Regardless of the size of your business, customer loyalty is very important. Several studies have shown that repeat customers tend to spend 67% more than the new ones. Moreover, it’s very expensive to attract new customers instead of maintaining the old ones. For this reason, today we are going to learn more about how to create customer loyalty and how to maintain it.
How to Create Customer Loyalty Regardless of Your Field
The first and foremost element you need to consider is communication. Ensuring a frequent communication process with your customers will keep your brand fresh in their minds. Moreover, you have an efficient channel that lets you offer them important information. Try to set up a database with contact information: phone numbers, mailing addresses, email addresses, etc. Send monthly newsletters, reminders, or birthday greetings. Don’t forget about social media either!
2. Offer People a Head Start
Look at the loyalty programs many coffee shops use. Here, customers buy several drinks and then earn a free one. If you plan to adopt such a program, it’s useful to give people a head start. For example, give them two punches on their coffee card for free. In this case, customers will be more interested in taking advantage of it.
This might sound silly, but it’s a very useful advice. A study was made in the United Kingdom, and it showed that customers who were greeted with a smile and a welcome spent 67% more than those who weren’t. It may seem an unimportant detail, but being friendly to your customers has its perks.
4. Give People a Reason to Be Loyal
Many people ask themselves ‘why should I return to that store?’. Anticipate this question and offer them various incentives. Whether they feel good in the store (pleasant smells, nice music, etc.) or they need and love your products, they need a reason to come back. Offer stickers, cater to their needs and help them solve their problems.
5. Write Handwritten Notes
Though it might seem like an old-fashioned gesture, writing a handwritten note is something you should keep in mind if you want to know how to create customer loyalty. In this era dominated by technology, writing something by hand shows a great effort, as well as a personal touch. Thank them for their service or let them know about special offers for old visitors.
6. Inform Your Customers
It can happen that your customers don’t notice what you are doing. Without being too cocky, call them or write them about your activity. You can write an informal note about your recent efforts, for example. What’s important is to point out to the customers what you are doing for them. Call and explain to them that you took care of the papers, of a certain contract or that you offered them a small discount because they’re loyal customers.
7. Meet the Makers
An interesting approach to how to create customer loyalty is to let people meet the makers. Just like in a restaurant the chef sometimes gets out of the kitchen and talks to the customers, you can also let your shoppers meet the team. Have an open doors day or make an online presentation. Encourage the team to get more personal with the customers.
8. Offer Great Customer Service
We cannot stress how important this is when you want to find solutions to build customer loyalty. You don’t need any studies to show you that people mostly quit a company when they receive bad customer service. Make sure you have highly skilled people working there and that they can solve any type of issue with kindness.
9. Offer Useful Information
Your newsletter or your social media accounts don’t need to reflect your business only. People appreciate it when you offer them more insight into the entire industry. Did you find an interesting article? Share it and write a couple of words about it. Is a new book about your industry being released? Write about it.
10. Create Ambassadors
Turn your loyal customers into brand ambassadors. Offer them power with small actions, such as sending discounts and invites to events. A trick here is to know that people love to treat their friends, especially if they don’t pay anything. They will have a special status with you and their friends will look up to them.
Here you have some other rules to help you out:
Maintaining Customer Loyalty
There are several ways to maintain customer loyalty once you gained it. Let’s have a look at some simple ideas to help you with this:
1. Listen to Your Customers
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to gain an audience and then ignore it. Listening to your customers costs no money and it can mean the world to them. Make it easy for them to express their concerns and problems (through social media, for example). Then, pay attention to their messages and try your best to answer as soon as possible.
2. Be Genuine
Once you reach a certain customer base, don’t try to appear something you’re not. It’s important for people to work with a real company. Stay true to the values you set right from the start and be consistent with them. At the same time, be honest with the people and don’t try to hide them any problems you have. This always results in bad customer service.
3. Learn from Your Lost Customers
If we were to be realistic, we must say that it’s inevitable to lose customers. The point here is to minimize this risk as much as possible. Try to include a survey and find out why are certain customers leaving you. Not all of them will want to answer, but those who do will help you a lot. Learn from what they’re saying and don’t repeat the same mistakes.
To draw a conclusion, we must admit it’s no easy job to learn how to create customer loyalty and then maintain it. However, the tips and tricks we listed above can prove helpful if you’re new in the business. Try to adapt the suggestions to your own company and use your creativity to find innovative ways of retaining your customers. Good luck!
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