Customer loyalty is more about providing a great product than having a large selection. There are a few easy ways to bring in and keep customers.
Customer loyalty has an effect on different parts of a business, like how much money it makes, how people see the business, how the business’s money is spent, and what kind of products the business sells. It’s essential to have a loyal customer base when you’re trying to build a successful business. Your customers are your biggest advocates and help create positive feelings about your business.
Building long-term relationships with customers requires understanding customer loyalty and working toward it.
Let’s find out how.
What is customer loyalty?
How likely are customers to stay with your company and keep coming back? This is what customer loyalty measures.
Your most loyal customers are your strongest supporters and contribute the most to your revenue. The perception that others have of your brand can be used to your advantage in many ways.
- Build a positive brand image with good reviews, comments, and posts
- Attract new customers through referrals
- Encourage customers to post more about you to increase your social media presence
- Collect feedback to improve your products
You need to give customers reasons to keep coming back, such as competitive pricing, quality service, and better perks than your competition. Your product also needs to be high-value. Track your loyal customers to ensure they have a great experience with your business.
Types of loyal customers
What drives the positive relationship between you and your loyal customers? This will allow you to better target future customers with strategies that are personalized to encourage customer loyalty.
1. Value-based loyalty
These customers are pleased with your products and services and fall under the customer loyalty definition. Customers who see great value in your products are more likely to be pleased with their purchase, and may come back for more in the future. Some things that may make your products more appealing to these customers include superior services, better features, innovation, and an emotional connection. Most brands today are trying to create value-based customer loyalty.
2. Price-based loyalty
The pricing of a product can have a significant impact on a customer’s decision to purchase it. There is a segment of the customer base that is loyal to your business based on pricing. The reason these customers purchase from you as opposed to your competition is that you have the best prices.
And there lies the problem. Finding new customers is going to be a challenge because they will quickly move on to the next best deal.
3. Rewards-based customer loyalty
Loyalty programs that offer rewards help create a mutually beneficial relationship between businesses and their customers. If customers do business with you, they can collect loyalty points (cashback) that can be redeemed on their next purchase. The cycle continues.
A loyalty rewards program can be a powerful motivator to bring customers back as it provides a two-pronged effect:
- Shows customers you appreciate them for staying with you
- Offers a monetary incentive to come back for another purchase
4. Discount-based customer loyalty
A discount offer is more enticing than price. Offering discounts or freebies can attract potential buyers who are looking for a bargain, and who might not make regular purchases. They are not loyal to any particular brand because they are motivated by offers.
One of the best ways to target discount-based loyal customers is by using email segmentation and SMS alert campaigns. Make sure to keep your customers updated about any upcoming sales or discounts you may be having. This will encourage them to revisit your site.
Importance of customer loyalty
If customers are not willing to buy from you, it will affect your acquisition budget and lower profits. If you do not build long-term customer relationships, you may lose brand credibility.
Loyal customers are a source of recurring revenue
If customers are loyal to a company, they will continue to buy its products and this will provide a stead stream of income. This tool can help predict revenue for months, quarters, or even years. The right forecasts can help you budget for critical areas like campaigns and resources.
Customer loyalty opens the door for many retargeting opportunities. There are two main reasons customers come back to a business: they either love the product or they can get it at a lower price. You could try offering discounts or complementary products to these customers to get them to order more and, as a result, increase your profits.
Loyal customers act as advocates
92% of customers are more likely to purchase a product if they read a positive review from a trusted source.
Positive feedback and reviews about your brand on online platforms and review sites can help to spread word of mouth. People who are loyal to your brand are more likely to tell others about it and help create a positive feeling around it. This can help you attract new customers and make your brand more credible.
Loyal customers can be your best critics
When you need customer feedback, whether it’s for tweaking your products, testing a new update, or anything else, you can always count on your loyal customer base to give you their honest insights. They are your core audience and actual product users.
People who have a positive opinion of your brand are more likely to be willing to spend time completing surveys. This makes it more likely that customers will respond and provides a more organized customer record.
5 actionable strategies to build customer loyalty
1. Build customer loyalty programs
Offering incentives and rewards to customers helps to keep them buying from the brand as it makes them feel appreciated and valued.
The benefits of rewards don’t end here. Feedback programs can be used to gather data on customer behavior and demographics. This data can then be used to improve loyalty programs. If a customer is happy with their purchase, they’re more likely to fill out a survey or feedback form when they receive reward points or redeem them.
The feedback data provide valuable insights:
- Which customers have the highest redemption rate?
- Which segments sign up the most and the least in your loyalty programs?
- What is the average order value for different programs?
- Does the order value increase when customers redeem their points?
2. Install effective service touchpoints
Moreover, customers who have had a positive customer service experience are much more likely to make another purchase in the future. A number of other studies have shown that providing a great experience is essential to developing and maintaining customer loyalty.
