Read on and learn how to build strong customer loyalty and gain a positive brand reputation for your business.
In this article:
- What Is Customer Loyalty and Why Should You Invest in It?
- Establishing Excellent Customer Service to Build and Maintain Brand Loyalty
- Additional Customer Retention Tips You Can Apply
- Why Is Customer Retention Important? | The Benefits of Customer Loyalty
Tips for Building and Maintaining Customer Loyalty to Boost Your Image
What Is Customer Loyalty and Why Should You Invest in It?
Customer Loyalty Definition: This refers to the customer’s willingness to make repeat purchases or work with a business again. This comes from satisfactory customer experience and the value the customer gets from a business’s products and services.
A loyal customer will buy from you even if you’re not on sale. They’re the ones you can depend on to recommend you to their family and friends.
For these reasons, it’s important to build and maintain a large pool of loyal customers to keep you afloat even during slump seasons.
If you didn’t know it already, your most valuable customers are repeat buyers. They may not always make big purchases, but over time, their continuous purchase may even top those of your one-time, big-time buyers.
If your customers are happy, they tend to spend more on you more often. You should aim to establish reciprocal customer loyalty, a kind of relationship that benefits both the customer and the brand.
Establishing Excellent Customer Service to Build and Maintain Brand Loyalty
You know you’re doing something right if you can develop loyal customers. Perhaps the more difficult challenge is maintaining loyal customers.
Once your customers’ experience exceeds their expectations, they’re bound to become your business’ unofficial brand ambassadors. Not only will your existing customers keep patronizing your business, but they’ll also be sharing their experience with their acquaintances.
This builds up your company’s image even without spending more on marketing.
So what’s the key? The first principle of customer loyalty is following the Golden Rule — treat others as you want them to treat you.
Then follow this 8-step cycle to build and maintain customer loyalty:
1. Capture, Case, and Fix Issues
This is a no-brainer. If you want to keep your customers and build loyalty, you need to find what their pain points with your company are.
Capture what is wrong, get someone working on it, and fix the customer issues. Remember, returning to this throughout the process is vital.
It’s important to identify the problems consumers face and address them as soon as possible to earn loyalty points. This way, even if they encounter some difficulties, these customers will still become your business’ advocates.
2. Get NPS Score with Comments
Make sure to check your Net Promoter Score (NPS) to find where you stand with your clients. Get their comments and insights on how your company is doing and how satisfied they are.
You’ll want to keep track of this score and react to any significant changes, whether positive or negative.
Net Promoter Score Definition: This management tool determines customer loyalty by measuring a consumer’s willingness to recommend the business’ great service to other people.
3. Case and Fix Comments
Identifying customer complaints is one thing, but earning loyalty depends on how fast the company fixes and corrects their mistakes. This creates a positive experience despite the initial bump in the road.
Go through the NPS comments and try to fix the problems your customers mentioned. Create a case in your system for development and have your team start working on it as soon as possible.
Additionally, address the issues the customers expressed, whether it’s about a sales rep’s performance on the phone, customer service, or the product itself. Your client will be appreciative you’re taking their feedback seriously and proactively making their experience better.
4. Call and Dig for More Issues
Now that your team is trying to fix the problems your customers mentioned, go back and dig a little deeper. Ask and see if there’s anything else you can do to make your customers’ experience with your company more enjoyable.
Don’t just focus on recent problems — also ask about issues your customers experienced in the past. Sometimes, people encounter difficulties but they choose to not report them, or simply forget to do so.
5. Commit to Earn Loyalty (Comments / Referrals)
Commit to earning the loyalty of your customers. Once you’ve fixed the problems they complained about, get back in touch with them and check if they’ve seen an improvement.
With the ones who are happy with you, ask for referrals and comments you can put out on your web page.
Again, ask about issues the customers might have that you weren’t able to address efficiently, as they might go unreported and unresolved. This will show you’re consistent, keeping true to your word, and genuinely care about your customers’ satisfaction.
RELATED: The 6 Principles of Customer Service
6. Fix All Issues to Earn Consumer Loyalty
If an issue has been brought to your attention, get them fixed! Are you seeing a pattern yet?
