4 Ways to Create Loyal Customers

Steps you can take to turn one-time shoppers into full-time advocates

Loyalty. So easy to get from a dog. So hard to get from a customer...unless you sell dog products, in which case dogs are your customers, but let’s not complicate this. The point is a loyal customer is a business owner’s best friend. They buy more. They’re more likely to try new products. They recommend you to friends and family. But like most non-dog-related relationships, gaining that loyalty doesn’t happen overnight. According to customer experience analyst InMoment, 80% of shoppers said they grow to love a brand over time, with just 15% experiencing “love at first sight.”

So how do you earn that love and transform infrequent customers into “regulars”? Here are four tips to get you started.

Make customer service a 24/7
(and social) priority

The ACA Group, an alliance of operations and supply chain management experts, defines excellent customer service as, “the ability of an organization to constantly and consistently exceed the customer's expectations." Accomplishing that means being on call 24/7 to handle the needs, questions and complaints of your consumers. You don’t have to set up a round-the-clock hotline, but your social media accounts should be a place where your customers can go for answers. It’s an excellent way to engage them in conversations, strengthen relationships and, with that, build loyalty.

Set up a rewards program that actually rewards them

Are you part of a loyalty program that’s more work than rewards? Does it involve passwords, a needlessly complicated points system or eight-foot-long receipts with coupons for products you don’t want? Customers love to feel they’re getting special treatment in return for their business, and offering programs with simple, customized rewards is a great way to build loyalty. Punch cards, instant-discount membership cards and tell-a-friend promos are just a few examples of easy-to-run, easy-to redeem programs.

Ask for (and thank them for) their
customer feedback

Want a customer to feel valued? Ask them for their feedback on how you can make your company, and their customer experience better. Opinions are like belly buttons; everyone has one (again, we’re not talking about dogs). Whether it’s a suggestion box on-premise, a comments section on your website, or a blast to your email list, knowing they’re being listened to gives them a sense of belonging, as well as a sense of pride when they see their suggestions realized.

Hire employees who put the customer first

We’ve all had to deal with people that have poor customer skills. As a consumer, it’s annoying. As the employer of said worker, it can be lethal. If there’s a competitor out there with a kinder, more helpful staff than yours, you can find yourself losing your customers to them. People like to feel wanted. They don’t like handing over their hard-earned money to people who seem unfriendly or disinterested in their business. Your employees are a direct reflection on your company. If you care about your shoppers, make sure your workers care about them, too!

Building customer loyalty requires a combination of attentive service and—of course—having a quality product or service to sell, two areas we focus on when it comes to our suite of communications solutions. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your businesses operate more efficiently and productively.

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