Winning over new customers is always a priority for businesses of any size, but having repeat business from loyal customers not only ensures your brand’s success but will also establish trust in it. Markets, nowadays, are getting more and more saturated, and customers are well-aware that some businesses are offering pretty much the same things, so your company will need that extra something that sets it apart from the rest and keeps consumers coming back.
Building customer loyalty will encourage confidence in your brand and could also give your business a solid footing in the industry, guaranteeing its longevity. All it takes is a few changes to your current processes and protocols. You might find it tricky or even challenging, and we’re here to help! Read on for the 10 proven ways to build customer loyalty and boost your business.
It’s more difficult to build customer loyalty than maintain it, so you need to know where and how to start. Done right; you won’t even have to spend too much on marketing strategies. As long as your customers are happy, the business will come to you, and the revenue will flow smoothly.
Here are some of the surefire tips on how to build customer loyalty. You will have options to try to improve customer relations and increase customer satisfaction with every interaction. These tips are very easy to try and do not require you to make major changes to your business practices. All it takes is a few tweaks in your current operating procedures, and you’re good to go!
A lot of cultures all over the world hold the customer in high esteem. This comes from the understanding that the business is able to survive and thrive in a competitive market because of the customers that support it. Without customers – new or repeat ones – the business will fold and go bankrupt. If you want to build customer loyalty, make customer service and satisfaction the thrust of your operation.
Learn how to communicate properly with them, even when you’re delivering less-than-favorable news. There are always ways in which you can frame your statements to customers that will make anything acceptable. Train your teams and teach them what customer care means and how they can deliver impeccable service with every interaction. Small things like:
Using the customer’s name
Some small talk
Offering options and solutions
Building customer loyalty can also be made possible by getting in touch with your customers and giving them every means possible to contact you. Once you’ve gotten to know your customers, make sure that you choose the right communication channels and methods. This will make it a breeze for customers when they need to reach you for anything.
There are a lot of ways in which you can make your business accessible to your customers. How to build customer loyalty sometimes also means being contactable anytime your customer is unhappy about something concerning your products and/or services. You can use channels or means of communication such as:
Main business phone line
A Contact Us widget on your website
Live chat that’s available 24/7
Social media accounts that are manned at all times
A physical address should they need to send anything back
Some people like having someone to speak with face-to-face, while some prefer communicating via email or chat. Having more than one way to reach you gives your customers the chance to choose which method works best for them, alleviating one more thing that could potentially cause them stress or dissatisfaction.
Incentivize your customers to come back again and again by putting a rewards program in place. You can keep track of the number of a customer’s orders or use punch cards if you have a physical store. Give them something to look forward to once the threshold is reached, and then do it all over again. This not only gives them more value for their money. It can also be fun for them.
Make your loyal customers feel more special by giving them discounts on their next order. For some people, free shipping is more than enough. If you’re a small business owner who makes their own products, include a little freebie with every order. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Sometimes, the smallest tokens of appreciation can have the biggest impact.
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Providing your customers with ways to give you recommendations and suggestions is a great way to build customer loyalty. It’s another way of making them feel essential to the business by giving them a voice. It’s also one more way for you to see to it that your business is continuously improving. You’ll never get it right all the time, and the best way to gain some perspective is to invite and be open to customer feedback.
Some of the ways you can encourage customers to tell you what they think include:
An option to submit a review once their concern is addressed
A survey after every interaction with your team
A suggestion box at the counter or by the door if you have a physical store
FEEDBACK & SUGGESTIONS button on your website
Dedicated text-in number for customer feedback and suggestions as well as complaints
Keep in mind that not all communications are positive every single time. Some customers might use these avenues to voice their frustrations and disappointments. Take it in the chin and get ready to spring into action to make things better. Doing this and being successful in turning an unpleasant experience around can improve customer relations.
In this day and age of gadgets and gizmos, we all love tech-savvy customers who can find their way around the maze that is your business site without any issues. They’re in and out in no time at all, purchase secured. However, there are some of us that are more comfortable with the old ways. Being flexible enough in your checkout options brings customers comfort and widens your range for securing more revenue and enhancing the customer experience.
Here are some of the payment methods you can use to make it easy for everyone to buy from you:
Debit and credit cards
Klarna or Venmo
If you have products on the high end of the market value or offer services that may be a little steep for some to pay for at once, offer layaway or staggered payment plans. Showing your customers that you are willing to meet their needs is one of the best customer retention strategies you can try.
