It is easier than ever for customers to move on these days. Face-to-face interactions are increasingly rare, and you can replace just about anything with a few clicks of the mouse. It’s time to prove your worth to your customers, and your success story begins with building customer loyalty.
What is Customer Loyalty?
Customer loyalty is synonymous with customer retention. If you are retaining your customers, they are not defecting to another company or leaving you for other products and services. Loyal customers love your brand, your company, and your product. You have built a relationship with them through trust, engagement, and creating positive experiences. Customer loyalty is your customer choosing you over the competition. Every time.
How to Win/Earn Customers for Life
Winning customers for life requires dedication and communication on your part, as well as excellent customer loyalty strategies. These 5 simple steps will start you down the path of customer loyalty:
1. Proactively Build Relationships. Let your customers get to know you and your brand. Show them what makes you different, and better, than the competition. Do your clients know how you add value? If not, tell them. Be consistent with your messaging, and be direct. Show them they can depend on you.
Are you excited about your customers? Of course you are! Let them see your enthusiasm so they can share in it. Present yourself in an open, confident, friendly manner so your customers feel good about you and your product. Build a relationship that makes them think twice about jumping ship for a competitor, even if they come calling with a lower price. A loyal customer will give you the opportunity to keep their business rather than just disappear.
2. Connected Collaboration. Relationships come from collaboration. Having a customer experience engine (CEE) tool like ProteusEngage will help you build relationships, position clients for brand loyalty, and support your engagement efforts. Collaboration doesn’t have to be hard; invest in tools that automate and streamline your interactions. Coordinate your communications through the centralized workspace so you can focus your time and attention on building relationships and creating customers for life. Collaboration will help enhance the quality of the information you provide to your customers, while also giving you an avenue to ensure your customers are happy. Happy customers are loyal customers, which ultimately leads to reduced customer churn.
3. Continuous Engagement. If your customer stopped contacting you tomorrow, would you notice? Don’t wait for customers to leave before you make an attempt to get in touch with them; stay engaged from the beginning! Use a CSM tool to report on engagement analytics, giving you insight into leading indicators of customer disengagement. Don’t go to the other extreme and over-communicate; you never want to be a hassle. Just be certain they know you’re available.
Understand that 82% of customers expect an immediate response on sales, support or marketing questions. Convey the channels they can reach you through, which could include:
- Social Media
4. Provide Solutions. Be a partner for your customers, a valued member of the team who can always be counted on to come prepared with a solution to the problem. Listen. Learn about your clients and what they need. Where are their pain points, inefficiencies, and what are their opportunities? When you understand what your customers want, you gain important insight on why they work with you, why they stay, and what could cause them to leave. This not only helps you with your current customers but could help you to win clients from your competitors.
Ask → Listen → Act → Request Feedback → Repeat
People fundamentally want to be heard, so ask the questions and listen. If you are willing to listen to your customers and provide solutions based on those conversations, they will feel invested in you and your product. Survey your customers. Survey them often to ensure you are always on top of developing new products and services that match their needs. Engage often to confirm you are still on the same page, always be available for questions; and repeat.
5. Focus on Customer Satisfaction. It may go without saying that customer satisfaction is an integral part of customer loyalty. However, it’s easy to THINK you are satisfying your customers while also failing to ASK them how satisfied they are:
- How are your CSAT scores?
- Do your customers like you and your product?
- When was the last time you checked out your Net Promoter Score?
- Would they recommend you?
- What is your customer churn rate?
Loyal customers are likely to think you’re great and happy to tell you as much, but having the metrics is key. You need to know how happy your customers are, if for no other reason than to ask how you can do better and see what your opportunities for improvement are. If your customer wouldn’t recommend you to their friends, there’s a good chance they will take off to the nearest competitor for the tiniest of reasons. Don’t let customer churn catch you unaware; stay on top of your customer satisfaction scores and focus on keeping your customers for life.
Why is Customer Loyalty Important?
It is a well-known fact that it costs more to find new customers than to retain the ones you have. From a purely profit and loss perspective, your financial results will improve as you cultivate customer loyalty. Bain & Company documented that a 5% increase in customer retention increases profits by 25-95%. New customers are expensive. Relationships with loyal customers generate big returns.
Loyal customers are likely to be happy customers. And what do happy customers like to do? The same thing as unhappy customers–tell everyone! Whether it’s in person or through online reviews, loyal customers become brand ambassadors who attract new clients. “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” – JIM ROHN
Learn more about Proteus Engage and how it can help build trust with customers to increase customer loyalty - https://www.proteus.co/platform/customer-success
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