6 ways you can improve customer loyalty
Acquiring a new customer can cost five times as much as it does to retain an existing customer. With accessible tools available for powerful digital marketing and e-commerce, it’s becoming more important to leave a good impression and engage with those who have already bought from you and crossed the threshold from prospect to customer. In short, customer loyalty grows your business.
A key driver of growth for the business is in the retention of customers who have bought from you before. Retention obviously works best when customers give positive word-of-mouth endorsements, glowing reviews and follow your company on social media channels. These are strong indicators that your brand is committed to providing a pleasant buying experience for your customers. Customer loyalty means you are doing it right, your service is keeping customers happy to the point they are not looking at your competitors next time they are thinking of making a similar purchase. It’s important to engage with people who have invested in you already, as you’re one step ahead of your competitors. Here are 6 ways you can improve your customer loyalty.
Retargeting allows you to re-hook potential customers who are likely to purchase your products or services. This often works best by using targeted ads for customers who have previously demonstrated interest in your offering. This interest is often displayed through adding a product to their baskets but not checking out, signing up for email newsletters or sending an enquiry to you through your site or social media channels.
Once you have identified such customers, using occasional adverts with appropriate branding and calls to action will potentially regain their interest. Strategically timing when to display these adverts can increase the chances of hooking them. For example, using seasonal demand to offer a discount to your customers may help. If someone is looking to do Christmas shopping anyway, why not remind them of your products, and offer them a limited time discount too?
2. loyalty programs
Approximately 84% of customers claim to be more likely to make repeat purchases with brands that offer loyalty schemes. Offering a loyalty card for example makes customers 47% more likely to purchase from you again. Therefore, offering a simple promotion such as giving a repeat customer one of your products for free, or sending them a discount code via email as thanks for their loyalty is a great way to increase your brand reputation. Both the financial and non-financial benefits are significant. Not only will your customers see you as a more generous brand which they’re likely to shop with again, offering discounts or free products means your customers are likely to make additional purchases whilst visiting your store or site when claiming their special offer.
3. encouraging feedback
This method is relatively simple and can improve the perception of your brand. Asking customers for honest and open feedback may seem anxiety-inducing. Make any mistakes and you are directly asking someone to say something about your business that you feel may harm the chances of other potential customers choosing to buy from you. However, your reputation can be increased or decreased by how you choose to react to criticism. Simply ignoring negative feedback and pretending it never happened may have you believe that it won’t cause issues if you don’t draw attention to it. The truth is, addressing it quickly and professionally with an open mind around offering a refund, discount or apology shows other customers that you have their best interests at heart. This gives them the confidence of knowing that even if they do not have a pleasant experience with your product or service, they will be confident that you will address and resolve the issue. You will show your customers that you value accountability and high standards. If you receive a lot of complaints, you need to make changes and act anyway, as there must be a problem in your business you need to take a hard look at.
4. corporate social responsibility (CSR)
CSR is increasingly important as more and more social and environmental issues come to light. Many employers have come under fire and been revealed to be callous or unpleasant during the upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, shining a light on run-of-the-mill mistreatment of staff. This can hurt a brand immensely. On the other side of the coin, companies that acknowledge climate change and ensure their policies minimise waste and pollution are displaying attractive brand values for many customers, who will in return be loyal. It’s important not to fake values. Many companies are called out for ‘greenwashing’ and simply framing green issues as a trend, rather than a genuine value. Whilst it does make good press, avoid using CSR simply for PR purposes. Addressing topical issues just to grow your brand and number of followers will likely come across as shallow and obvious to onlookers. Always speak up on topics that you and your company are truly passionate about.
Partnering with a charity is a great way to bring exposure to an issue. Through doing this you can use backlinks and direct calls to action to encourage your customers to donate their money or time to a good cause.
Most importantly, find the common ground between your customer profile and your brand, there should be a lot to share and discuss if you are well aligned.
5. improve the customer experience
There are many ways you can improve your customer experience. Consider the ‘customer journey’, more specifically how the customer finds, navigates and interacts with your site and social media channels.
If a potential customer looks for your business online, they should be able to easily find either your site or social channels and must be able to effortlessly use them to locate what they need. Bad customer journeys require potential customers to work too hard to find what they are looking for. It needs to be easy and intuitive. Be it buying a product on your website, or getting in contact with you on your social channels, if your customer finds that the website has long load times, or isn’t clearly laid out and has to wait a week or two for a response on social media, the chances are they won’t buy from you again, if they even manage to in the first place!
6. reward your customers
This is similar to offering loyalty programmes but is more sporadic. Brands such as Krispy Kreme are well known for sending vouchers for free doughnuts to customers when it’s their birthday if they’re signed up to receive emails from them. Similarly, you may choose to use your social media channels to run giveaways or competitions to win free products, or you could take the Krispy Kreme approach of sending your customer a message or email out of the blue thanking them for being loyal and giving them a small thank you present or discount for free. Not only will you make someone’s day, but you will drive an emotional connection to your brand which will keep your customers coming back.
If you want to build a loyal customer base and need some help drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.