Increase Your Profitability: 7 Strategies for Customer Loyalty
Major Points of the Article
There are more than 7 Strategies for customer loyalty, however, these are the most efficient
Providing excellent post-service support is a great way to differentiate your business
Loyalty from your customers is built from trust
Giving rewards and gamifying your business can increase repeated sales
Survey your customers to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your business
Every business owner's dream is to have a company that one day can be sustainable and makes it big in the business world. They study the best strategies to market their business and invest in research and development to ensure their product stands out from the rest; yet, they are still disappointed when their profits, or lack thereof, are not meeting their expectations. Although there could be many factors limiting your business's growth, one key area could be a lack of customer loyalty.
Loyal Customers Build The Foundation Of Any Growing Business
No matter how good your product or service may be, you will not be able to obtain significant growth if you have to attract new customers constantly. However, a loyal returning customer base will provide you with a reliable steady revenue stream that will sustain your business while they also advocate and promote you. As this customer base grows, so too will your business.
Thus, building a loyal customer base should be one of your key marketing strategies, as it is a relatively low-cost endeavour while providing a noteworthy return on your investment.
How You Can Improve The Customer Loyalty Within Your Business?
There are of course many ways to achieve this and some will be more effective than others if implemented into your business. To begin with, here are 7 proven strategies that can increase your profitability.
1. Always provide support for your customers
No matter what kind of business you have, there will always be questions and queries regarding the product or service you offer. Providing a reliable and robust customer support network will help retain your existing customers and show that you care about the post-sales service.
Think about the times you had an issue with one of the products you purchased, and you dialled the company's hotline, simply to be put on hold for minutes only to be transferred to an automated voice recording. How did that make you feel? Probably very annoyed and you most likely do not use them anymore or are very frustrated with them. You probably have told your friends and family about the experience. That negative experience has lowered your customer loyalty towards that brand and in the people around you.
However, providing support is not as simple as creating a customer support hotline. It's also the speed, quality and personable experience that they are looking for.
2. Build Trust Amongst Your Customers
Businesses often view profits as a numbers game, and their end goal is to obtain as many customers as they can in order to maximise their profits. Although that mindset isn't wrong, you should also focus on building trust with your customers.
Trust is critical, especially when you hope that your current customers will promote your business to their peers. Without making a relationship with your customer, they are unlikely to trust your business due to not understanding who you are and your goals.
Take Apple as an example. Despite their smartphones and laptops being more expensive than their competitors, Apple's customers continue to remain loyal to them. They trust Apple to deliver high-quality products and are willing to pay a premium for them while recommending other non-Apple users to purchase their products. This loyalty built from trust is invaluable to any company as customers will continuously come back to the business.
Building trust within your business will be invaluable to you too.
3. Follow up with your Customers
People often tend to focus on closing the sale and reaping the profits from it, but one commonly overlooked aspect is the post-sale service. It is vital to have a customer service team ready to answer your consumers' queries, but a simple follow-up email or phone call can show a genuine appreciation for doing business with you.
When following up with a customer, you do not necessarily need to limit yourself purely to business talk. If a customer seems more open, a friendly chat with them about their life and family can show that you are trying to form a genuine relationship. These relationships are highly beneficial as the customer will think about you and your business preferentially when they need help again.
These preferential relationships can even be the deciding factor if a competitor is trying to win the customer by undercutting your price.
4. Reward your Loyal Customers
Being rewarded while completing a task is often seen as a good motivator, especially if it is boring or laborious. This is because being rewarded triggers special pathways within our brains that make us feel good and encourages us to seek out more rewards.
One way you can reward your customers is to 'gamify' your product or service with a rewards programme. Gamification, coined by Bret Terrill, is defined as taking game mechanics and applying them to other web properties to increase engagement. An article written by Manuella Masari states that 30 out of 56 parent banks have experimented with gamification by using a loyalty point programme. It is helpful because it makes the process less dull while motivating the user to continue using their service due to the prizes they could receive at the end.
One big example of a rewards-based programme is the Everyday Rewards Card from Woolworths. It is a system that rewards shoppers with points for every dollar they spend in exchange for Qantas Frequent Flyer Points or discounts for their next purchase when they achieve enough points. This can be beneficial as the points the consumer receives are seen as a rewarding incentive and will make the consumer want to spend more money within Woolworths.
What gamification can you implement to build customer loyalty?
5. Survey your Customers
Another simple way to improve the relationship with your customers is by surveying your customers. The information obtained by these surveys can help in your decision-making to enhance their experience. With this improved customer experience alignment, you can avoid over-investing in unnecessary sectors while increasing your profitability.
It also helps to empower your customer as they now have a voice and shows that you care about them and are making an effort to enhance your business to serve them better.
6. Adopt a Customership Relation Management (CRM) Service
The purpose of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is to help you better manage the relationships and interactions with customers, and potential customers.
CRM systems come in many shapes and forms. One example can be Woolworths Everyday Rewards, as mentioned above in gamification. Their system works by using the user data collected through the transactions the member makes while shopping at a Woolworths grocery store or any of their affiliated partners.
Essentially, whenever a customer purchases a product and scans their Everyday Rewards card, their purchases are automatically logged into the system, and it builds a portfolio of the user's shopping behaviour.
Such information is beneficial to any business owner as it will allow you to trigger targeted emails or notifications that are specifically personalised towards that customer, based on their purchasing behaviours. These personalised notifications are cheaper than running a traditional advertisement with a blanketed audience such as on TV or a newspaper ad, thus making your marketing efforts more profitable.
7. Understand why Customers are leaving
Although it is never pleasant to hear that you are losing a customer, as a business starts to peak in its growth, it is inevitable that customers leave for a competitor. Fret not, as this is a natural occurrence as competition drives innovation and the industry forward.
Even though your customers are leaving, you can use this opportunity to improve your business. Essentially, it is important to understand why your customers are leaving as there could be various factors you can implement to stop this from occurring in the future.
Identifying your underlying flaws may not bring back your lost customers, but it will strengthen the ties with your existing ones. It would help if you also adopted a continuous improvement strategy so that your business doesn't stagnate and fall behind your competition.
With everything said, customer loyalty can't be built overnight, as it is a slow and steady process of building the right foundations for it to flourish over time. Customer loyalty will help you better retain your current customers while also retaining a steady flow of income as you will have a reliable customer base. This will enable you to focus on improving your business while increasing the efficiency of marketing.
As your loyal customer base grows, so too will your profits. In fact, how strong is your customer loyalty? Do you want to strengthen your customer base, but aren't sure where to start? Then you should consider Paradelta Strategy, a business strategy and brand equity building company that specialises in this area to review and improve your business. Over the years, we have helped businesses across Australia to grow and expand, nationally and internationally, and grow significantly in profits. To get assistance with your business, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a no-obligation discovery call here.