Customer loyalty is a measurement of an individual’s likelihood to do repeat business with your company. As all business owners know, you need customers to make your business successful. Put your customer’s needs first by providing a great customer experience, connecting with customers, showing your appreciation with reward programs and more.
Building customer loyalty is the key to getting customers to return. Loyal customers drive sales, increase word-of-mouth marketing and protect your business during challenging times. Continue reading for more tips to gain customer loyalty.
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Why Is Customer Loyalty Important?
Building a loyal customer base is a huge part of thriving businesses. It’s how you get returning customers who spend more money and advocate on your behalf.
Getting customers in the door is one thing, but getting them to return can be difficult. No business can survive if the only people in the door are first-time customers. The more valuable type of customer is one that comes back regularly. These people offer value over time as they come back frequently to make purchases.
There is a higher probability of selling to an existing customer than a new one. For an existing customer, there is about 60%-70% probability of purchase, compared to only 5%-20% for new prospects. Loyal customers give you more profit for less cost.
It also costs much less to retain existing customers than it does to find new ones. So focusing a large part of your marketing efforts on retaining customers is more beneficial than only focusing on new prospects.
Very loyal customers who trust your business and are regularly satisfied with what your offer them are likely to tell their friends and family about it. One study showed that satisfied customers tell an average of nine other people about their positive experiences. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most valuable types of marketing to increase customer loyalty.
Support During Tough Times
When the economy is having problems, businesses tend to suffer. Customers that have a limited budget will choose where they purchase carefully. If you have loyal customers, they will still support your business even during challenging times.
Steps to Build Customer Loyalty
Now that you know you need customer loyalty, you’ll need to know how you can build it.
1. Know Your Customers
The first step in creating customer loyalty is to truly understand your customers and their needs. After all, how can you meet their needs if you don’t know who they are? There are three main aspects to getting to know your customers:
- Market research: Market research is when you gather information about your consumers’ needs and preferences. This information includes statistics on the general age, gender or location of your customers. Part of market research is also understanding your competitors, such as learning why customers choose you over them. Or, ask what your competitor offers that you can improve on.
- Data collection: Next, you need to gather more data about each customer. This can be done by allowing individuals to create an account that they can use to purchase products and interact with the company. This is how you can collect more personal data, such as names, email addresses and what they tend to purchase.
- Personalization: Using all the information you’ve gathered, you can get more personal with people interested in your offerings and turn them into loyal customers. Send a personalized birthday message and coupon, encourage someone to come back or remind them of the special deals you have going on. The more data you have, the easier it is to send information that is relevant to them.
2. Create a Loyalty Program
If you want customers to be loyal, you should reward them for it. This can be something as simple as points received for each purchase that can be redeemed for coupons or free items — so the more money they spend, the better the reward. This motivates customers to keep coming back to your business instead of searching elsewhere as they work toward a reward. Loyalty programs are also a great way to collect data.
3. Connect With Customers
Knowing your customers is mostly a one-way street, but it’s also important to connect with your customers more deeply. This entails really listening to them and communicating with them. Connecting with customers on a genuine level keeps you in their minds and allows you to update them with important information. Methods for connecting with customers include:
- Communication channels: In order to connect with customers, you need to determine which communication channels would work best. Email is great for sending messages, but not good for receiving messages from customers. Social media platforms are much more suited to two-way communication between brands and customers. Online chats and phone calls are suited to customer service situations.
- Social media: Social media is one of the best channels for building relationships with customers and spreading awareness. Having an active profile on sites like Facebook and Twitter shows customers that you care about connecting with them and sharing information. You can post new products, share behind-the-scenes photos, host live events and even ask your customers to respond to a survey. As your followers like, comment on or share your post, the business will be able to reach even more people.
- Customer service: When customers do reach out to your business, it’s imperative that every employee offers excellent service. In the unfortunate event that one of your customers has a problem, resolving it quickly is key in keeping that person as a customer. The better the experience, the more likely they are to trust the company with future purchases.
4. Encourage Feedback
Getting feedback from your customers helps you learn more about your customers while also connecting with them. Asking for feedback shows your customers that you care about what they need and that you want to improve. The more feedback you receive, the better you can make your business.
Asking your existing satisfied customers for reviews is a great way to improve your reputation and expand your reach to new customers. People tend to trust reviews written by consumers more than information provided by a company.
5. Improve the Customer Experience
Improving the customer experience is a key way to gain customer loyalty and retention. For example, packaging is an often-ignored part of the customer experience. However, it has the ability to provide value and improve the way a customer sees your business. Offering customers a high-quality box with customer inserts, along with quality products, can have an enormous impact on the customer experience.
Create a Better Customer Experience With BuyBoxes
BuyBoxes offers customizable high-quality packaging in multiple styles that can match your brand identity. BuyBoxes Studio allows anyone with packaging needs to select a box and design it online in our easy-to-use editor. We also provide a hands-on approach to more complex packaging needs.
Ready to improve the packaging part of your customer experience? Create a lasting impression that gives your customers a positive interaction with your brand. Learn more on our website or contact us today!