Loyal customers are what drive successful businesses. Here are 5 powerful tactics your company can use to encourage loyalty and improve customer retention.
Editorâ€™s Note: This post was submitted by guest blogger, Victor T. Miller. Enjoy!
Nowadays, itâ€™s important more than ever before for growth-oriented businesses to focus on customer loyalty. No matter if youâ€™re in the process of starting a brand-new company, or if youâ€™re running an established brand and are trying to reach new heights of success, customer retention should be at the heart of your growth strategy. After all, you should know that acquiring new customers costs significantly more than nurturing existing ones.
Now, if you want your customers to stay at your side through thick and thin, you will need to build a strong brand-consumer relationship founded on trust, transparency, honesty, efficiency, and of course, stellar customer service. Letâ€™s explore some of the most effective tactics that will help you build a loyal customer base.
Let your brand infatuate them
First things first, it all starts with your brand and the emotional response it evokes in everyone who comes into contact with your company in the online and offline world. Long-term success in the modern business realm relies heavily on professional branding. It is your brandâ€™s identity that has the power to set you apart from all of the competitors in your industry, and create a deeper bond with your customers. When your brand becomes an integral part of their everyday life, there is no competitor that can sway them to their side.
To build such a bond, you will need to create a set of values that directly complement the values of your demographic. Shared values are some of the biggest drivers of long-term brand loyalty, as they shift the focus from your products or services to the causes you stand for. This effectively shapes the customerâ€™s perception of your brand and builds a bond that is rooted in your mutual beliefs.
Think about it, if your demographic is predominantly Millennials who emphasize sustainability and green living, wouldnâ€™t you have a higher chance of building a loyal relationship with them if you integrated the same values into your brandâ€™s personality, tone of voice, storytelling, and operations?
Focus on engagement and communication
It should go without saying that the modern customer wants to communicate with their chosen brands. In this day and age of global connectivity via a number of direct communication tools, it only stands to reason that customers would text, call, and email their brands with queries and problems in an attempt to resolve their issues as quickly as possible. But engagement and communication go far beyond answering the phone day and night â€“ itâ€™s also about personalization.
When you give customers the ability to contact you via direct messaging, social media, email, and phone, you are essentially telling them that they matter and that you are always there to answer their exact needs. Couple direct communication with social media engagement, answering comments on blog posts, and partaking in discussions on relevant forums, and you will become the leader every customer needs.
Optimize your online presentation
In an attempt to keep your customers at your side, you might not prioritize your siteâ€™s design or the overall performance of your online presentation. In reality, though, web design is another crucial element of customer loyalty (and acquisition) that you should rank at the top of your list of priorities. Concretely, you need to optimize your website for stellar performance and UX. This becomes especially important in highly competitive regions and industries, so take note.
Business leaders operating in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia make sure to use local web hosting in Australia in order to improve the speed and responsiveness of their websites, and make browsing for local audiences a breeze. Companies in Munich or Berlin use German web designers to create user-friendly mobile experiences. The same goes for London, Hong Kong, New York, or any other competitive market. Couple fast loading times with a modern, clutter-free look and a set of brand visuals that set you apart from the rest of players in your niche, and you will not only stand out but also keep customers on your website and reduce your bounce rate.
Go the extra mile with customer service
Circling back to the â€śproblemâ€ť of communication and engagement, customers nowadays want their brands to be available 24/7 to answer their questions and resolve their problems as promptly as humanly possible. However, keep in mind that stellar customer service is not just about picking up the phone quickly, itâ€™s also about delivering quality, being honest, and putting on a dazzling smile to boot.
The service you provide to your customers will be measured by a number of key variables, so you need to make sure that your customer service agents are up to the task. They need to be skilled and experienced, they need to understand the customers and their needs, and they need to portray your brandâ€™s values and image throughout the conversation.
Offer compelling incentives and rewards
Premium customers deserve premium treatment. One of the best ways to keep customers coming back and keep them away from your competitors is to offer compelling incentives on a regular basis. This means creating comprehensive loyalty programs that actually bring value to the consumers. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can stay on your customersâ€™ good side and preserve the image of an amazing brand they know and love.
Consider everything from branded gift cards, to special deals and discounts for your long-term customers, and be sure to give a select number of loyal brand followers a free upgrade on some of your products and services. Itâ€™s this type of attention and customer appreciation that will boost retention, and customer acquisition as well.
To succeed in the over-saturated marketplace, you need to shift your focus from short-term customer acquisition to long-term customer retention and lifelong loyalty. This is where true value lies. This is the key to taking your brand forward as a whole.
About the Author:
Victor T. Miller, a Sydney-based business and marketing specialist who has expanded businesses over 5 years. Regular contributor at Bizzmark blog. I am a person who loves to inform people about the latest news in the industry also as sharing tips and advice based on my professional experience and knowledge.