Loyal customers keep your revenue flowing. In fact, loyal customers spend 67 percent more than occasional customers, which is why focusing on repeat business is a necessity. But, how?
Successful business owners know that maintaining strong ongoing relationships with customers, gives their business a solid base of sales to count on. It is what drives loyalty. Relationships inspire customers to make a purchase, and another…and another.
Check out these five ways to increase customer loyalty at your business:
1. Make customer service a priority – even on social
According to a Microsoft study, 90% of consumers across the globe consider customer service to be important in their choice of a brand.
If you want loyal customers, amazing customer service is a must. A customer evaluates every interaction he or she has with your staff and makes a judgment call about your service.
When a customer waits in line, makes a return, calls about a broken product after a purchase, asks a question on Facebook or works with an employee to find the perfect gift in your store – they’re keeping score.
That means your in-store staff must be friendly, helpful and efficient; your customer support team should be easy to access and able to solve problems in a timely fashion; and your business should work to answer questions quickly – even on social media.
Research shows customers want service via social media, and they expect a quick response. Forty-two percent of consumers expect a response on social media within an hour, and another 32 percent expect a response within 30 minutes.
2. Reward your customers
One of the best ways to keep customers coming back is to reward them for their loyalty. Set up a loyalty program that gives customers discounts, gifts and exclusive offers.
According to a Bond research, 71% of consumers who are members of loyalty programs say membership is a meaningful part of their relationships with brands.
Why do loyalty programs work? Customers want to feel appreciated. After all, they can choose to spend their money anywhere, and they’ve chosen you. That’s not a small gesture, so you should return the favor through a loyalty program.
3. Ask for advice and listen to it
When your mom gave you advice as a teenager, you rolled your eyes, got defensive and probably said something like, “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”
Sometimes businesses react to customer feedback just like a teenager. They don’t want to listen to valuable advice – especially if it’s something you don’t want to hear.
Every business should make an effort to collect feedback from customers and listen to it.
If customers complain about the poor layout of your store, for example, fix it. Once the improvement is complete, tell customers about.
When retailer Kendra Scott made changes in response to customer feedback, the email below detailing the improvements went out to every customer.
It’s a great way to show customers that you’re not only reading their feedback, but also acting on it.
4. Offer conveniences
Make life easy for your customers, and they’ll keep coming back. Think about how you can make the customer experience simpler or faster. Consider streamlining your checkout process so customers can get in and out, answer questions on social media rather than forcing customers to go through an automated maze of menus over the phone and offer auto-billing.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, many consumers have changed the way they think about shopping. Digital channels and options that were previously considered as a convenience, are now a necessity. Thirty-nine percent said they are shopping less frequently in stores. And 30% of millennials said they are shopping more frequently, instead, online. To meet consumers where they are, consider offering them delivery and pickup options.
5. Consistently engage your customers
As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” As such, it is important to remain visible to your customers. However, if you only connect with your customers when you want them to buy something, you’ll have trouble keeping them around for the long haul.
Instead, think about how you can help your customers solve their problems and educate them by sharing tips and tricks on how to get more out of your products and services. Customer education is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise and build trust. A research by Conductor shows that consumers are 131% more likely to buy from a business that educates them on its products and services. For example, if you are a beauty and spa business, consider creating a blog to share tips on making a pedicure or manicure last longer, and also sending an email with those tips to customers who just had their nails done. When done right, such valuable content can show that you care and make customers feel special.
Another way to keep your business top of mind for the customers is to show that you appreciate them by giving them branded swags that are relevant to your business. For example, if you are in a fitness business, partner up with another fitness accessories provider to offer a small gym face towel for those who have been supporting your online classes during the pandemic and/or for the first group of customers who return to your business.
The point here is to find ways to continue to build and nurture relationships with your customers so that you can build loyalty and advocacy over time.
What’s your secret to customer loyalty? How do you get customers to become loyal to your brand? Share your tips with others in the comment section below.