer loyalty.
Experiment with other digital channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.), too, so long as your current customers are on them regularly.
Building a loyal customer base should be at the top of your priority list. As you’ve probably heard, returning customers make businesses more money than new customers. With this in mind, do all you can to further your connection with customers and inspire the loyalty you desire.
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