Building customer loyalty is the key to customer retention and the success of your business. You want your customers to return and spend more money with your business whenever possible.
To achieve this, you need a loyal customer base. Loyal customers are less likely to use a competitor and often refer your business to others. In return, you’ll spend less effort on customer acquisition and increase your profits.
Here is an example of the different types of customers in your business (the customer loyalty ladder):
- Satisfied customers – stay with your organisation so long as expectations are met
- Repeat customer – habitually returns to your company to buy again
- Advocates – put their personal/professional reputation on the line to recommend your business to others
- Evangelist – Actively convinces others to use your business
- Owners – Feel responsible for the continued success of your business
So, how do you obtain your customer’s loyalty and move them up the customer loyalty ladder? Here are three simple ways to build customer loyalty.
Provide excellent customer service
Delivering excellent customer service from the start of your customer journey is the best way to make the customer feel valued and build loyalty.
Here are some things to think about in your customer service model:
- Provide multiple, easy and quick ways for your customers to reach you. If you have a prefered method, give them simple guidelines to follow. Think about including:
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Online chat
- Ticket system
- Automated emails
- Respond to enquires quickly
- Give customer services representatives the autonomy to provide rewards or discounts*
*Offering small discounts to retain a customer can be more profitable than obtaining a new one – you can always cover the costs in your pricing model.
Invest in an aftersales process
Setting up a robust aftercare process will encourage repeat business and ensure your customers are experiencing the very best your product has to offer.
Think about when you buy a new car or stationary. Once the sale is over, you’re often contacted by the servicing team to book your next service or the office supplies manager to make sure you don’t need any more paper or ink for your printer.
These minor contact points help keep your brand in mind and can often lead to ‘upselling’ – more sales with lower acquisition effort.
Create a customer loyalty scheme
Loyalty schemes help to incentivise repeat business using discounts or additional perks. Essentially, you’re rewarding your customers fr continuing to use your products and services.
Loyalty schemes can be complex, data-driven, automated processes like the Tesco Clubcard or Nectar (Sainsbury’s, Argos, Esso, Ebay). In these instances, customers collect points in exchange for discounts with themselves and partners. Also, each time a customer buys something using their loyalty card, it’s recorded, and they’re given discounts on their next purchase of that particular product (or similar products). And in exchange for using these systems, the business gains vast amounts of insight into their customers, what they buy, how often they buy and how much they spend.
However, loyalty schemes don’t need to be complex. Many companies use a simple card and stamp system. For example, buy six coffees get the seventh free.
Rewarding your customers makes them feel good about purchasing and motivates them to keep coming back.
How ETC can help
If you need help retaining customers, building loyalty or creating a loyalty scheme, please get in touch.
If you are new to ETC, why not contact us for a free business review? We’ll spend two hours with you, giving you professional coaching and will leave you with actions for immediate implementation.