Getting people to visit your site, click on a link, or step foot in your store can be challenging. Turning them into paying customers can be even harder. To overcome this, some businesses promise great savings or stellar service, while others create a culture around their brand to connect with customers.
There are many ways to score a sale. But how do you gain customer loyalty?
Turning leads into loyal customers benefits your business in many ways. Let’s look at 10 things you can do to earn customer loyalty – and get them coming back for more.
1. Share your values
These days, consumers have endless options to buy. What makes them choose one brand over another? Often, it’s shared values. Customers don’t just buy products, they buy what your company stands for.
Create a company culture centered around a set of shared values. These values should permeate your products, your staff, and every decision your business makes.
Customers often connect more with your company values than with your products or services. In fact, 64% of consumers cite shared values as the primary reason they have a loyal relationship with a business.
2. Create community
Consider the various communities you belong to: your school, your work, your neighborhood, or organized activities. Each one is meaningful for you, and you probably feel some sense of loyalty to that community and its members.
The same is true for your business: a sense of community promotes loyalty. That’s because customers don’t always buy because they have to, but because they feel they belong. They’re part of the tribe.
There are many ways you can foster community. You can engage customers on social media and via your blog. You can organize community activities like local clean-ups or community gardens. Make your values clear, and encourage your customers to get on board.
3. Focus on staff
Unless you run a solo operation, you probably don’t oversee every interaction with customers. Because your staff is your connection with your customers, they need to buy into your company culture, your community, and your shared values.
By investing time, resources, and training into your employees, you can give customers the best possible experience, and improve the odds they’ll return. Likewise, negative experiences result in lost opportunities, with 67% of customers citing bad service as the main reason they don’t buy again.
4. Reward loyalty
A great way to guarantee loyalty is to reward it. Incentives can entice thrifty customers to buy again and again.
Depending on the nature of your business, you could offer a free item after multiple purchases. You can also reward customers with a points system. Or send them discount codes and coupons to entice them back.
5. Don’t ignore your email list
Don’t forget about your email list! It’s a valuable resource for connecting with customers. Let them know about upcoming specials, new products, or sales.
You can also use your list to spread the word about your brand: share stories that build your culture, create community, and demonstrate your shared values.
Email is a simple, yet powerful way to remind customers why they love your brand and products.
6. Use a queue management system
Waiting can be frustrating. Waiting with no end in sight can be downright disastrous for fostering customer loyalty.
A queuing management system reduces wait times, while updating customers in real time as their appointment approaches – or if the time changes. This saves the customer time and helps your team be more productive, creating a better overall experience.
Your customers will be more willing to stick with you when they know you won’t waste their time.
7. Offer reliable service
Many new and established businesses don’t live up to their promises. But having an established reputation for reliability can foster repeat business.
Consumers want something they can count on. Give them that, and they’ll reward you with repeat business.
If you run an ecommerce site that promises shipping within 48 hours, you need to make sure the delivery leaves your warehouse on time. If you guarantee speedy pizza delivery, send customers updates about their order so they’re not left waiting (and hungry!). Treat your customers well and offer a reliable service, and they’ll be more likely to stay loyal.
8. Ask for feedback
Are your customers happy with the service? What would they change about your business? What do they like about your products?
It’s hard to know how customers view your business. So ask them. You’ll discover what you’re doing right, what to work on, and what to scrap.
You can use a questionnaire or online survey to ask for their feedback. Offer a small discount on their next purchase to encourage participation.
9. Surprise your customers
The little things can make a big difference. So try to give your customers small surprises. You could send a discount coupon on their birthday, or to mark an anniversary since their first purchase. Or give loyal customers early access to a special deal or new product.
Surprising your customers keeps your business top of mind, and reinforces your values.
10. Be great at what you do
Offering great products and service, and a strong values-centered community, is a sure-fire way to win customer loyalty. Sure, people want the best deal – but they also appreciate value. It feels good to support a trustworthy, reliable business. Build one, and they’ll keep coming back for more.
Focus on customers
Earning repeat, loyal customers should be a top priority. These are the people who know your brand, products and services. They keep your business growing. And what’s more, they show you’re doing something right.
There are many ways to earn customer loyalty: shared values, creating a sense of community, and using tools like queue management systems. And you can implement them all right now.
Focus on your customers, and meeting their needs with stellar service, and they’ll reward you time after time.