It always costs more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing customer. Customer loyalty is the result of the previous delightful experience, physical attribute-based satisfaction, and positive emotional experience that includes products or services. Your loyal customers can help you to grow your business faster than your sales and marketing teams.
A company’s ability to keep it’s paying customers over time by creating a relationship between the brand and its customers is customer retention. A customer’s willingness to repeatedly return to a company to conduct some kind of business due to their previous delightful experiences is what customer loyalty is about.
The concept of customer loyalty has changed rapidly in recent times with the increasing use of technology. How many times have you found yourself searching for a product in a store and then opening your mobile phone to check if you can buy the same product at a cheaper price elsewhere?
Today’s customers want to be more informed about what they are buying. With the help of digital marketing, they can easily compare the services and prices of products with few clicks. That changes many aspects of customer loyalty. But still, you can cut through the noises and create customer loyalty for your small business. And we will explain how.
Think From A Customer’s Perspective
Ask yourself, what would you want from your business if you were a customer? What would make you buy from your business than some larger brand or company? What would make your company stand out?
As a brand, you should always have a clear understanding of what your business is and what you can offer to your customers.
You should always start with questions like “Why” and “What”. What is the story behind your business? Why would a customer decide to buy from you? What would make your brand their preference? These types of questions will help you to understand why your business exists and why customers should continue buying from you.
Your Brand Promise
The kinds of service you are claiming while selling a product is your brand promise. Bigger brands sum up their brand promises in a tagline or slogan. Here is an example. One of the biggest brands of the world, Mercedes-Benz’s tagline is “The best or nothing”. It says that either they will give you the best services or nothing at all.
This tagline is central to their mission statement, their purpose, or answers to the questions like “Why” and “What”.
Now you should ask yourself why your small business exists and what kind of tagline or slogan will state your purpose?
Mobile-Friendly Business Strategies
You need to be where your potential customers are spending most of their time. A mobile-friendly website is a necessity for your business now. A mobile app is a great way to create loyal customers too.
Do you download all the apps you have ever purchased from? No, you only download the apps of stores you love and intend to buy from again.
Creating your own mobile app allows you to design the optimal user mobile experience for your customers and increase conversions, send direct push notifications from the app reminding customers to visit your store, reward loyal customers, and more.
Once a customer downloads a mobile app, he is essentially committing to re-purchase from your store again in the future. But you should always remember that a quick way to lose a customer is poor customer experience.
You should never rely too much on technology. It is important to keep in mind that while automated phone systems may save money, highly-trained customer service representatives create loyalty.
Convert Customers Into Brand Advocates
When a customer who loves your product or service reviews them to their friends and associates, that is product advocacy. Brand advocacy is one of those growth hacks that will always work. The customers do it naturally and it works as a free promotion.
People love to be a part of their favourite brand and want to share their experiences with those around them. Brands have to be honest, coherent, trustworthy, transparent and exceed customers’ expectations to gain their trust.
With such clarity and promise, brands would be able to create a relationship with a user, who could easily promote the brand happily. They could also defend you against negative reviews.
Engage them when they ask questions or leave reviews. Reward them, appreciate them, and certainly don’t ignore them. You have to amaze them by going above and beyond.
SEO Strategies For Local Customers
Local SEO focuses on ensuring you are found easily in your local area and achieve better rankings in search results. Loyalty and search should be considered in pairs when mapping out and fundamentally appreciating the total customer journey.
When it comes to customer acquisition strategies, the resulting sale is not the end of the strategy. It’s the beginning of a shopping cycle and the potential start of a long-lasting relationship between brand and customer. By linking loyalty and SEO, marketers and their agencies can draw a line between discovery and customer retention and driving higher lifetime value.
Reviews draw a line between loyalty and SEO and highlight why the two disciplines need to be conducted seamlessly. Reviews support a local brand’s significance in Google search results. It’s important for marketers to note that online mentions factor into how a business is ranked against competitors as Google’s algorithm regards it as public reputation.
By encouraging and leading customers to return over and over, measuring the level of loyalty from SEO targets can create the right behaviours to enable loyalty to form. Search engine result pages (SERPs) are also a great way to manage your reputation as the information can be controlled.
Engage With Your Customers
Customer loyalty will not work well for your small business if you can’t engage with your customers. Buying your products is not the only way to show loyalty. To engage with your customers you can start a loyalty program. Keep your loyalty program personalized. It will make your customers feel special.
These programs are meant to break down the barriers between customers and your business. Social media is also an excellent medium to engage with your customers. Sharing useful tips and information, sending birthday greetings, and extending cheerful holiday wishes are great engaging options.
Reward your most loyal customers to show your appreciation. It will keep your customers interested in the loyalty program. And customers who are not a part of the program will have an incentive to belong.
Ask For Feedback
Always invite your customers to review the product that they have purchased. While you are exposing your small business to criticize, you are also giving yourself a profitable opportunity to learn more about your customers.
Their suggestions will help you to identify and fix flaws and gaps in your service and refine your business. Ask them their honest insights and you may discover ideas that you never thought of. When customers will see that you value their opinions, it will work positively for your business too.
Always be responsive to criticism. Being open and offering to make it up to a disappointed buyer can retain their custom, and demonstrate to others how much you value your customers.
You can also create polls and surveys to gather feedback. Keep everything brief and simple. Anything complicated is likely to be ignored. You can also offer small discounts on the next purchase as an incentive.
Regular communication with your customers is necessary. Email marketing is one of the most popular ways of communicating with your customers. Sending regular newsletters with exclusive offers or discounts on future purchases help to build loyalty.
Personalized messaging can turn your spam-like email templates into powerful engagement tools. Always keep your emails simple and brief. Your customers won’t pay attention to unnecessary and complicated information.
You can notify them about their previous purchase, location to promote local events or information like behavioural data. Data is powerful and good data can help create an enhanced, personal experience for your customers.
Customer loyalty is important to any and every business. Without a doubt, it is profitable and works as a great source of promotion. It is the kind of word-of-mouth marketing that can boost your brand like no other form of advertising can. By applying appropriate strategies your business can attract and retain long-lasting loyal customers and keep your business going strong.
// This article was written by Maliha Khanam. Featured Image made from Freepik & Post Images collected from Unsplash