This is where knowing your customer plays a significant role. You can use tailor-made marketing initiatives better if you’re able to situate your products and/or services to meet their needs, and you won’t know what their needs are if you don’t know your customers at all. Your marketing methods, therefore, can fall flat.
Something as simple as using your customer’s name, as we mentioned before, and other details in email promotions can do the trick. You can also give them personalized discount codes or even promo codes that they can give out to friends and family. A customer’s birthday is coming up. Email them a voucher with a unique code specific to them. When you’re giving them options to try, align what you can do for them with what they need. Targeting their unique needs and preferences and letting them know how your products and/or services can fulfill those is not only enhancing the customer experience. It will also build customer loyalty and ensure repeat business as well.
Strengthen your brand’s affiliation with your audience and customer demographic as well as the community by working with other businesses that are known to them. This can help you build customer loyalty, particularly if you’re new to the market and trying to make a reputation. Make sure, though, that they are not your direct competitors.
For example, you can partner with a local coffee shop, eatery, school, or office building if you are a local baker. If you’re selling tech gear or gadgets, you can partner up with a service or repair shop. You can make it more meaningful by offering apprenticeships in the summer to the youths in the community.
8. Be flexible, especially to frequent buyers
The Achilles heel of some businesses is their return policy and their resolve to stick to what’s published. For example, your return policy is 14 business days upon receipt of the order. The problem is, your customer has been traveling and someone signed for the delivery on their behalf. Once they get back, they find out the sizing is all wrong, or the color or style does not suit them, but the return period is over.
When building customer loyalty, it pays to choose your battles. Would you rather stick to the policy and lose a returning customer? There are times when giving concessions can reap you rewards many times down the line. Showing your customers that you’re willing to meet them halfway will only endear your brand to them and keep them coming back. One bad experience will not keep them away.
All your efforts to build customer loyalty will be for naught if you do not have the right people on your team. This means hiring people who view customer satisfaction, building customer loyalty, and enhancing the customer experience the same way you do. Putting the wrong people in your team can result in the opposite results and leave a negative effect. You can always train them, but employing someone who already has the right mindset will save you precious time and potential headaches.
Choose people who not only share the same values as well as mission and vision but hire those that see a future in your company and want your business to flourish and succeed. Get employees who see themselves in leadership positions in the future and train them up as they go.
Regardless of whatever communication tool you’re using, customers can always tell when you’re patronizing them or pandering. People can also easily tell if you’re being condescending or sarcastic and even dishonest or insincere, which you want to avoid if you want to build customer loyalty.
It’s never always easy, but it can do wonders in improving customer relations and customer satisfaction if you’re honest and sincere, even when you’re delivering bad news. Anyone will always value it when someone else is upfront with them. Don’t be afraid to let a customer know when you can’t do something or if you can accommodate their requests. Be sure to always follow it up with what you can do for them or what other options you have available to them instead.
If you notice a once frequent customer has gone quiet, give them a nudge by sending them a shamelessly cheesy but adorable We Miss You email with a cheeky promo code attached to entice them to come back. If you know someone who had a not-so-nice experience recently with your business, send them a note that says Don’t Give Up on Us along with a discount voucher.
Letting your market know that you own up to your mistakes or always welcome their business is one of the most effective customer retention tactics. Some people might find it endearing as well, aside from showing them that your business has its human side too!
Execute your customer retention strategies and customer engagement methods to perfection with the use of a robust and highly-efficient CRM. With a solution like this, you can collect and store key customer information such as:
You can also use analytics to configure rules to create rewards programs that allow for building customer loyalty.
You don’t have to shop around or go from one place to another to assemble an arsenal of tools to build customer loyalty. Bitrix24 is packed full of any tool you might need, from an omnichannel contact center to a CRM with analytics, a website builder, and more! The software offers a guaranteed solution tailored to address any issue you may be facing, regardless of the market you belong to.
If you want to find out what sets Bitrix24 apart from other providers on the market, sign up today!
Building customer loyalty for your business hinges on establishing a deep understanding of your customers. You can tailor your product or service to provide valuable solutions by gaining insights into their needs and challenges. Simultaneously, fostering a reciprocal process allows your customers to become acquainted with your company. Transparency and openness are crucial in building trust and fostering lasting relationships.
Some of the effective ways to improve customer loyalty are:
Customer loyalty boosts business performance by:
Customer satisfaction helps in building loyalty by: