How to Effectively Build and Maintain Customer Loyalty
Acquiring new customers is crucial for the growth of a business, but what keeps a brand afloat and thriving are loyal customers. Cultivating customer loyalty is all the more important now that we’re easing into the new normal and consumers are getting more price-conscious.
This goes without saying that customer retention should be given as much importance as customer acquisition, and building and maintaining customer loyalty is at the core of it.
The Value of Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty means the difference between a one-time customer who chooses you because you’re cheaper, and a customer who will keep coming back to you regardless of the price.
Having a loyal customer base is essential because their tendency to buy repeatedly from you goes beyond just the price and availability of your products/services — it stems from trust in your brand that you will consistently deliver value and provide excellent customer service.
There are also several other reasons why customer loyalty is important:
- A study found that retaining customers costs 5x less than customer acquisition.
- Repeat customers are 9x more likely to convert compared to first-time customers.
- 86% of consumers are willing to spend more online if it’s from a brand they trust.
- 80% of a business’ future profits will come from 20% of their current customers.
6 Ways to Cultivate Customer Loyalty for Your Brand
1. Let customers know you
Customers tend to trust a business more when they see you as more than just a brand. Foster authenticity by sharing your brand story with your customers, the challenges you’ve hurdled, and the values that shape your business, to name a few.
When people see the humanity of your brand, it makes them trust you more — and trust is the first step to building customer loyalty.
2. Get personal with your customers
One of the keys to a successful business is to treat each customer as a person and not just a mere transaction. In fact, 62% of consumers said that they’re more likely to make a repeat purchase from a brand that treats them as an individual.
Learn their names, birthdays, buying habits and preferences, and their unique needs. With today’s technology, this is all the more achievable, so use these tools to your advantage. Personalize your marketing, not just by mentioning their name but also by catering your content to what appeals most to them.
3. Prioritize excellent customer experience
In a study, 72% of customers reported that a positive customer experience is a key factor in their buying decisions. The same study also found that one bad experience deters 56% of respondents from becoming repeat customers.
To create a positive customer experience, be consistent in every aspect of your business. This includes the following, among many others:
- making sure that every product or service you offer provides great value
- establishing a transparent and reasonable policy for returns and refund
- providing excellent customer service through every phase of the customer journey (pre-sales and after-sales)
4. Set up a customer loyalty program
Among the pillars of cultivating customer loyalty is having a loyalty program that rewards and recognizes repeat customers. Research shows that 90% of customers are more likely to prefer brands where they hold a loyalty membership over another brand offering a lower price.
Loyalty programs can be points-based, tier-based, or subscription types. Whichever system you choose, the important thing is that the rewards you provide should be of value to your target audience.
To give you an idea, the top 3 loyalty program benefits that motivate customers are free shipping, instant discounts, and faster shipping, closely followed by free giveaways and surprise rewards.
5. Establish a referral program
As a related point, loyal customers have the tendency to recommend your brand to people they care about. This is an important point to leverage, as 93% of customers trust their friends’ and family’s recommendations.
With a referral program, you can broaden your customer retention campaign by rewarding the customers who share the word about you. It also builds loyalty because providing incentives make people feel more special and valued.
6. Be open to feedback
Lastly, be a brand that listens. Customer feedback is valuable because it gives you insight into their needs, wants, and concerns.
Be particularly attentive to negative feedback — try to look into it constructively and be sure to address issues promptly. This way, you can improve your business in the process.
When customers see that they’re being listened to, they know they can trust your brand, and this ultimately leads to customer loyalty.
Create Stronger Connections with a Solid Marketing Strategy
Building customer loyalty and encouraging customer retention both involve having a strong connection with your target audience, and it starts with a well-planned marketing strategy.
If you need any help with your business, Ilfusion can lend you a hand in every aspect, from marketing to consulting, advertising, branding, and more.brand loyalty, customer loyalty, customer retention, loyalty program
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