The building blocks of customer loyalty

Hand Holding Small We Love Customer SignageTwo of the most important aspects of growing and maintaining your business are retaining customers and getting them to refer you to potential clients. Smart business owners and leaders make significant investments to foster customer loyalty and referral strategies. They understand that satisfied clients are easier to retain, and they spend more.

Loyal customers tend to spread the word to their family, friends, and social communities, which is tremendously influential, and word-of-mouth marketing is free. As important as gaining new customers is, strategies that retain old ones are far more crucial.

Why? The cost of acquiring a new customer can be five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one. Finding the right customer retention strategies, however, can be challenging. Here are five tips that can make all the difference.

Understand your customer relationship. Make sure to regularly review your client behaviors. Who are they? Where are they? What are the trends you are seeing? Don’t be afraid to reach out to existing customers through surveys to gather more information about what they want or need. Make sure you are measuring the quality of your customer service efforts and consider outsourcing if your internal team isn’t providing the level of customer service your customers demand. Use any information or data you collect to create targeted retention strategies that will keep your clients engaged.

Build your brand and evolve. The quality of your product or service influences brand loyalty. Keep things fresh by changing and updating what works and what doesn’t. Update your colors and messaging if necessary and don’t be afraid to be bold in your messaging.

Improve your service approach. When clients contact or visit your business, ensure they have a great experience. Any employee who is in contact with your customers must be experienced, knowledgeable and cheerful. All of your customers should feel both important and satisfied.

Personalize communication. Communication through all channels should be personalized. Use the customer’s name, recognize purchase histories, and study their interactions and involvement with your business. Customer communication should be conducted via an individual with a name.

Go social. Social media networks are a major part of customer engagement. 21st Century consumers expect businesses to be socially focused, not solely focused on their bottom line. Clients are more likely to remain loyal if there are shared social engagements. Use this to your advantage and integrate social media and customer loyalty strategies.

Offer rewards. Ever thought about offering a customer rewards program? Not only do customers like the idea of special treatment, or rewards for being loyal, reward programs encourage direct communication and constant engagement. Try to establish a rewards program that is unique and relevant to your client base. Make redeeming the rewards worthwhile and easy.

Include your staff. A vital piece of customer retention that’s often overlooked is staff loyalty. Keeping employees satisfied and engaged is great for business and creates a sense of stability with your customers. Happy employees are more committed to their employers and are easiest to retain. Their positive energy will be conveyed to your clients by delivering exceptional customer service.

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