You have already built a brand or established a service. You have managed to create your client portfolio and you have even managed to generate a great interest in social networks. But in a landscape full of new companies of all tendencies and where competition is fierce, it is necessary to maintain a constant connection with your customers to differentiate yourself from the crowd.
This article will introduce the fundamentals of customer loyalty and give you 7 tips for building a loyal customer base for your business…
Let’s talk about customer loyalty…
The lifetime value of a customer is one of the most important factors in maintaining the long-term growth of your business. The ideal is to create an army of loyal customers who keep coming back so that you cannot only establish a solid customer base but also cultivate word of mouth marketing.
Smart businesses know that keeping existing customers is much cheaper and easier than finding new ones. But not all companies are smart enough to develop the kind of customer loyalty that allows them to outperform the competition and thrive in a competitive market.
Customer loyalty should never be underestimated. No matter how impeccable your product or service, your value will be completely lost without a continuous and effective commitment to the customer. Companies must work constantly to not lose the trust of their clients at the moment that matters most, the present.
Fortunately, developing customer loyalty is a skill that can be learned. In fact, there are a lot of simple and effective strategies that can be integrated into your business to streamline communications, make customers always feel heard and address problems.
How brand loyalty happens…
There is no magical formula for making this happen. Building loyalty simply involves a lot of hard work, but the payoff is well worth it. There are several effective ways to ensure your business is always in the customer’s mind:
- Establish ways to effectively communicate with your customers
Frequent communication with your clients keeps you fresh in their minds and allows you to convey important information.
Take the time to set up a database with contact information, such as mail addresses, email addresses, name, and phone numbers. Then you can send friendly reminders, birthday greetings or a monthly newsletter.
Social networks are another excellent way to communicate with your customers daily. Keep in mind that this works better if you limit the number of communications that are advertisements.
Do not forget to include messages that are fun reminders or useful information.
- Provide great customer service
Great customer service means making an extra effort to meet customer needs. Clients remember being treated well, and the positive experiences of clients result in more businesses. Pay attention to customer’s concerns and complaints. By informing you when they are dissatisfied, your clients give you the opportunity to solve their problems and improve your service.
Make sure your company is accessible enough for customers to communicate with you, whether in person, by phone, social media or by email, and that a person assigned to customer service is on a continuous basis. If it’s 24/7, the better. Remember to maintain a positive and optimistic attitude towards your customers. You should never risk your business reputation.
- Build credibility
There are two easy ways to build credibility. First, do what you say you are going to do. If you leave a message to call back or make a commitment for follow-up, then call when you said you would call. Even if you do not have all the answers, call when you commit to calling back.
The second way to build credibility is to take time to get the best answer. Sometimes you may not know the best response to a situation or request. Ask for time to research and come back with the most accurate answer or information that you can obtain. Taking time for accuracy can be far more beneficial to your customer than a quick but incorrect reply.
- Start listening
Ask your customers the tough questions. For example, you can ask them what you could be doing better, and start acting on their answers. It is very important to discover what they like (and hate) about your business.
For this kind of feedback to be truly effective, you must be ready to listen openly, respond quickly and react appropriately. Set expectations with customers so they know that not every problem will be solved right away, but be ready to start identifying where changes need to occur. Lastly, make sure you thank your customers for their feedback. Even though it might not feel like it, they’re doing you a favor by telling you what you don’t want to hear.
- Help your customers simplify their lives
Figure out what your customers need even if they don’t yet realize they need it and make those products or services effortlessly available to them.
People should never have to work hard to figure out where to buy your products or services, how much they cost, or how to use them. If they know your products will work reliably or your service will exceed their expectations, they may even be willing to pay more to do business with you compared with competitors.
- Customer loyalty program discounts & rewards
Everyone loves a deal. Establishing a customer loyalty program by running discounts and promotions through social media and website makes things interesting for your customers. Customers love to know that you care about them and rewarding them with a discount for their loyalty is something they will greatly appreciate. You can run these promotions easily through your website, your Facebook page, or even through an Instagram giveaway.
- Train employees thoroughly
Your employees are the face of your company, and training can empower them to make your company prosper. Training sessions should be a positive experience; boring training sessions are a waste of time and money and foster a negative attitude toward the company.
Encourage your employees to engage in training and explain how it will help them on the job and why it’s good for business. An excellent way to teach is on-the-job training, which facilitates on-the-spot demonstration of best practices.
Start prioritizing the customer experience.
In the business world, there’s a ton of pressure to always be making headway in the areas of growth and acquisition, and it’s easy to get caught up solely in metrics focused on new customer acquisition.
This is all well and good, but don’t let customer retention fall by the wayside. Turning your customers into lifetime brand loyalists has the potential to dramatically increase customer lifetime value, which in turn will increase revenue at a much more cost-effective rate.
So, start building off these ideas and create an experience that will surprise and delight your customers.