Loyal customers are good for business. In fact, acquiring a new customer can cost 5x more than retaining an existing customer.
Now the big question is, “How do we attract/create more loyal customers?” Besides having a fantastic product that people can’t get enough of, there are several things you can do to improve the customer experience and encourage customers to come back.
Here are our top eight tips for building customer loyalty.
1. Offer Subscriptions
When you think about it, the best way to get repeat customers is to build repetition into your product or service. By giving your customers a subscription option, they can purchase your product over and over without having to think about it. And you won’t have to think about it either; you can increase your customer lifetime value in your sleep by simply offering a subscription option. Managing a subscription-based business model can be challenging, that’s why FastSpring offers all of the features and solutions you need so you can focus on building and perfecting your digital products.
2. Communicate Regularly
If you want to garner customer loyalty, you have to stay top-of-mind. And the best way to do that is to communicate often. As an online business, the best channels to reach your customers are email and social media. That means you need to send out regular email blasts that spotlight new products, content, deals, and other industry news. While you want your emails to be regular, make sure you’re not spamming your customers. Nobody wants that.
For social media, the rule of thumb is to be active. Be sure to echo the content shared in your email blasts, but then post any other interesting, relevant content. Just make sure all posts are consistent with your brand guidelines.
And while you’re hanging out on social, respond to any negative and positive posts about your brand. Make it a habit to search social platforms each day and try to resolve any issues or thank customers for positive posts about your brand. People will trust your brand more for joining the conversation.
3. Provide Special Discounts
Everybody likes a good deal. So, reward your current and past customers with exclusive discounts. email after the initial purchase with a coupon code.
If you really want to get your customers invested in your brand, you may want to consider a loyalty program. You can create a point-based system that allows customers to earn points and gifts based on how much they spend. Or partner with another company and provide all-inclusive offers.
The main idea behind customer discounts is to be as generous as you can. It’s the best way to thank customers for doing business with you and a great way to keep them coming back.
4. Keep it Real
While the end goal is always to increase sales and improve ROI, every interaction with your customers doesn’t have to be strictly business. In other words, you shouldn’t always be asking for money.
We touched on this concept in point #2 about communication—share product news and discounts, but also post other interesting, relevant content. One of my favorite brands to follow on Instagram has regular product posts, of course, but the reason I follow them is for their daily joke. The joke may not lead to a direct sale, but it does make me like their brand more.
5. Be Transparent
All good relationships are built on honesty and transparency, and the customer/brand relationship is no different. When it comes to personal data, customers want to know exactly what’s going on. To increase trust and loyalty, be open and upfront with your customers about what you do with their information. Will their email address be added to your mailing list? Is their contact information shared with other partners? Is their payment information saved in your database? And be sure to keep them in-the-know about return policies and payments.
6. Personalize Follow-ups
You can personalize the customer experience in so many different ways with CRM software. Take advantage of available technology to create more customized and meaningful interactions with your customers. Even creating personalized emails that reflect purchase history and user preferences will make an impact on customer loyalty.
7. Make It Simple
Sometimes, it’s the little things. Think of things you can do to make the customer experience easier or faster. Whether you make your website more user-friendly or simply remember customer payment information so they don’t have to dig through their purse for their credit card every time they want to make a purchase, customers always appreciate when you make the process easier and smoother.
8. Ask for Reviews
Whether you want a tasty tidbit for your testimonials page or just want your brand name on more review sites, customer reviews are always a good thing. Yes, even bad reviews. Here me out …
Sure, everyone wants a good review, especially on a third-party site where you have no control over what’s posted. But bad reviews give you the opportunity to address customer concerns and make improvements to your product or customer experience. It’s rare for customers to voice their concerns directly to brands, so take advantage of candid feedback wherever you can get it. Oh, and customers will like you more if they see you listening and responding to customers, regardless of the type of feedback.
When it comes down to it, building customer loyalty is really just about treating your customers well and trying to give them the best experience possible. When developing customer strategies, consider these eight tips and always ask the question, “Will these changes make our customers’ lives better or easier?” If the answer is yes, then you’re probably onto something good.