Providing great customer service will help your business build customer loyalty. The benefits are obvious — loyal customers tend to purchase more frequently, are brand advocates who freely recommend your business to others, and it costs less to sell to them. Understanding how to keep your customers happy is the key to building customer loyalty. The following are ten customer loyalty marketing strategies you can use to improve the customer experience and increase customer loyalty.
10 Ways to Increase Customer Loyalty
1. Customer Care Comes First – If you want to build brand loyalty, you must place customer care in a key position of your overall business strategy. From top management on down, emphasis should be placed on putting the customer at the center of your business. By 2017, 89% of marketers expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator for businesses.
2. Make Life Easier – Make your customer’s life easier with initiatives to improve customer service. Accenture’s Global Consumer Pulse survey found that 85 percent of customers are frustrated by dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them, 84 percent by companies promising one thing, but delivering another; and 58 percent are frustrated with inconsistent experiences from channel to channel. Concentration should be placed on being reliable for scheduled deliveries or maintenance, being able to fulfill orders, keeping customers informed, personalizing service and measuring customer service levels.
3. Encourage Customer Feedback – Encourage complaints and praise by opening all lines of communication via email, telephone, online chat and social media. Follow up with current customers and see why you haven’t heard from old customers. Be prompt with answers. Give customer’s credit for their ideas. Their feedback and engagement are important, let them know you appreciate it.
4. Communicate – Create value by supplying customers with information and focus on their needs. Contact customers throughout the customer journey. A Google study found that 62% of customers find it extremely/very important to be able to call your business at the purchase stage. Inform, educate and ask how they feel after the sale. Communication should be initiated through all channels. 51 percent of U.S. consumers are loyal to brands that interact with them through their preferred channels of communication. Social media is an important channel for customer retention.
Cultivating customer relationships on social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram is a meaningful way to create loyal customers and brand followers who continue to purchase your products and services and act as your brand ambassadors. Social media enables brands to play a wider role in the lives of their customers, going beyond the transaction to deliver more personalized value. Social media can enhance brand perception and foster advocacy and loyalty.
5. Loyalty Program – A very successful strategy is to recognize and reward your loyal customers. For example, members of retailers’ customer loyalty programs generate between 12 percent and 18 percent more revenue for retailers than do customers who are not members of the loyalty programs, according to recent research. In developing your customer loyalty strategy, be sure to include flexible rewards, integrate across channels, and personalize promotional offers. This USA Today article outlines the 10 Rights and Wrongs of Loyalty Programs.
6. Employee Training – Make sure that all employees have training and understand their mission. Everyone in the business should know how to communicate and listen to customers. As part of your customer loyalty marketing strategy, create an internal communication plan to inform employees of any changes in how they fulfill customer needs.
7. Leverage Technology – Take advantage of any technological changes that can help with increasing customer loyalty. An efficient database is an essential tool that can be used for targeting your customer base. Allow customers more interaction and use software tools to analyze social media and user experience on your website. Career opportunities, recognition, and organization reputation are consistently top employee engagement drivers.
8. Foster Employee Loyalty – Loyal employees are more willing to help you build brand loyalty. Take actions to display your appreciation for employees. Make them proud to work for your business and reward them when they take steps that help your brand shine. Global studies reveal that 79 percent of people who quit their jobs cite ‘lack of appreciation’ as their reason for leaving. But companies with robust employee recognition programs are known to have 31% lower voluntary turnover than those that don’t.
9. Be Reliable – Your company’s reputation is always on the line. Be a reliable choice for your customers and they will keep coming back. Honor your commitments and warranties. Always be considerate when listening to the concerns of your customers and immediately compensate them for any inconvenience.
10. Offer Great Products or Services – Your business is providing a solution to a customer’s problem. Everyone in your company should understand why your products or services are the best so they can relay that message to each customer.
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