Top Ways to Build Customer Loyalty
There are so many different ways to build customer loyalty in your business, but it generally boils down to whether or not your customer has a positive experience when interacting with your business. Once you can build that loyalty, you’ll have customers that are willing to go out of their way for your business.
The best part is they’ll show this support and love in a variety of ways. Whether it be through glowing reviews on social media, wonderful recommendations to friends and family, or even through continuing to purchase your product/service, your customers will stand by you.
Without these customers, your business, brand, or idea will struggle to gain steam and grow into the powerhouse you imagined it could be. That’s why we like to call these customers your “VIP customers” or “brand champions,” but you can call them whatever you’d like.
Why Do We Need Loyal Customers?
One of the things we’ve heard many business owners ask is, “Why should I care how loyal they are? I already made money off them.” First off, it’s not all about making money off of them. Like we mentioned above, you also have to provide a positive experience.
Secondly, it’s not just one loyal customer you’re dealing with. With the way customers shop today, one loyal customer turns into another loyal customer -- which eventually grows into a loyal customer base that keeps your business running and growing.
Lastly, you can’t have customers that think bad about your business. Again, this isn’t just one customer because that customer will multiply. Eventually, you’ll have a lot of customers that are avoiding your business due to warnings from other customers.
In a recent study by Jay Baer, he concluded that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family, while 70% trust reviews from anonymous consumers online. This high-trust rate means you need to rethink your strategy when interacting with customers.
That’s why it’s important to treat every customer your best, that way you’re constantly building and nurturing a culture of loyal customers.
So, How Do You Build Customer Loyalty?
Most business owners expect loyal customers to come as a result from being open for a long time or just through luck alone. Instead, loyal customers come as a result of hard work, dedication, commitment, and genuine gratitude toward the customer.
If you’ve been trying to build a loyal customer base, but haven’t had the luck you were hoping for, we’ve got several tips that will help you on your way:
1. Ask Your Customers
Never be afraid to reach out to your customers or clients and ask them for feedback about how they were treated, how their experience was, and what your business could’ve done better to provide a more memorable experience.
This can be done through surveys or by having a specified place on your website to accept suggestions/feedback. You can also make use of those emails you’ve been collecting and start a campaign. If customers truly want to see change in your company, they’ll let you know.
Ignite that change, and you’ll start to gain trust!
2. Respond to Reviews
While customers like to read the reviews of other customers before purchasing a product or signing up for a service, they also like to know how the business responded to that review -- if they responded to it. That’s why it’s important to always monitor your reputation online and respond to customers in a timely manner.
The key is to always stay positive when responding, always apologize, and always present a solution to the issue. This will show them that you’re here for them, not for yourself.
3. Incentivize Referrals
If you were wondering why you aren’t getting that many referrals, it might be because your customers aren’t being pushed to doing so. Sometimes, that’s all they need -- a little incentive to make it that much more worth it for them.
Get creative with this, but it doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Give them each a discount on their next purchase, or a free meal the next time they come in. Something that won’t cost you that much on the back-end, but something that they’ll appreciate nonetheless.
4. Loyalty Programs Work
In addition to incentivizing referrals, introducing a loyalty program can help increase your ability to build trust with customers. Offer a free meal after the purchase of five or a free item after spending a certain amount -- trust us, it works.
Those people that would normally only visit you once will suddenly start visiting you monthly and even weekly. This gives you more time to nurture their experience with your business and keep them interested in doing business with you long-term.
5. Give Back to the Community
Especially in a day and age like this, it’s extremely important to give back to your community and show that you’re more than just a business -- you’re here to help make life better for others in any way possible.
When there’s a local event going on, find a way to participate. If there’s a charity you have respect for, make a donation. You should always be looking for new ways to give back and show your business’ true colors so the rest of the community can see with their own eyes.
6. Customer Service Is Key
Of course, there’s nothing customers like more than being treated well. When you interact with a customer, you have to make them feel special and turn all your attention towards them. If you don’t, they’ll easily take their business elsewhere and talk bad about yours in the process.
Take the time to train your employees correctly and make sure you’re following all the right protocols when interacting with customers. You should also reassess those protocols often to make sure they meet evolving standards.
7. Consistency Helps
Another thing that’s essential to building a loyal customer base is being consistent. You can’t expect to keep a customer engaged with your business if you can’t consistently give them good products or service. They want to rely on you long-term, but only if you can prove it to them.
To solve this, make sure you and your employees are always following the best practices and protocols we discussed in the previous section. You should also ensure your employees know how to handle themselves in a high-pressure situation to avoid any mishaps.
8. Quality Over Everything
Last but not least, focusing on quality never hurts anyone or any business. It’s what the customers want, it’s what they expect, and it’s the only thing you should think about delivering when they need you.
Don’t cut any corners and always find ways to improve your company -- from top to bottom. Every little improvement will benefit the overall experience by the customer, so don’t take anything for granted here.
Don’t Stop There!
Once you start implementing the right strategies, you’ll see loyalty rise with customers. They’ll start engaging with your business more often and be more willing to spend their hard-earned money at your business.
If you want to enhance your connection with customers, social media can be a huge help. Your customers are already on there, they already use it frequently, and they likely already want you on there. Furthermore, it gives you an opportunity to show your business’ true colors and personality.
Ultimately, you have to figure out what your customers want and what they expect out of a company like yours. Once you can figure that out, you’ll know what needs to be done to satisfy them day-in and day-out.
Of course, you can always contact Consultants In-A-Box for more strategies, tips, advice, and assistance when building customer loyalty in your business. We can’t wait to help you find success with your customers and build a lasting relationship with them!
- Jordan VanMaanen