• Mon. Feb 26th, 2024

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Four Ways to Grow Customer Loyalty in 2020

Cult-like customer loyalty is one of the defining features of the world’s biggest brands. From Apple to Microsoft, Tesla, Disney, etc., apart from world-class service, they all benefit from the core of their customers being repeat purchasers. For any company that wants to follow in the footsteps of the giants, it’s immediately clear that being able to cultivate customer loyalty bordering on religiosity is important.

For something so important, it’s also remarkably tasking to do. Everyone running a business knows it’s nearly impossible to keep all their customers happy. But then, to be successful, you have to find a way to make sure you’re keeping most of them happy.

Keeping your customers loyal always affects the company’s bottom line, as long-term customers are likelier to make more purchases and spend more money with your brand.

What are the ways to improve customer loyalty? In this piece, we will look at the four most important steps to take to keep your customers coming back.

Improve your offering.

Where better to start than why your customer is patronizing you in the first place? While there are many avenues through which a customer might come to learn about an organization, in many cases, the reason they choose to patronize you is that they believe in your offering.

However, in this age, offering a great product or service once isn’t enough. People have come to expect continuous innovation from companies. This means that every ambitious organization must work at continuously creating extra value for their customers (old and new).

The advent of technology means that products and services can quickly get outdated. As the market and people evolve, you have to position your company ahead of the curve. Innovating new solutions for customers is a sure way of making them repeat purchasers. It’s no surprise that the biggest companies in the world, despite having many loyal customers, still invest in research and development.

Improve your customer service.

Customer service is the most common term mentioned in discussions about customer loyalty, and for a good reason, too. Even with all the customer data available to companies, customer service remains the most important part of an organization’s offering.

While automated services have improved customer management greatly, it can’t substitute for human customer service. While you can implement automated services for solving small queries, you should have human hands on hand to handle cases if they need to be escalated. One mistake people make is making their automation to human handover too complex. Customers can easily get irritated in the process of trying to find human contact to talk to.

When working with human customer assistants, they need to be friendly and respectful with the customers. Several studies have shown the importance of treating customers with respect. A report from the UK showed that when shoppers were greeted with a smile upon entering a store, they spent 67% more than customers who weren’t. Another 2013 report from Accenture estimated that companies in the US lose up to $5.9 trillion every year from disgruntled customers.

When customers are treated well, they tend to stay with the organization. This is because they feel heard, and know that they will be heard when they have complaints. If, on the other hand, they are treated badly, they leave disgruntled and more often than not, make sure to spread the news to their friends and family members.

Take feedback seriously.

Establishing communication channels with customers is another proven way of growing customer loyalty. Communication channels are so important that companies try to create as many as possible.

One way to do this is to create social media channels where customers can interact with the brand. You should make sure to read comments and complaints on all platforms and give responses where appropriate. If your organization is capable enough, you can organize live chats and ask the customers questions. All of these create visible lines of communication between you and the consumers, which improve loyalty, and will also appeal to other potential customers.

Other brands look to put a personal touch on their communication channels by sending handwritten letters or personalized emails. For large corporations, this may not be possible because of the cost of resources and the number of people to be reached. Little gestures like “Happy Birthday” emails can go a long way for your customers.

Apart from answering queries, communication channels give you an avenue to understand your customers. Every company looks to profile their customers, so that they can know how to serve them better. With communication channels, you have a way to collect information on them. Even the queries can give you insight into the functions of your product that your customers find most valuable or pain points for future innovation.

Give rewards for customer loyalty.

Every system works better when there’s a reward system in place. Customer loyalty systems have been implemented since the 1900s to great effect. While they might not be effective as a standalone tactic, when used in tandem with other strategies mentioned here, it can produce great results.

Loyalty rewards are a way to create an extra incentive for your customers to keep using your service. Airlines, credit card companies, and hotels have loyalty programs which they use to encourage their customers to keep coming back.

If you can’t use monetary rewards as a loyalty reward system, there are other options. Some organizations prefer to reward their loyal customers with branded merchandise. If you’re looking for affordable, quality merchandising, you should consider bulk screenprinting of shirts. The shirts can simply be branded with your company’s brand message.

Conclusion

Improving customer loyalty is one of those things that can’t happen “naturally” in an organization. This is because it involves deliberate steps to make the organization more customer-centric. As more and more organizations shift to becoming customer-centric, companies can no longer rely only on differentiating their products to increase market share and retain customer loyalty. If successfully implemented, these four steps can help you create a loyal community of customers for your business.

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