Top Strategies to Build a Loyal Customer Base
Loyalty is the most valuable thing you can cultivate among customers.
While finding new potential clients is great, it’s your dedicated fans that will keep coming back and making more purchases, as well as sending new referrals your way.
Loyal customers are amazing advocates for your company, and they’re often worth more too.
One study found that more than 50% of the annual revenue of many companies comes from repeat customers, and repeat clients usually spend up to 67% more than new buyers too.
So, how do you create your own loyal customer base? What does it take to convince someone to fall in love with your brand?
Let’s find out.
Get to Know Your Customers
This is the most important thing you can do to generate loyalty among your customers.
Loyal customers commit to brands that understand their needs and cater to them.
The more you understand your audience and what they need from you, the better your sales, marketing, and service strategies become.
Start by developing user personas that identify your most valuable customer personas.
Many companies have more than one of these personas to consider, so don’t be afraid to create different segments if you need to.
Each persona should include valuable information about the customer, such as where they’re from, their age, and what they like or dislike.
Your personas will then allow you to build personalized strategies based on what you know about each type of customer.
You can use these documents in your marketing campaigns when choosing which service channels to use, and even when creating sales scripts for your team.
When your clients see that you understand them, they’ll start to develop more significant, emotional relationships with your brand.
Loyalty isn’t as common among customers today as it used to be.
The digital world means that your clients can find dozens of companies just like yours, often providing similar products and services, for a competitive price.
If they’re not happy with what you provide, your audience can easily shop elsewhere. That means you need to make loyalty worthwhile.
Show your customers you appreciate their commitment to your company by rewarding repeat purchases.
Create a loyalty program where clients can earn points and freebies every time they refer someone new to your brand or make a purchase.
Give the people who spend the most with your company exclusive benefits.
This can entail anything from special discounts on their birthday, free gifts when they make so many purchases, to special “thank you” free shipping every five purchases.
Once you’ve designed the perfect loyalty program for your company, make sure you promote it on your website, in email newsletters, and through social media channels.
Ask for and Respond to Feedback
Customers are more likely to commit to companies they feel they have a voice with. Your clients like to know that you’re taking their thoughts and feelings into account.
That’s why there are so many review sites and comment sections on websites today, where people can give feedback.
Encouraging feedback has numerous benefits for today’s companies.
First of all, asking for feedback means you can learn what people like and dislike about your company.
Doing so ensures you’ll make more informed decisions about where to invest in business growth and helps you find new opportunities.
Asking for reviews also means that when you make changes, you can show your audience you value their thoughts.
There are tons of ways to gather feedback today, from tracking brand mentions on social media to using CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.
Remember to respond to as many reviews and testimonials as you can—even when they’re negative.
This will show your audience that you’re not just sweeping comments under the rug if they aren’t positive.
Be Available on the Right Channels
Customers are using a variety of channels to connect with the companies they love these days.
It’s up to you to make sure that you’re available to answer any questions and offer excellent service every step of the way.
This doesn’t just mean launching a contact center strategy. You should also be looking into social media customer service, self-service, and more.
To figure out what kind of channels you need to invest in, start by analyzing your competition.
Find out which channels are the most common in your industry and look for any gaps that other companies might be missing.
You can even check feedback and reviews from existing customers to see which kinds of customer service platforms they request most.
After you’ve created the right “omnichannel” environment for your audience, use analytics and tracking systems to see which of your avenues has the best impact.
Gaining loyalty from your target audience often starts with creating a sense of trust.
Your customers need to know that they can believe in you to give them the truth, even if it’s not always positive.
Being honest about everything from your supply chain strategies, to how you handle things like shipping delays generates credibility for your brand.
Your customers would much prefer to see you owning up to your mistakes and apologizing for anything you’ve done wrong than discover you’ve tried to hide issues instead.
No matter the issue, focus on being honest with your audience as quickly as possible.
Ideally, you’ll want to get your statement out there before anyone else has a chance to come in and inform your customers of any mistakes or problems.
Use Customer Onboarding
Finally, if you really want to delight your customers and keep them loyal, make sure they can get the most out of the products and services they buy from you.
A lot of companies are still making the mistake of skipping the onboarding journey when they interact with new customers.
Onboarding is how you introduce your clients to the features and tools you have to offer.
During the onboarding process, you can answer questions that would make it difficult for your customer to jump in and start using your service.
You can also discuss some common concepts that users frequently ask about, and direct your customer to areas where they can find sources of information and guidance when they need it, such as an FAQ page.
Taking just a little extra time to introduce your customer to everything they need to know will save you a lot of time and churn in the long term.
You might even be able to reduce the risk of customers having to contact your service or support team.
Make the Most of Customer Loyalty
A loyal customer is an incredible opportunity for your brand.
With customer loyalty, you boost your chances of repeat sales and create sustainable revenue for your company.
At the same time, you benefit from a happy collection of customers happy to recommend your services and products to other like-minded individuals.
Creating and maintaining customer loyalty can be tough.
However, if you follow the steps above, you should be able to start building more valuable relationships with your target audience.
Remember, measure metrics like repeat purchases, customer satisfaction scores, and even NPS rating to ensure that every strategy you use is driving the right results in terms of loyalty.
Heather Redding is a part-time assistant manager and writer based in Aurora, Illinois. She is also an avid reader and a tech enthusiast. When Heather is not working or writing, she enjoys her Kindle library with a hot cup of coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.