Customer loyalty is the key that unlocks the door to a business’s ultimate revenue growth. By now, you’ve heard all of the stats. Increasing customer retention by 5% can boost profits by up to 95%, 80% of your business profits flow from 20% of your customers, and plenty of others. These figures simply add up to the fact that retaining customers is good for business.
The question is, how do you increase customer loyalty and ultimately boost retention? Truthfully, there are many ways to skin a cat. Some will work better than others. We’ve put together a list of innovative ways to lift your retention rates to new heights. Keep reading and see which ones work for you.
Tell Them A Tale
If you’re looking to boost customer loyalty and retention rates, learn to tell stories. No, we’re not talking about the made-up fantasy tales from your youth. We’re referring to real stories, experiences you’ve had while interacting with other customers. Learn to share examples of how your product or service helped other customers in the same or similar position.
Storytelling is a powerful medium as it allows customers to see the picture and experience the sentiment more clearly. The more your customers can envisage themselves while using your product or service, the more likely they are to stick around.
Be Real About The Deal
Nothing irritates a consumer more than a company that doesn’t deliver on its promises. As much as you may want to offer your customers the world, the fact is that you can’t. There will always be limits and constraints on what a business can and cannot do. So, be honest about it. Learn to set realistic expectations about your product or service offering and then make sure that you meet those expectations. Don’t promise a time frame of six weeks when you know the job takes seven. The adage “under-promise and over-deliver” really does apply here.
Remember, customer loyalty and a strong customer retention strategy revolve around building relationships with customers, and all relationships involve trust. If your customers know that they can trust you, they will no doubt pledge loyalty to your business.
Is This Thing Going Anywhere?
If a relationship has gone on long enough, it is natural to wonder what the ‘next step’ will be. Customer relationships are no different! While your patrons may enjoy what you currently offer, they may also be wondering what the next level would be – or if there is a next level. Part of your business’s retention strategy should incorporate a plan for what your customer’s journey with your business will look like going forward.
Share with your customers how their continued interaction with your organisation will assist them on their journey to success. Creating a client map for continued success is the business equivalent of putting a ring on it, ultimately leading to a great relationship and a loyal customer.
Go Ahead Caller, I’m Listening
One of the single greatest ways of building customer loyalty and improving retention rates is by asking for feedback. Inviting your patrons to share their thoughts regarding your business allows you to gain incredible insights. While many business owners dread what people may say, the truth is that all types of feedback, both positive and negative, can be beneficial.
Honest feedback enables you to see what you’re doing right and, more importantly, what needs more work. Inviting feedback also makes customers feel like they are being heard, that they are part of the process. However, make sure that you are not merely paying lip service here. Should a client provide feedback (especially the negative kind), act on it.
When clients share their disappointing experiences with you, they may be shining a light on a problem area that you were unaware of. So, take the feedback and use it to improve your business. You will most likely improve your retention rates and garner extreme amounts of goodwill in the process.
Make Notes… Lots Of Them
Ever endured the frustration of having to explain the same situation to an agent every time you reach the call centre? Yes? Welcome to the club!
Keeping track of customer interactions is one of the core components of a strong retention strategy. Companies that do this effectively can seamlessly and professionally manage their clients’ expectations and minimise any disruptions, no matter who answers the phone. A good customer relationship management (CRM) tool can help your business keep track of calls, emails, notes, queries, and complaints. It can also help you effectively manage the response to, or the resolution of, any issues. Being on top of things will earn you a gold star in the eyes of your client and immediately increase customer loyalty.
Get With The Customer Loyalty Program
One of the best ways of engendering customer loyalty is by rewarding your customers. Rewards make us feel special, important, noticed, and appreciated. This why customer loyalty programs remain one of the most effective tools when it comes to customer retention.
Loyalty programs enable businesses to reward their customers for continued patronage. This reward can take many forms, including loyalty points, cashback benefits, exclusive discounts, and other deals. This rewards system creates a glorious circle of benefit – the more the customer gets rewarded, the more they spend. The more the customer buys, the more reward the business bestows on them.
Its stands to reason, then, that people are more likely to frequent businesses that have a loyalty program. Studies have shown that more than 75% of consumers will stick with a company that offers a loyalty program. With most of these programs available as an app on your mobile device, your next reward is merely a tap or click away.
In addition to this elevated customer experience, loyalty programs also provide business owners with invaluable data. Loyalty programs can track critical information relating to customer demographics, spending habits, spending frequency, and personal preferences. This information can be used to improve the current service and product offering. It also enables companies to better tailor offerings to suit their customers’ needs and tastes. Customer experience enhanced, customer loyalty guaranteed.
So, there you have it. Building customer loyalty can happen in many ways and you need to choose the strategies that work well in your current setting. Certain options, like loyalty programs, will find appeal across the board. Whichever option you ultimately settle on, remember that customer loyalty and retention is all about building the relationship. Learn to develop genuine connections with your customers and loyalty will inevitably follow.