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How to build customer loyalty

Customer needs must be at the forefront of every business. It takes about five times more resources to gain new customers than to retain old ones. Many factors determine whether a customer will purchase from you again or whether they will go to your competition. Let’s explore some of the ways to retain customers and help your business grow.

What is customer loyalty and why is it so important?

According to HubSpot, “Customer loyalty is a customer’s willingness to repeatedly return to a company to conduct business. This is typically due to the delightful and remarkable experiences they have with that brand. Customer loyalty forsters brand trust, increases share-of-wallet, and helps your business grow without needing to acquire new customers”. 

Here are some of the reasons why you should place an emphasis on making sure you invest in these relationships and keep your customers engaged.

  • Cuts costs in lead acquisition

One of the most well-cited reasons for maintaining loyal customers is that it cuts down on advertising costs. Services like Google ads and social media ads cost money and time. You have to know how to reach your potential customer audience and you have to showcase your business in a unique and engaging way so that they convert into paying customers. With loyal customers, you can skip this expensive step, leaving you with repeat buyers at a much lower cost.

  • Creates long relationships

A customer who has had a good experience with your business is your most valuable asset. They are likely to re-engage with your business when they next need the services that you have to offer, instead of going to a competitor. 

  • Creates ambassadors

Another reason to try to help build loyal customers is that they will tell others about your services. Word of mouth is some of the best advertising you can get, and the best part is that it is free.

  • Increases word of mouth

Having a good ambassador for your service  goes beyond telling people directly about your brand. They are also likely to talk about their experiences on social media where other people will see their good recommendations and stories. Information about your brand will spread rapidly, so it is a good idea to make the most of it.

6 ways to increase repeat business

A loyal customer is the best resource that you have. Once a customer has had a positive experience with you, your job is not over, you need to work to nurture that relationship.

  • Commit to customer service

The number one thing you can do to increase the chances of a return customer is by offering excellent customer service from start to finish. Offering follow-up calls, service reminder texts, and overall providing a high level of communication and service is one of the best ways to build on the relationship.

  • Be transparent

Transparency is another important component of building customer relationships. Customers do not like unpleasant surprises like costs they did not know about. Making sure you are upfront, and all of your policies and costs are clear, is the best way to ensure a positive and trustworthy customer experience.

  • Rewards or loyalty program

Customer rewards are an excellent way to retain customers by giving an incentive for them to return. Loyalty discounts are an excellent way to encourage future services. These often have a better return on your investment than the cost of the discount. Repeat business has many rewards that go beyond the sale, also represent considerable cost savings in advertising.

  • Ask for and learn from reviews

Successful companies listen to their customers and what they have to say. You might be tempted to avoid negative comments, but criticisms are an excellent way to improve your services. Listening to features that customers would like to see in the future is an excellent place to get ideas for new developments.

  • Engage with your customers

Keeping up with your customers through email and SMS is another way for them to remember you. You can also include a newsletter that gives them additional information about your products or services, offerings like discounts or new services.

  • Showcase your values and differentiation in the market

Whether you are gaining new customers or trying to keep old ones, they need to know what makes you different. Your interactions with them on your website, social media, and through customer service interactions all help to reinforce your reputation, differentiation and your values as a business. 

Engaging and sustaining loyal customers is a continuous process. Many times, businesses focus only on marketing efforts on gaining new customers. Effort spent on keeping current customers is a much better use of your marketing budget and will have a greater return on your investment.