Creating Loyal Customers

Even though ‘the customer is always right’ has been challenged a fair bit in recent years, loyal purchasers and patrons still need a huge amount of attention, care and consideration. Loyalty is incredibly important in today’s highly competitive world and can mean the difference between success and failure.

If you happen to have a group of devoted consumers, there are several advantages. They’ll act as brand ambassadors and be able to promote your business to family and friends without you having to spend a penny. What’s more, if they’ve got honest and reliable feedback about your products or services, they’ll be sure to tell you as well. Competitors won’t pose as much of a threat even if their prices are lower and you’ll be able to allocate budgets that were previously reserved for attracting new customers elsewhere. After all, it is 6-7 times more costly to attract a new customer than it is to retain existing ones.

Unfortunately, faithfulness and fidelity isn’t an easy thing to achieve. It can sometimes take years for a company to form strong and long-lasting relationships with its customers. And even when this landmark has been realised, it only takes one false step or wrong move for a trusted bond to break.

Nevertheless, follow these five tips, tricks and tactics to create loyal customers and you’ll be able to reap the profound rewards.

Create incentives and reward your customers

One of the best ways to keep customers coming back is to acknowledge repeat purchases, introduce ways of encouraging further sales and reward their brand allegiance. You probably have a fair few loyalty cards for your favourite supermarket or coffee shop. Spend enough cash at these outlets and you’ll receive money off your next grocery shop or a complementary drink.

The trick here is to acknowledge and appreciate the fact that consumers are choosing to ignore the competition, regardless of quality and price. If you neglect your customers, it won’t take long for them to look elsewhere. On top of that, rivals are bound to be to on the lookout for new clientele too.

Here at Wranx, we know how important rewarding people is and this is why it is integrated into our gamification training solution. If an employee gets a question right, they unlock a new achievement and strive to achieve more awards. This keeps motivation levels high, enhances engagement and increases their chances of learning. If a member of staff is engaged with training, they are more likely to be actively interested in customers, which is another way of increasing loyalty.

Be transparent about company news and announcements

Not long ago, if a company was involved in an embarrassing, delicate or tricky situation, it could probably sweep it under the rug fairly easily. But now things like social media means almost everything is out in the open and any organisation can ill afford to hide away or twist the truth. So, when it comes to reporting news and announcements, whether it’s good or bad, remember to be honest and transparent.

This honourable and morally correct stance will be greeted with continued faith in your business and ultimately, ongoing sales. Just remember, if you are unveiling a new promotion for recently acquired customers, don’t forget existing clientele too. They are just as pivotal to the success of the business.

Communicate like a person, not a corporation

In order to build customer loyalty, you need to build a relationship based on familiarity and trust. However, if all of your outbound communication sounds like it is coming from a faceless corporation instead of an approachable human being, this becomes incredibly difficult. Therefore, whether you’re sending out an email newsletter or posting a social media update, don’t forget to inject some personality.

Adding a personal touch to your dealings with customers can also be the difference between loyalty and unfaithfulness. For example, if you have a database of your clientele’s birthdays and send out a best wishes email with their name on it, you might benefit more from simply offering a percentage off purchases that day. These personable and distinctive techniques will increase your chances of attracting loyal customers.

Pay close attention to the customer’s buying experience

Some customers will make a purchase based on price, others are more concerned by quality, but most consumers want to have a positive and affirming buying experience. Research indicates that 70 per cent of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. But when you take into account that 89 per cent of consumers have stopped buying from a business after experiencing poor customer service, you start to realise how consequential it can be.

Therefore, try your hardest to ensure every part of the buying experience is as good as it can be. From browsing for products online or in a physical environment to aftersales care and customer service, each piece of the puzzle is equally important. Only when you complete this jigsaw will consumers recognise the effort you’ve put in just for them. As a result, loyal customers should become a regular occurrence.

Listen to your customers and make changes accordingly

No matter how successful your business may be, there is always going to be room for improvement. Even if you believe you’re in the best position to make any changes or alterations, it could very well be a customer suggestion that has the potential to improve daily operations. However, turning a blind eye to these recommendations or disregarding the importance of your customers’ opinion will have a detrimental impact on loyalty.

You might not agree with what your clientele is saying, but the very least you can do is acknowledge it. And if an abundance of customers are saying the same thing, then it is probably time to change your ways. By letting everybody know that you amended or improved an aspect of your business based on feedback, existing customers and prospective consumers are bound to be more willing to make a purchase.

Image By: 10chCC BY 2.0

Written by: Persia Shahkarami

Published: 27 Sep, 2014