3. Create a feedback loop
It’s great to have seamless service points. reaching out to customers to ask them about their issues and problems can help you proactively address them. Having your employees feel heard is important to gaining feedback on their experiences.
If you want to improve customer retention, one of the best things you can do is close the feedback loop. -Make it easy for customers to give feedback -Show customers you value their feedback -Use feedback to improve your product or service Customer loyalty can be built by making it easy for customers to give feedback, showing them you value their feedback, and using feedback to improve your product or service.
Targeted feedback can help assess customer issues, expectations and needs in order to deliver optimal solutions and turn customers into loyal customers.
4. Ensure seamless communication
No matter how many strategies you use to encourage customer retention, it won’t matter if you don’t connect with your customers. Communication gaps can increase the churn rate.
Miscommunication affects both existing and potential customers. Your customers will eventually get frustrated and go to your competition. To ensure efficient communication, it is important to have a streamlined process for all channels.
5. Promote personalized experiences
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you need to start personalizing your customers’ experiences. It’s no longer an option – it’s a necessity. The majority of people want their brand interactions to be tailored to their individual preferences. Customers are 60% more likely to keep buying from a brand that gives them a personalized experience, according to a recent study.
If you want to build a loyal customer base, you need to do things like offer repeat purchases, loyalty programs, excellent service, and seamless communication.
Simple Ways to Implement a Loyalty Program
You can increase your sales by offering your customers something for free that is related to what they are already buying. The classic “buy x get x free” is something both customers and businesses can appreciate. There are two ways to keep track of your loyalty program members: the old-fashioned punch card, or a digital system through your POS system. It doesn’t matter how you keep track of their visits, just make sure to give something back in return. Once your customers have earned a reward by investing time and money, they will be more likely to keep returning.
Offer discounts to encourage customers to come back. Giving customers coupons to use at a future visit or special offers printed on their receipts is a great way to thank them for their current business and invite them to come back.
3. Gifts for Referrals
If your customers refer others to you, thank them with a reward. If a customer refers someone to your business and that person becomes a paying customer, offer the original customer a free product or major discount. If you can afford it, offer a incentive to both your current customer and their referral. This is a great way to cultivate loyalty from both of them.
4. Email Promotions
If you want customers to sign up for your email list, give them a discount. Once you have their email address:
- Send coupons and special offers at least once a month
- Send birthday offers
- Give advance notice of sales and information on new products
- Offer opportunities only available to loyal customers.
- Keep track of what your customers have purchased so you can send personalized special opportunities.
A well-managed loyalty program is one of the best tools for success, however, it is only one part of a great customer experience. At its heart, a loyalty program is about showing appreciation and giving recognition. Go above and beyond that program. Thank customers for their business and train your staff to do the same. Most importantly, never take your customers for granted. Without them, you have no business.
Designing a loyalty program
Any entrepreneur always remembers their first customer. The more time that passes, the more apparent the competition becomes. You start to see how getting new customers and keeping the ones you have is important. And this is where a common problem ensues.
Some of the promotions that businesses offer are:
- Sale packages
- Free merchandise
In offering these perks, businesses are hoping that customers will keep coming back and become loyal patrons. But do these measures work?
It is common for owners, managers, and marketers to base customer loyalty on consumers’ purchasing habits and any other patterns they can find. A loyal customer is someone who has purchased your product or service multiple times over a given period of time. There are two types of customers that this assessment covers: the ones who genuinely enjoy your products and keep purchasing them, and those who are merely buying your goods or services as a last resort. Loyal customers are those who genuinely enjoy your products and keep purchasing them, while frequent customers are merely buying your goods or services as a last resort.
Frequent vs. Loyal
Frequent customers are defined as those who make purchases often, while loyal customers are those who stick with a brand or company regardless of changes or competition. Is there even any difference? In general, customers who are loyal to a business are those who patronize it regularly. However, not all customers who visit a business frequently are necessarily loyal to it. Many consumers are willing to pay more for a product or service from a brand they trust, instead of opting for a cheaper option. Clients who are loyal to a brand are more likely to be proud of the products they use, and can be effective marketers for the brand by convincing others to use the products as well.
A loyal group of consumers wait every year for Apple to release the newest iPhone model. There are other phones that are just as good as the iPhone, but there are customers who are loyal to Apple and will continue to buy their products even though they are more expensive. Apple has been able to sell exclusivity and prestige to its growing loyal customer base, and this is one advantage it has over other tech companies.
Frequent customers purchase products from your business more often than other customers, but they may not necessarily prefer your brand or trust your business like loyal customers do. People don’t buy goods and services from you because you’re the only option or because your offer is better than other brands. The consumers who are most loyal to a brand are the ones who will keep buying from that brand until they find another one that offers better products or more discounts.
This means that if your customers can find a better alternative to your product, they will most likely switch to that product. On the other hand, loyal customers will continue to buy your products even when competing brands have a similar offer. The emotional bond they have formed with your brand is much stronger than any superficial discount.