If your goal is to build a lasting business then at some point you need to focus on customer retention. However in today’s world that is not an easy task as customers are not only highly informed and connected but also jaded when it comes to how they feel about businesses whose interests are often not focused on satisfaction first. Our experience as both a web design company and app design company has provided some insights to help solve the retention issue which we wanted to share by providing our top tips for increasing customer loyalty.
Loyalty is an important concept in business. Often loyal customers make up the backbone of your brand. Think of the regulars that support your favorite local bar or restaurant; without them the business would likely fail.
Retaining customers is not only about providing a good product and good customer service during a transaction, but also making extra effort to increase customer loyalty to that people not only keep coming back, but also are inspired to talk you up to others and help organically increase your traffic.
Tips for Increasing Customer Loyalty
- Include loyalty in your marketing strategy – Most marketing strategies focus on customer acquisition, which is a common mistake. It takes much more time, energy, and money to acquire customers than retain them. Therefore it makes sense to have both loyalty and acquisition included in your marketing strategy to cover both bases. That way you are maximizing the value of each and every customer.
- Consider a social identity – Early Apple users fit into this idea. Your business and brand becomes a social identity into itself where people are part of a “special” or “inside” group. Not only can this create loyalty but also the social concept makes it harder for people to leave the group easily. Yelp is another good example where group events and forums create a sense of identity for Yelpers that contribute a lot to the community.
- Showcase your values – Values can be very important to customers, especially some of the younger demographic. Showing your values, like a Toms Shoes, allows people to react in a positive manner towards what you are doing because they believe in that as well.
- Provide unexpected rewards – Why are unexpected rewards better than expected rewards, say like when you spend $50 you get a $10 coupon? The answer is within our brain where positive unexpected rewards can cause a release of dopamine. This creates a feel-good moment and a feel-good memory that can trigger return visits to re-experience the sensation.
- Allow sharing of rewards – Let’s say you reward a customer with 20% off their next purchase, but they have no plans to buy anything else. If you allow them to share that reward not only will it open the door for obtaining a new customer but also you will allow the original customer a chance to feel good about themselves by helping someone else.
- Ask customers about their experience – You should touch base regularly with customers about their experience for a few reasons. For one, you want customers to know you value their input and feedback. Secondly, feedback and stories are valuable because case studies and testimonials carry weight with perspective customers. Finally they can provide insights to help you fix problems or potential problems you didn’t know you had. All together that adds up to a giant win.
- Focus on the first and last interaction – These are the most critical aspects of any interaction both in-person or online. Ideally you want the entire interaction to be amazing, but when crafting your sales funnel or training employees you need to emphasize the first and last interactions because you want the first impression to then pave the way for continuing the interaction and a strong last interaction to ensure the final impression they have of your business is a positive one.
The bottom line is that customer retention is just as important as acquisition. Our top tips for increasing customer loyalty are all great ways to help increase your retention to ensure you are maximizing the value of each and every customer you work so hard to acquire.