You need to always be trying to fix problems your customers might have.
7. Get New NPS Score
Once you’ve fixed everything your customers requested and a little time has passed since your last NPS survey, measure your new NPS score to see where your company stands.
This way, you will be able to determine if you achieved customer satisfaction with the solutions you implemented.
8. Ask for Comments/Referrals
While you’re measuring your NPS score, you might as well ask for your customers’ comments and referrals.
The most important thing in this 8-step process is that it’s a continuous cycle. In order to retain customer loyalty, you need to keep this process active.
Put your customers first and the results will surely be worth it.
A little bit of effort goes a long way in improving your relationship with customers and encouraging them to advocate for your brand. When you go the extra mile for your clientele, you encourage them to stay with you while attracting new customers along the way.
Additional Customer Retention Tips You Can Apply
Aside from the 8-step process we discussed, there are also other ways you can add value to your customers and turn them into brand advocates:
1. Communicate with Your Customers in a Personalized Way
The fact of the matter is, there are instances when sales reps don’t spend time in selling as much as they should. Yet, that shouldn’t stop them from communicating with your customers in a personalized way.
Instead of sending out generic and template messages every time, encourage your reps to know the customer prior to reaching out to them. This way, they can craft a message that hits the right points and that’s persuasive enough for customers to book a meeting.
Your sales reps can also leverage email marketing to reach out to customers for announcements and on special occasions. This will reinforce your sales reps’ intention to build a solid relationship with your clientele.
2. Use Social Selling to Engage with Your Customers
Social selling is one platform where you can build customer loyalty. Here, you can leverage your social networks to prospect and build a solid relationship with your market.
You can respond to customer queries and concerns real-time and address them efficiently through good community management. You can also guide them along the buying process by providing relevant and targeted content.
With consistent engagement, you can develop customer loyalty through social selling.
3. Create Customer Loyalty Programs
This is a common practice in the retail and B2C industries. If you’re a B2B company, there are also ways for you to design your own customer loyalty program.
You can offer loyalty points or purchase discounts for mailing list signups. This is an easy way for your customers to earn a discount and for you to expand your email marketing reach.
You can also start a referral program. Your clients can earn incentives by recommending your products and services to their network.
This is a good way to leverage the credible testimonies of your satisfied customers through word of mouth advertising.
A good loyalty program with easy-to-reach rewards attracts individual customers and businesses alike. The rewards don’t even have to be extravagant — they just have to bring good value to your target market.
4. Make Customer Experience Easier
You can make the customer experience easier by leveraging your CRM and other automation systems. Make sure your sales reps are encoding accurate and detailed information about your customers into the system.
This way, anyone from your team can interact with any customer and know what they need and how to address it. Take advantage of automated systems to give your customers a seamless and convenient customer experience.
Why Is Customer Retention Important? | The Benefits of Customer Loyalty
To enjoy the benefits of customer loyalty, you must first give to your customers. There are several ways on how you can drive customer loyalty, but the most basic principles you should apply are the following:
- Produce products and services that have good value to your clients.
- Ensure positive customer experience for each person in every single transaction.
- Never leave your customers unsatisfied with your product or service.
- Always uphold your brand values and ethics.
As you increase your loyal customer base, here are the benefits you can enjoy:
- Incur a lesser cost in maintaining your customer base
- Converted customers and repeat buyers
- Compounding revenue from consistent purchases made
- Increased sales from product suggestions and upsells
- Free advertising by way of word of mouth from loyal customers
- Positive reviews on your business, products, and services
- Gain customers who have an emotional connection with your brand
Investing in customer retention won’t only benefit your customers, but it’ll also bring value to your brand.
When you purposefully practice excellent business values and ethics, you’ll build a strong brand with a good reputation. That is something money can’t buy, and what customers will always appreciate and recognize.
Measuring customer loyalty is an important practice to improve your business. With a customer retention system in place, you’ll be able to increase your loyal customers.
In turn, they will help spread the word on your excellent customer service and attract new customers.
We hope this guide gave you new insights on how you can build and maintain customer loyalty in your business.
What measures do you put in place to gain and maintain loyal customers? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 12, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.