No one likes that person who only hits you up when they need something. It is so apparent that they only look at you as a source for whatever they need instead of building a meaningful relationship.
Don’t be that brand.
Reasons you need customer loyalty
- Recurring customers often spend more than new customers
- You get more value from loyal customers because they yield higher conversion rates than new ones
- They provide a boost in profits. A 5% increase in customer retention may increase profits by 25% to 95%.
- Customer retention is cheaper than customer acquisition – higher profits and a lower cost
- Local customers shop regularly
Everyone has an internal craving to be recognized and remembered. So the first step in building customer loyalty is getting to know your customers. Become familiar with their names, their stories, their buying habits.
Treat your customers like they are people, not just data points and profit sources.
You can send them personalized birthday messages or holiday well wishes. Send them emails that are based on their personal preferences, not just general newsletters.
Let your customers get to know your brand as well. Keep them updated about exciting news as well as rocky processes. Allowing them to see the brand’s humanity will make them feel more motivated to do business with you.
Communicate your values
Share your values and core beliefs that align with your customer’s values and beliefs. Sometimes standing out amidst the crowd means taking a stand or getting involved with a cause you are truly passionate about. Be secure and consistent in your beliefs and communicate them honestly.
Your values are an aspect of your brand that is worthy of your customer’s loyalty. Two-thirds of customers make purchases based on sharing their beliefs with a brand. Staying quiet about social causes or ignoring the state of the world is now a turn-off.
Ask for feedback…and act on it
The more you know about your buyers, the better services you can offer them. Don’t be afraid to ask for people’s opinions, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Making these asks through social media and your website via surveys, questionnaires, etc., allows you to compile real-time market data without spending a dime.
This strategy comes with the burden of needing an actual response from your teams. Careful not to source advice just to raise your engagement metric. Your customers will quickly catch on and feel ignored and like they wasted their time providing feedback to your brand.
On the other hand, taking your loyal customers’ suggestions and implementing them has a strong effect on the level of loyalty from your customers. They will feel heard and respected, as well as feeling like they are a part of your brand themselves.
Make excellent customer service non-negotiable
The expectations are high when it comes to providing accessible and responsive customer service. In fact, 89% of customers believe that a fast response time to the initial inquiry is vital in deciding whether to buy from a business.
Expand your channel offerings for customer service. The easier it is for a customer to reach out, the more your brand will provide fast and helpful responses.
Channels for customer service
- Social Media direct messaging
- Live chat during business hours
- Self-Service chatbot on your website (perfect for after-hour inquiries)
- Support brand email address
- A business number for phone call inquiries
Reward loyal customers
You scratch my back; I’ll scratch yours should be your mantra. Loyalty rewards programs are powerful tools to encourage customers to return. Not to mention, if your customer is personally invested in the success of your brand, the best way to thank them is to make it worth the investment.
Make sure; however, these perks are only available to those within your programs. Exclusivity is part of the draw; it loses its power if anyone can receive these rewards.
Try offering the following:
- Exclusive discount codes
- Early access to new products
- Customer referral programs
- Holiday and birthday rewards
Everything should be easy for a repeat customer
Store their data. I know, I know- people have different opinions on businesses having access to data. Still, honestly, in this scenario, it can be beneficial for the customer.
You can offer your customers the opportunity to create an account on your website or app, so they can store their preferred shipping address and payment method. This way, they will have a one-touch solution to ordering from your brand, instead of having to re-enter their information every time.
Convenience is always attractive.
Online channels to use for customer retention
- Social Media platforms
- Mobile apps
- Mobile and web push notifications
- Mobile and social media messaging
- Web retargeting
A checklist to help you take action
- Treat your customers like real people
- Share your brand’s values and core beliefs
- Allow them to get to know your brand – the good and the bad
- Expand the number of channels that offer customer service
- Give the ability to create an account on your website or app
- Offer rewards to loyal customers, exclusive discount codes, birthday rewards, and early access to new products.
- Create a customer loyalty program
- Design a customer referral program
A loyal customer base can help you go viral
Once you have established a loyal customer base, no matter how small, you now have a strong foundation for continued growth. Not to mention a safety net when things aren’t going as well.
Nice! The next step is to expand that community with a viral campaign everyone can get excited about.
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You’ve got the brand. We’ve got the drama and the results. Let’s talk.