Loyal customers are the lifeblood of every thriving business. Having repeat customers is not only a sign that you have amazing products or services but also indicates that you meet your audience's expectations. While customer loyalty is often built on a foundation of excellent service and great products, there are many other tangible ways to retain loyal customers. Understanding your customers on a deep level and offering them precisely what they need can be a significant challenge without the right strategies.
One excellent example that highlights the complexity of building customer loyalty comes from Harvard Business Review. Of the individuals polled in their survey, 64% indicated that they have remained loyal to a brand because of the company’s values. Customer loyalty often runs much deeper than simply the products and services that are offered. To foster undying customer loyalty, you must take a broad approach. Here are seven proven ways to create more loyal customers for your brand.
1. Get to Know Your Customers
To properly optimize your marketing, customer support, and sales efforts, it's essential to develop a clear picture of your ideal customer persona. Once you identify your ideal customer, you can take steps to help your frontline employees engage in a more meaningful way. One excellent way to show customers that you remember them and value their time is to personalize your messages. Sending a personalized email for milestones such as birthdays can leave a lasting, positive impression and build loyalty.
2. Openly Share Your Core Values
Today's consumers take an active stance on topics that matter to them, including sustainability, healthy living, and fair trade. Your ability to build undying brand loyalty can often depend on your corporate values and how well they align with your customers. Taking time to openly and proudly display your values can help you attract long-term customers who appreciate what you have to offer. Some excellent examples of loyalty-building values include compassion, respect, and corporate social responsibility.
3. Develop an Omnichannel Customer Service Plan
Customer loyalty often develops after a series of interactions with your brand and staff. While email remains one of the best forms of customer communication, you shouldn't neglect other channels. Social media messages and leveraging other tools such as chatbots on your website gives customers the ability to contact you through their preferred channels. You certainly can’t be everywhere at once, but you can select several communication platforms that give you the best coverage for your audience.
4. Build a Brand Community
Your most loyal customers often desire to get an inside look into your company's activities and appreciate having multiple ways to contribute and interact. You can strengthen your brand image by allowing customers to interact with each other and with your employees. Leveraging tools such as customer portals enables your customers to contribute comments and content to your product and service library. Building a community not only gives you an active audience but also helps you collect valuable audience insights.
5. Have a Unique Customer Loyalty Program
Companies that plan to develop a lasting community of loyal customers usually invest in a customer loyalty program that supports customer satisfaction and boosts customer retention. With an established program in place, you can incentivize customers to make referrals, write reviews, and perform other value-added actions. A points-based program can be especially useful and easy for customers to understand.
6. Focus on Customer Experience
Many companies tend to focus much of their overall effort on marketing and sales activities. These are important, but one way to build undying customer loyalty is to prioritize customer experience and customer service. Having your entire organization focused on customer needs can make your service operations more responsive and support the kind of differentiated employee behavior that can build more loyalty.
7. Offer Targeted Discounts and Rebates
Customers who were satisfied with past purchases are much more likely to respond to a new offer to buy again. Offering these individuals targeted discounts or rebates can increase your sales and provides an effective way to influence your most loyal customers. When doing so, it's important to choose the right rewards and experiment with offers that appeal to your audience and support any loyalty program that you have.
Building undying customer loyalty is a lofty goal, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Trying some of the recommendations in this post can also help you prioritize customer satisfaction. Your customers will ultimately reward your efforts with more business when you can meet or even exceed their needs.