Customer loyalty has become one of the most important factors for business success. The main reason is that the market has become highly competitive and overcrowded. Acquiring new customers has, therefore, become increasingly difficult and even challenging, especially for new businesses.
The customers you do have are worth keeping at any cost. As a matter of fact, it can cost you 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain one. What's more, your company's profitability will also depend on how loyal your customers are. However, in order to make customers loyal, you have to go that extra step than simply trying to retain them. With that in mind, here are a few strategies to help you increase customer loyalty.
Customer experience is the number one factor that determines both customer retention and customer loyalty. The fact of the matter is that consumers prefer businesses that can provide them with an exceptional experience, rather than businesses that can only provide an exceptional product or service quality. As a matter of fact, consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more as long as they get the proper experience. Customer experience consists of factors ranging from website speed and UX design to providing seamless customer service and support.
Personalization plays a vital role when it comes to customer loyalty. If anything can encourage a customer to come back and become loyal it's a personalized offer. But what does a personalized offer mean? Simply put, it means tailoring your message and your offer to cater to individual customer needs. This can be quite challenging especially if you have a large consumer base. However, personalization also works even if you don't get every single detail down. Still, you need to have a good understanding of your target audience and their demographics. That way you can customize offers and even include personalized incentives, such as gift cards or promotional items.
As the name suggests, loyalty programs are indeed designed to boost customer loyalty. The way it works is that loyalty programs reward customers for their repeat business. In other words, consumers are provided with value for being loyal. That said, 75% of companies that have a loyalty program implemented are generating a substantial ROI. Moreover, 83% of consumers claim that being included in a loyalty program is a good reason to continue doing business with a company. However, the key to a successful loyalty program is choosing the type that will work best for both your business and your customers. For instance, online portals such as AskGamblers, use a point-based loyalty program where customers can collect points and exchange them for greater achievements. Another example is service sector companies, such as travel agencies and insurance companies that leverage a tier-based loyalty program where clients can advance in tiers with more benefits the longer they remain loyal.
Branding and customer loyalty go hand in hand. You've probably seen or even know someone who remains loyal to a brand, even though some other company may have better or cheaper offers. This is because of the emotional response efforts that brands oftentimes leverage to ensure customer loyalty. The way it works is that companies design their brand in accordance with customer preferences and not their own. This strategy has the purpose of maximizing the value a company can offer to its customers. Everything from deciding on a color scheme to crafting a brand promise is done with customers' best interest in mind. It helps brands form a more personal relationship with their customers that foster trust, engagement, and loyalty, among other things.
As mentioned before, customer experience is vital when it comes to both customer retention and loyalty. And customer service and support are the key factors in customer experience. You have to ensure seamless customer service and support if you want to have a chance of encouraging customers to become, as well as remain loyal. That being said, 60% of consumers will outright stop doing business with a company if they receive poor service. Make sure you're available to customers at all times and sort out any issues they might be having as quick as possible.
One of the surest ways to encourage and inspire customer loyalty is to meet their expectations. Consumers prefer companies that actually listen to them and the best way to listen to your customers is to ask them for feedback. Don't hesitate to do this because consumers appreciate the fact that you're willing to make an effort and ask them about their needs or concerns. What's more, they'll appreciate you even more if you act upon their feedback and improve your business efforts accordingly.
A bit of convenience can go a long way when it comes to improving customer loyalty. Everything you do to make consumers feel more welcomed and appreciated will contribute to their satisfaction. And satisfied customers are more likely to become loyal. However, the level of convenience you should provide depends on your customers and their demands. For instance, some might expect you to be available 24/7. You can easily manage this with a live chat feature on your website or by having a chatbot of your own. On the other hand, some consumers prefer not to contact your service and support department unless they absolutely have to. Instead, they prefer the self-service option. That’s why you should also include an FAQ page or a knowledge board on your website where consumers can get informed on their own.
Increasing customer loyalty can be a challenging task, especially in today's competitive environment. However, with a bit of creative thinking and a lot of good information about your customers, you can improve your efforts and ensure that your customers remain loyal to your business.