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How to Build and Maintain Customer Loyalty
Quality service, responsiveness and rewards build customer loyalty.
The first step in building customer loyalty is to provide quality service to your customers. The second step in maintaining customer loyalty is to be responsive — listen to their needs and feedback and react promptly and accordingly. The final piece I’ll leave you with is to consider implementing a customer loyalty program. Offer incentives to your customers to keep them coming back for more.
Customer outreach — and often.
Consistent, personalized outreach will do wonders for a business’ customer loyalty. Businesses of all kinds constantly struggle to “stay in front” of their target audiences, particularly on the web. Internet users quickly shift their loyalty for the next cheaper/faster/stronger solution, and they can forget the positive experience that they had with a business. It’s ok to remind them of your capabilities on a regular basis!
For example, I regularly see emails and social posts from one of our IT clients, Focus Data Solution. I ignore most of them because I don’t have an immediate need; however, as soon as I have a security concern or network issue, I think of Focus Data Solutions first. This is because they have created strong brand loyalty with me by reaching out in a consistent, personalized manner.
The big answer for businesses to build and maintain customer loyalty is quality engagement. This could entail a number of things like regular newsletters, offering special services or discounts, or just checking in from time to time. Businesses are made up of people, and it’s always a good thing to connect with customers to make them feel like their loyalty is rewarded.
Be human & treat your customers like human beings too!
Getting new customers is great, but keeping them around is the tricky part. A customer purchased your product or service for a reason — it fulfilled some sort of need. Give them excellent customer service, and they’ll come back for more.
Send weekly or biweekly emails to your customers, offer returning customers a discount, and keep your branding consistent so that you’re easily recognizable across all platforms. Lastly, make your communication to your customers personal. People love it when they feel as if they are corresponding with an actual human being. In a world so full of automation and artificial intelligence, be more human!
Respect, integrity and accessibility.
Customer loyalty is built with respect, honesty and excellent customer service. Loyal customers want to purchase from someone they can trust — a good quality product, easy returns, quick (correct) answers to questions, etc. Online chat features are wonderful! People are busy, and a chat feature allows them to ask questions while they’re working, receive quick answers, and helps them make decisions with ease.
Be more than just a transaction.
By being transparent and open with your customers, you can turn into a brand they truly trust. Don’t spend all of your effort trying to continue to sell to them and actually provide them information that will enhance their experiences with your product.
Build your brand by maintaining what you’ve already earned.
If you want to build your brand, serve the community you already have very well. If you have 500 Facebook followers, provide value to them, interact often with them, and they will start to tell others about your brand. It’s an organic, long-term, but effective strategy to grow a strong and healthy brand.
Customer loyalty can also be built by reading suggestions and reviews, responding and giving your community what they ask for.
Go the extra mile.
If you want to maintain longterm relationships with customers, exceed their expectations from the start. Simply show them you care! Always go one step further to provide convenience and care to their specific needs and expectations. When your customers feel important your business becomes important to them.
Keep your promises.
Customer loyalty is based on expectations and connections! Fulfilling what was promised is key! The connections piece refers to having compassion for the client in an aspect other than the project. The task at hand is important, but people are more important!
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