The data is in, repeat customers are the source of at least 65% of the company’s business.
This is only one of the many facts which demonstrate the importance of customer retention. All the studies in this field agree that having people return to your business is much more profitable than gaining new buyers.
Here are some ideas on how you can enhance customer loyalty based on the latest trends in consumer behavior.
1. Be Proactive in Communicating with Customers
According to the PEGA Research Report on 2019 Global Customer Service Insights, not only do today’s consumers want to get top-quality reactive customer service, they also want companies to be proactive in their communication with them. The report states that 95% of customers want to receive at least some communication and 38% want the frequency of such contact to be moderate or higher.
Happy customers are loyal customers, so you’ll need to provide yours with various types of proactive communication. Email marketing is one of the most effective tools you can use for this, so start by researching the latest newsletter trends and keep in touch with your customers using these.
In the meantime, you can boost customer experience using social media. This is a great tool for sharing content and establishing a more personal relationship with your customers. You should also use social media to generate positive attention to your brand through word of mouth. Do this by organizing contests and posting the type of content your customers will want to share.
However, whilst digital marketing is effective you will also need to use other media through which to connect with your customers. The good old postcard is a tool you really cannot leave out of this strategy as it will have an emotional impact. Today you can easily find postcard templates for different holidays and customize them to suit your customers perfectly. This type of communication will definitely enhance brand loyalty, especially as it appeals to people during the holiday season and thereby captures the mood.
2. Prioritize Investing in Customer Service
For all the power of marketing, word of mouth is still the most important method of business promotion. The incredible advertising opportunities of today actually make people trust businesses less. Indeed, 81% of consumers believe the words of their friends or relatives over ads.
This is important because, according to data from American Express, 33% of customers are ready to drop a company after a single bad customer service experience and if they encounter such issues three times some 60% of your customers will most likely switch to competitors.
Moreover, that word of mouth will come into play because the average consumer will share their negative experience with 15 people and positive with 11. Thus, to win and retain customer loyalty you need to provide the best possible customer service.
It goes without saying that your company should have an efficient customer support service, a call center, and a chatbot to help people to resolve basic issues. All these tools are a must but simply having them in your possession won’t by itself lead to your service being considered “outstanding”. To achieve this you need to make sure that your customer service provides the best experience, and for that you need to make it more personalized.
To this end you should ensure that your business doesn’t suffer from the “multiple persona disorder”. The customer service and experience you offer must be tailored to your customer personas in the same way that your marketing is. It’s also imperative to invest in a multi-level customer support system. Do not forget that consumers of today still prefer personal communication when resolving complex issues. So, while online chat or email will be enough for some basic inquiries, you need to provide an easy route for phone calls and a call-back feature.
Most importantly, your customer support system must be sufficiently well-developed to ensure quick resolution of any problem. This means that any messages you receive via online chat or social media must be answered instantly. Emails and call-backs might take a bit longer, but you’ll need to provide information about the maximum wait duration on your website.
3. Offer More Freebies
As a Merkle Report says, customers are most often driven by a desire for freebies. 77% of them want free products, while 32% want surprises and 66% would like to receive free samples.
Giving customers what they want should be your priority, but how can you give out freebies without going out of business?
Strategies to try include:
- Organize simple contests, like asking your customers to share a post on Facebook.
- Send out free samples to loyal customers before the launch of a new product so that they can try it first.
- Launch holiday giveaways to clean out your store of unsold products.
- Include a “free” product with orders which exceed a certain stated amount.
4. Enrich Your Loyalty Programs
Every business owner today should be aware that customers are 73% more likely to recommend their brand to others if they are members of good loyalty programs. Simply put, people love to brag about the amazing terms they get from a brand, so you have to offer those terms.
You can enhance a loyalty program in many ways, like:
- Use gamification to encourage customers to earn more loyalty points/badges/etc.
- Personalize the program to make maximum impact on each individual customer.
- Leverage the loyalty program to spread the word about your brand on social media.
- Simplify the method of redeeming loyalty rewards so that customers can so it instantly should they require.
5. Support a Meaningful Cause
As people become more socially aware, consumers are starting to look for meaningful experiences everywhere. And yet, they see only a few brands as meaningful. You need to make sure that yours is one of those few as such brands not only inspire loyalty but see higher average spending per customer.
To be seen as meaningful, your brand needs to have distinct values that your target customers share, as well as support a cause which resonates with those values. Be public with your support and incorporate reminders of it into your products.
Always remember that if your ultimate goal is to retain customer loyalty, you need to make sure your customers enjoy interacting with your brand so much that they won’t be tempted to leave even if the competitor’s price is lower. This means you have to make delivering top-quality customer experience the main focus of your strategy and continue to improve it to respond to the changes in trends.