The secret to customer loyalty is that it’s not a secret. That’s right, most of the time, we know what works because we are also consumers. We buy from brands and businesses all the time.
So the question is, What makes us loyal? What drives us to continue to go back to specific businesses for years, even if there are better options available?
It is not as complex as one might think, but it may require some reframing for some companies and larger corporations. Se lets get started.
First and foremost, leave selling out of it. Customer loyalty is about relationship building, not selling your latest product, service, or business venture. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Customers value a company that leads by its actions. Be authentic in your communications and follow that by continually applying your company's values through your operations.
How do you treat your customers? How do you treat your staff? It’s not enough to have an external set of company values; this needs to be applied internally every single day. A company that a customer can trust and support long-term is critical.
Make it personal:
How well do you know your customers? How about your B2B partners? Well, enough to call them by their first name? The opportunity to build customer loyalty extends across all touchpoints. Whether on social media or in person, creating a personal connection with your customer goes a long way. Let’s break this down further.
Creating a more vulnerable and authentic space to communicate with customers is vital. Steer clear of auto-responses in the comment section and even through DMs. (other than general Q&As and FAQs). When responding to customers, try using their names and displaying a genuine interest in their concerns and feedback. Rember, the most relatable brands are humancentric.
The Act of Reciprocity:
When was the last time you reached out to a long-standing customer to wish them a Happy Birthday? or send a complimentary bottle of wine to a customer celebrating a new job or anniversary with absolutely no strings attached? These gestures don’t have to cost a lot of money or take time, but your act of kindness will always be remembered. Just like the saying goes, “People may not always remember what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.”
People make businesses what they are. Allowing your customer a chance to shape, interact and suggest feedback is essential and will enable them to feel like more than just a customer. Keeping consumers informed and giving them a chance to add their voice helps build a sense of trust that grows over time.
Lastly, The most important thing to remember when building customer loyalty is to be genuine in your approach, give and be kind without expectation and without selling.