6 fail-proof ways to build customer loyalty
While new customers are great news for small firms, repeat business is essential if your business is to thrive. But how do you encourage customers to keep coming back? You deliver the best possible customer experience so they keep coming back for more…
Customer service can make or break your business. 68% of British consumers are willing to spend more with a company they believe provides excellent customer service, according to research from AmericanExpress.
Another report from customer experience management specialist Medallia, reveals that almost two-thirds of consumers avoid a brand because they had a negative experience over the past year. Additionally, 47% of consumers avoided a brand that has earned a negative online reputation or negative reviews on social media.
This is why customer loyalty hinges on good customer experience. Here are six ways you can get started.
1. Think customer relationship, not a transaction
The customer relationship is a beautiful exchange process. It’s more than just a mere transaction. One which the business provides value and in return grows customer loyalty. Learn how to keep the exchange process by going through active engagement. Identify what their needs are and be there for support.
When consumers choose a company to do business with they will always pick the one that provides the best value for them. Ask yourself ‘are you providing the best value for customers?’ Do they feel appreciated for their purchases and visits to your company?
2. A personalised service
Every business knows that the customer is king. But the key to making customers feel that way is by tailoring and adapting the service you offer. Paying attention to their likes and dislikes, remembering regular customers’ names, or even recalling previous conversations all adds to the feeling of personalisation. You can even do this as a digital business that relies on eCommerce.
In fact, if you’re not using eCommerce personalisation, there’s a chance you’re losing revenue. In the last year, businesses have lost $756bn because of poor personalisation. If you get it right, however, your business could boost profit by 15% by 2020, according to Gartner. Rewards or discounts for repeat or bulk purchases are also worth considering.
3. Encouragement to spread the word
How often have you dined at a great restaurant and urged a friend to visit? Word of mouth is one of the most reliable marketing methods out there. Even in the digital world, the authenticity of real human advice will not go away.
Both social media and traditional word of mouth can be powerful in influencing the perception of your business among prospective customers you haven’t yet met. Recommendations from friends and family are the key motivator when it comes to encouraging consumers to try doing business with a new company, more important than a sale or promotion.
Harnessing the power of recommendations through your businesses’ social channels can be a low-cost and easy way to engage prospects. For starters, encourage satisfied customers to review your business or products, or share promotions or special offers with those that follow you so that they can actively spread the word.
4. Turning all experiences into opportunities
One negative experience is enough to stop a customer from revisiting or buying from you ever again. It’s clear that bad experiences can negatively impact your bottom line. Of course, businesses strive to deliver the best service every time, but on rare occasions, this might not be possible.
Negative reviews online can be just as damaging as an angry customer in your physical store. Search engines automatically pick up negative reviews thus will rank your website lower in search results. Bad customer reviews can cause reputational damage leading to distrust in the company brand. It can also be hard to regain trust within the brand once the reputation is tarnished.
So what do you do if your brand has taken a hit online? We’ll be exploring this topic in more detail next month.
5. Recognise the value of your frontline staff
Customers will often form an opinion about a company based on the person they have dealt with the most. The front line staff is the ‘face’ of your business. If necessary, consider formal customer service training for front line staff so that they feel totally confident. Empowering staff in this way helps to ensure that customers get a positive, and more importantly, consistent level of service regardless of who they deal with.
If you’re the owner of the business, then you’ll no doubt meet these credentials; however, you may not be in a customer-facing role every day. That’s why it’s important to ensure all of your frontline staff understand your business’ vision and values as well as your product or service.
6. Go the extra mile
It never hurts to go the extra mile if the results mean customer happiness. Small gestures can make big differences in customer loyalty. Add a new sample next time a customer makes a purchase. Keep educating consumers about upcoming products and services to maintain informative engagement.
Exceeding customer expectations with great service provides an excellent opportunity to boost customer loyalty and inevitably increase individual customer spending. It’s evident that a little can go a long way – putting customer care at the heart of what you do will be key to benefitting from the ‘domino effect’.
How Prosper² can help
Prosper² uses a powerful yet simple loyalty strategy to transform the business potential of all our SME clients. Our leading philosophy is “repeat customers are rewarded and businesses increase sales”.
More importantly, Prosper² is a quick, cheap and easy to implement points-based loyalty programme. We are flexible and adapt to the needs of your business all in a cost-effective manner.
How does Prosper² build strong relationships with clients? By connecting at an emotive level and acting as an advocate for customer loyalty. Learn to win, maximise and retain customers as a Prosper² member here.