How to increase customer loyalty? There are many different ways to achieve this, but which are the most cost-effective and efficient? Let's take a look at brand loyalty and how to increase this customer loyalty in a meaningful way as you target long-term value from your customers.
Customer loyalty is a remarkably simple concept with seriously powerful ramifications for businesses. Imagine life as it was 50 or 60 years ago, perhaps for our parents' or even our grandparents' generation. In those days, transport was less readily available and communities were more centralized. Perhaps a single store served the local area – a single store staffed by a small but friendly and dedicated team of employees. Everyone in the local area returned to this store again and again – due to convenience, familiarity, and satisfaction.
Today, brand loyalty is all about trying to replicate this same stable customer base in a dramatically unstable landscape. Customers can now access a business based in San Francisco as readily as they can access one based in Stockholm, Singapore, or Sydney. Today's customers also flit from store to store and from brand to brand without thinking about it. Businesses need to be able to lock in that customer interest. And, to do so, they need to fight head against the tide.
But why do businesses need to fight so hard for customer loyalty retention? Why is this such a crucial aspect of modern business? Let's take a look at what makes customer loyalty so important in today's business landscape.
You need your customers and clients to stick around and to keep on using your products and services in the long term. Building these longer-term relationships gives your business plenty of opportunity to build their lifetime value.
Bringing in a new customer may cost up to five times as much as working to nurture and retain an existing one. An effective growth strategy will target both ends of the process, attracting new customers while fostering loyalty with existing ones.
Customers don't want to be disloyal – they don't want to flit from location to location in search of a provider of products and services. Instead, customers want to be loyal to a business they can rely on, but only if this business provides a great experience. Ninety-three percent of customers say they will make repeat purchases if a business offers a great experience.
If your business is focusing squarely on new customers, then you are resetting your client base every few years. In this context, you will need to work harder, marketing to new customers and promoting new aspects of your products and services. Having a loyal set of customers reduces this need, which means that customer loyalty marketing makes life and work much easier for all of your team members.
We've already talked about how important customer loyalty is to revenue. Well, this is compounded even more by competition. Basically, if you are not working to make your customers loyal to you and your business, you can bet that your competitors are working to make their customers loyal to them. The customer pool is likely to be limited, so this may mean taking customers away from you.
What is the most direct cause of customer loyalty? Basically, you need to be offering something customers really want and need – preferably something they cannot find elsewhere. The first step is, of course, to find out what your customers want from you. Data from customer loyalty apps such as engage™ can help you understand this.
Provisions like discounts and special offers are always welcomed by customers. Your customers might also benefit from exclusive purchases and additional support. The aim is to prove to your customers that you care about them – and to foster loyalty as a result.
Loyalty is always focused on the long term. It's not good enough simply to lock in loyalty for a short period – you need some kind of mechanism that will keep customers coming back for more, far into the future. How is this achieved? Through convenience.
You need to set your business up as the most convenient option. For example, if you offer a members area for your customers, make sure they have all the capabilities they need here, right at their fingertips. If your customers are signing into an exclusive area of your site, app, or platform, they expect the very best in service – if they then receive this service, they are likely to stick around.
You can extend the benefit of a members area on your website even further by implementing a points system. A points system like this one provides customers with points, or digital tokens, whenever they carry out a specific action – for example, making a purchase of a particular value.
Points are then redeemed in return for specific rewards as part of the customer loyalty program. Digital solutions such as engage™ can help you craft and manage this kind of rewards system.
Building partnerships can help you foster loyalty in your customers, but only if you choose your partnerships wisely. If you can align your business – and your products and services – with respected publishers and producers in your field, you are helping to cement your reputation as a business that can really deliver when it matters.
This requires something of a balancing act. You need to find partners that are trusted in your field, but that do not represent direct competitors. You also need to engage in partnerships that are mutually beneficial so each side of the partnership is receiving the appropriate benefit.
Data is everything when it comes to customer loyalty. This data will help you gain the insight you need into your customers, learning all about what makes them tick and discovering exactly what you can deliver to them to win their loyalty.
Digital platforms such as engage™ make it easy to acquire this data and to manage it even at higher volumes. This is crucial as data has a habit of coming thick and fast. This means businesses need the right customer loyalty analytics tools at their disposal to mold this data into something they can use effectively.
We developed the engage™ platform and app in an effort to help businesses foster this all-important customer loyalty. Through the engage™ solution, businesses can:
To learn more about what the solution can help you and your business accomplish, reach out to the engage™ team and take a free, no-obligation tour of the solution.