In today’s increasingly competitive sales environment, there are a lot of great reasons to avoid taking your existing customers for granted. Not only do statistics suggest that 60% of loyal customers purchase more frequently, they spend 67% more than new customers.
Customer retention drives profitability. So if you’re looking for the means to hang onto more clients, consider these 5 ways to earn loyalty from your customers.
1. Strive to exceed their expectations
Aiming for outstanding customer service, always, is important. More than two-thirds of customers say they’d spend more with a company that provides better customer service, while one-third would consider switching companies after a single poor-service event.
To exceed client expectations more often, focus on:
- Putting service quality ahead of speed
- Developing a friendly rapport with your customers (by finding common ground, for example)
- Watching for customer service opportunities that let you go the extra mile
Delighting your clients in ways they hadn’t expected will help you cultivate loyal customers for life – and benefit from ongoing referrals.
2. Make it easy to reach you
If you don’t make it easy for customers to get in touch, you risk missing out on the connections that lead to more sales. Research suggests 82-90% of customers consider an immediate response (30 minutes or less) important to very important when they have sales or support questions, respectively.
To increase your reachability, consider:
- Adding a live chat tool and email contact form to your website
- Making yourself readily available on social media
- Hiring a calling centre
Remember, the harder you make it for customers to engage in conversation with you, the more likely they are to turn to your easy-to-reach competitors.
3. Communicate regularly
Since 90% of customers are likely to purchase more than once, staying in touch is the best way to remind them you’re there when they need you.
To communicate regularly with your customer base, you might:
- Publish an engaging company newsletter
- Automate brief, informative email blasts every couple of weeks
- Reach out by text, phone, direct mail, or the occasional in-person visit when it’s appropriate
Communication is the key to maintaining customer relationships over the long term – whether you’re ensuring satisfaction during the earliest stages, or staying engaged to meet client needs as they evolve.
4. Ask for and act on their feedback
Asking for input from customers is the only way to know for sure if they’re pleased with your product, your service, and the buying or follow-up experience you provide.
Make a point of soliciting feedback by:
- Inviting customers to comment on your blog or social media posts
- Sending out surveys or questionnaires via your email contact list
- Asking customers to leave a review after each purchase
Since 90% of customers are destined to share their experiences with others, listening, responding to, and acting on suggestions when possible will endear you to your buyers and their connections.
5. Find ways to reward them
Rewarding your customers encourages them to view your relationship as positive and highly worthwhile.
With 60% of customers citing unexpected rewards as the biggest reason they’ll stay loyal to a brand, consider beefing up your outreach efforts by:
- Mailing or emailing customer-only coupons or vouchers for free gifts
- Inviting regular customers to exclusive sales events
- Setting up a formal loyalty or reward points program
Earning loyalty from your customer base won’t just reflect well on your reputation, it can directly impact your bottom line.
Customers who form an emotional relationship with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value. So it’s well worth looking for ways to strengthen the bond between you and your buyers.