Whenever you connect with a potential customer or make a deal, gaining customer loyalty should be your ultimate aim. Why? Because once a satisfied customer becomes a loyal customer, he will make business for you and be your best form of advertisement. Loyal customers are emotionally connected with your company, often as a result of receiving products or services that exceeds their expectations.
- If people like your brand, they may come back to buy again.
- If people love your brand, they’ll definitely choose you over your competitors.
- if people can’t get enough of your brand, they’ll not only be dedicated to you but will spread the word to all their friends, too.
Identifying Loyal Customers
You can identify loyal customers as they behave differently from usual customers in that they:
- Repurchase and give you the first chance to earn their business without considering your competitors.
- Come back to you repeatedly even when your price is not the lowest.
- May become actively involved in discussions about your products and services, giving their time and inputs to help improve it.
- Will give you a 5/5 satisfaction rating and positive word of mouth in addition to recommending your brand to others.
- May be willing to actively advocate and evangelize your brand to others at conferences or in advertising.
- Will forgive minor errors without loss of loyalty.
So, as you can see, loyal customers are to a very great degree and without doubt, more valuable to your business than those that are merely satisfied with your brand.
How Can You Make Loyal Customers?
Being a satisfied customer is a prerequisite to being a loyal customer. Today, there is more to customer satisfaction than just price. Really! Feelings do matter. They’re one of the biggest factors in brand loyalty. Customers today are deficient of the human touch. They are tired of being serviced like an object with robotic responses. At the heart of everything, it’s important to understand that every customer wants to feel you understand their needs and that they can relate to your brand.
- Customer Experience: As your business grows, it’s easy to lose your focus on customer service. Critics say it takes ten good experiences to make up for one bad one. If customers are delighted with your product or service, they will tell eight other people. You must build experiences such that customers will not only return to do business with you, but also sing your praises and invariably act as an ambassador on your behalf.
- Own up and resolve issues quickly: Most customers realize that mistakes happen or sometimes products don’t work as expected. However, if you work to resolve issues quickly and professionally, customers almost always respond in a friendly and positive manner. Moreover, they will remember your service more than the price they paid when they need to make future purchases. Great service is key to bringing back customers to you.
- Make it happen: If something goes wrong, be proactive in letting your customers know. Be flexible in solving your customer’s problem. Never leave a customer feeling that he has not received any help from you. If a customer has a problem that’s taking too long or is difficult to solve, offer them an incentive or discount.
- Reward Existing Customers: Many businesses focus only on winning new customers, but tend to ignore existing ones. Find special ways to reward existing customers and don’t ever give better deals to new customers than your existing ones.
- Be loyal to them: It is sometimes forgotten that loyalty is a two-way process. If you want your customers to be loyal to you, then you have to be loyal to them.
- Engagement: Engage with customers through different modes of communication like social media, email newsletters, providing customer incentives, and customer loyalty programs. Online communities are found to be effective in allowing customers to connect with each other to share their experiences.
- Values: Off late, customers are beginning to judge brands based on how those brands match their own values. When a brand meets its customers’ values, every interaction becomes a loyalty-earning moment.
Wraping It All Up
A study by BIA/Kelsey has shown that earning loyalty of just 5% of your customer base leads to an increased average profit margin anywhere between 25% to 100%. Additionally, recurring customers spend 67% more than new ones.
Statistics also show that building loyalty and retaining current customers is 3 to 10 times cheaper than acquiring new customers. Successful businesses realize that 80 percent of their business actually comes from a stable 20 percent of their customer base. You will grow faster and more profitable by nurturing this solid base of loyal customers, who then do the best job of selling your products and services to new customers for free.
About the Author: