Create Customer Loyalty
A large part of retaining a client is making them loyal to your brand and company. But creating customer loyalty isn’t something you can just manufacture or ask for: It’s something you have to earn.
“You don’t earn loyalty in a day. You earn it day-by-day.” —Jeffrey Gitomer, author
According to consulting group Rare’s report, consumers say loyalty is primarily driven by likeability (86%) and trust (83%). And an interesting tidbit: Women are more brand loyal than men.
You might not be able to force loyalty on to your customers, but you can give them reasons to stick with your business. Some options are rewards programs that give them discounts or bonuses after every purchase.
You can structure your customer loyalty program however you want: maybe people earn points toward rewards by sharing your content on social media, liking your pages, visiting your store, buying a certain amount of products or anything you want them to do.
Get ideas on how to structure your rewards program (and start building loyalty) from big brands like Starbucks:
Promote Dedicated Customers
Similar to a rewards program, you can also entice customers who have been with you for a while by giving them a special title or making them a VIP.
For example, the longer they’re with you or the more products they purchase might mean they move up in your customer ranks. New customers could be at the bronze level, ones who have been with you for a year could be silver and the top level could be gold. You can even just label them as “Awesome” at a certain point — it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Or, you could name your top customers VIPs and send them special deals throughout the year. It’s a strategy that’s especially popular in the retail and credit card industries, but it has applications across markets.
Show Them Inside Your Company
Relationships aren’t one-way streets, so help your customers get to know you and your team. Posting blogs, photos, and videos about your team is a great way to do that.
You can feature an employee each month on your blog, for example. Just don’t make it stale like so many other blogs out there. Here are some good questions you can have your team member answer in the blog post to liven it up
- What’s something not many people know about you?
- What was your first job?
- What do you like to do in your free time?
- What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
- What’s your favorite part about your job?
Having these types of culture blogs help your customers get to know the faces and personalities that bring your brand and business to life.
Make Paying Easy
There’s a variety of options you can use to make paying for your products and services easier and ideally, completely automated. When it comes to payments in 2017, there’s no point reinventing the wheel. Companies like Stripe and Recurly have built incredible, flexible payment platforms that almost any company can use.
So how can you make paying easier for your customer? Here are two ideas. First, you can send them recurring emails with a “Pay Now” button if you sell a subscription product. Second, you can give them an option to set up automatic payments. Just do whatever is easiest for them and you’re on your way.
Put The Customer’s Needs Above Everything
It’s easy to get preoccupied with what you’re selling and forget who you’re selling it to. Customers are much smarter than you probably give them credit for, and they’ll know if you’re optimizing your business for revenue first and customer happiness second.
Make everything about your customers and their experience first and then see how your offerings fit into that — not the other way around. Ask what they and see how your products or services can be the solution. If they can’t, then invest the time and resources to improve what you’re already selling.
Don’t get lost in the mindset of short-term revenue goals. The company with the long-term vision always beats out its short-term focused competitors.
Build Customer Dependency
Another benefit of being at the top of your game is that your customers will depend on more than just your products and services – they’ll also rely on your experience and knowledge.
After you cultivate that dependency, your customers will be more likely to turn to you for advice (via your blog, Youtube channel, account managers, etc), which is exactly what you want. Now they’re relying on you for more than just the tangible things you offer.
You can show your level of knowledge by posting how-to videos, in-depth guides (like this one!), interviews you’ve done with the media, etc.
Remind Them Why They Chose You
People have short memories. I mean, can you remember what you ate for lunch yesterday? Surely I’m not the only one who struggles with that.
Customers are quick to forget how your services helped them in the past or how far they’ve come since they started using your company. So, remind them.
Have your services or products helped them increase their productivity or made their day a little better? You could send them an email showing them where they were when they came to you and how they’ve improved since then (with your help, of course).
Think about it like the before-and-after effect. We all love seeing how someone or something has progressed — especially if it’s us. You can use charts, graphs or whatever method works best to show the change.
Anytime you can make your customers see your company’s value, it’s a huge win for you.