Customer Loyalty: The Ultimate Guide
Customer loyalty is how likely someone is to do business with your company again. Customer satisfaction, pleasant customer experiences, and the value of the products or services a customer receives from a business plays a huge factor. The ultimate goal is to turn a customer into your brand advocate. Let them do some free marketing for you!
Customer retention is keeping a customer over a set period of time. High customer retention means many customers tend to return and purchase again or, in some other way, not buy from your competition.
You will find that it’s loyal customers who will keep your revenue flowing. Actually, loyal customers spend 57% more than occasional customers, which is why focusing on repeat business is a necessity.
It’s super important to figure out your customer satisfaction levels from ratings and reviews or surveying. Typically, reviews tend to be more ratings based with some specificity if customers want to detail their experiences. Surveys let you ask for more specific answers from your customers. Customer interviews allow for even more detailed feedback on your service or product.
Customer Loyalty vs Brand Loyalty
Both types of loyalty are critical for developing and maintaining good relationships with consumers. You want to get your customers to love your business.
So again, customer loyalty is how likely a customer is to repeatedly spend money on your product or service. Brand loyalty is a gauge of the overall trust in your brand.
I know these definitions seem alike, but brand loyalty measures the likelihood that your customers who have regularly purchased from your company will try other products or services from your company before turning to your competitors.
How Do You Measure Customer Loyalty?
There are a few ways in which you can measure your customer loyalty. To really assess the loyalty of your customers, you need to know these three things.
- Purchase frequency
- Repeat customer rate
- Average order value
The rate of repeat customers is the backbone of customer retention since it measures the percentage of customers willing to trust your brand again and make another purchase. Measuring your repeat purchase rate is a great way of evaluating how well your retention strategy is really working.
Every business will need to incorporate different metrics to accurately measure the loyalty of their customers. When you accomplish that, you can then implement ways to increase your customer loyalty.
Increasing Customer Loyalty
1. Make Exceptional Customer Service a Priority
Amazing customer service is definitely a must if you want loyal customers. A customer evaluates every interaction they have with your business and makes a judgment call about your service.
Your team must be helpful, friendly, and efficient. Your customer support team should be easily accessible and able to solve problems swiftly. Your team should work to answer questions quickly — even on social media. Research shows that customers want service through social media, and they expect a quick response.
Customers remember when they’re treated well by a company, and they also remember when they’re treated poorly. Either way, they usually tell their family and friends, which can either mean more business for you or lost business opportunities.
When you make customer service a priority from the start, it will pave the way for an influx of loyal customers. If you find your customer service isn’t excellent, make changes to fix it immediately before it damages your brand’s reputation. Don’t forget to ask for their feedback! What you don’t know, you can’t fix.
2. Implement a Loyalty Rewards Program
Perks, everyone loves perks! One of the best (and maybe the cheapest) ways to reward customer loyalty is to give your most faithful customers extra perks. This added bonus can look different depending on what makes the most sense for your business.
- VIP programs that customers can pay a fee either monthly or annual to seek special discounts and offers. This program should offer special benefits that are only available to those enrolled in it to make it popular with employees. This reward system for the most loyal encourages them to stick around and gives other customers an incentive to strive to reach that status.
- Point programs are popular since they’re easy for your customers to follow. Each purchase a customer makes earns them points which they can then transfer to a reward, like free or discounted products or services.
Customers want to feel appreciated. Remember, they can choose to spend their money with any company, and they’ve chosen you. You should give them a token of your appreciation through a loyalty program. It’s the little things that matter.
3. Get Email Addresses
One of the easiest ways to regularly keep in touch with customers is through email. Ask for addresses so you can keep customers updated on new products and services or give them a follow-up after a sale to ask how their experience was — and really listen.
Personalized emails are six times more effective than non-personalized emails. Address them by name or if B2B includes their company name. Send coupons for birthdays or anniversaries, send fun holiday emails, all will also help create an emotional bond, and your customers will appreciate it.
4. Ask For a Review
In these times, online reviews are extremely important. In fact, 90 percent of customers say that what they decide to buy is influenced by positive online reviews. The best thing you can do to attract more customers is to maintain a high rating on the most commonly used review sites. Don’t hesitate to ask customers to review your product or service and thank them for doing so.
You could also turn negative reviews into a second chance giving a sincere apology for the issue and quickly rectifying it. This will also let you know where there is room for improvement for total customer satisfaction.
5. Communication is Key
This is such a pet peeve — trying to get assistance from a company only to have to jump through hoops and sometimes try numerous times before actually reaching someone.
Technology has certainly made it easier for customers to find the information they’re seeking regarding your products or services, but that’s no excuse to hide behind it completely. There will still be times when a customer has to speak with a live person. It’s so important to make it easy for your prospects and customers to communicate with a real live person.
6. Offer Conveniences
If you make things easy for your customers, they’ll keep coming back. How can you make the customer experience simpler or faster? Is your website up to date and user-friendly? Consider simplifying your checkout process to quickly add items to their cart and complete the transaction without having to jump through hoops like creating an account, for example — offer a guest checkout option. Answer questions on social media rather than forcing them to call in to get an answer.
Really put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what will make things easier. Anything you can do to make things easier for your customers raises their affinity for your business. Make them love you!
7. Create a Community
With most people on social media almost daily nowadays it’s easy to create a sense of community of your own. Get people engaged. Get them to tag friends and family on social media. Ask your customers to post pictures on social media of them using the products they purchased from you — offer them a coupon for doing so.
You could also run contests on social media. It’s an amazing opportunity to amplify your brand, your products, and your services. With organic reach on the decline, social media contests are a great way to boost your brand online with a minimal promotional budget. With an effective contest you will:
- Grow your following
- Increase your email marketing lists
- Generate more brand awareness
Get creative and get engaged! And make it light and fun!
8. Referrals, Referrals, Referrals
Some of your happy customers will refer others to your business without you asking. But if you want an abundance of referrals, it takes a little work. For starters, you have to ask for them! You know that old saying, “Ask and you shall receive” well, that’s definitely true when it comes to asking for referrals. It helps if you also give incentives that motivate them to refer your business to friends and family.
Incentives don’t have to cost much, if anything at all. This will vary from business to business, but it could simply be a discount on their next order when the person they referred places their first order. Then you ask that new customer for a referral, and so on.
Keep Customers to Grow Your Business
Your customer base is the best asset your business has. You have a database of people who already know your brand, your products, and if you provided a totally awesome customer experience for them then they are your advocate. Focusing your time and energy on enhancing the experience for this group can be a powerful way to supercharge revenues for your store.
Contact AwesomeOS.com today, and we’ll show you how we will get your customers to love you and be your best advocate!