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How to create customer loyalty
Why is customer loyalty vital?
Establishing an effective way to generate leads is essential to your business. You need to bring in new customers to grow your company; however, it’s also important to make sure you’re captivating your current audience and your existing customers.
There are brands like Apple that do this extremely well, causing buyers to line up outside their stores when a new product is released. Other brands, like Blockbuster, were disrupted and folded when competitors came along – partly because they failed to innovate and partly because they didn’t master customer retention and loyalty.
What are you doing to establish customer loyalty? Here’s how you ensure your customers stay committed to your brand.
What is customer loyalty?
There is no single customer loyalty definition. At its core, customer loyalty is when a customer conducts transactions or interacts with a brand on a repetitive basis. Some argue that customer loyalty is merely about buying products, like purchasing gasoline from the same station even when there are cheaper options. Others see advocating for a particular brand as a form of customer loyalty.
Above all, cultivating customer loyalty means consumers will give you the first chance to secure their business. Lukewarm or lapsed customers will leave a brand if they are not being reached or incentivized to stay loyal. As an owner, you must learn about who your customers are and know their client base better than anyone else. This awareness helps a business identify pain points and optimize its products, providing exactly what its customers need.
By creating a brand your customers want to support, you’re turning your customers into raving fans. This type of consumer loyalty is its own kind of marketing, as happy customers will tell their friends about you in enthusiastic terms, often driving a pipeline of potential clients your way.
Create internal customer loyalty internally
Customers who are raving fans of your brand are essential for creating new leads backed by customer retention and loyalty. But before you can secure client loyalty from your target demographic, you need to make sure that your internal team is in love with your product, service and company as a whole. How do you get your employees to feel like they’re truly a part of your company’s mission and core values? How do you entice a large group of people to feel not only happy, but thrilled to come to work every day?
It’s not enough to tell your team members they matter; you have to find ways to actively show them they’re important. Seems easy, right? Yet many business owners get so caught up in providing value to their customers that they lose sight of what matters to their employees.
Look at your company’s practices. Have you created a culture where your team feels valued and excited? Establish this by paying them fairly, providing benefits so they can take care of themselves and their families and make sure they’re getting the time off they need to rest and recharge. Those are the basics. You can go above and beyond by offering additional perks, like company retreats and catered lunches, but even more important than perks is the company environment you create. Make time to honor successes and celebrate victories and get to know your team’s different communication styles to facilitate teamwork. Ask for their input and deeply listen to their answers. Above all, make sure you treat each person on your team respectfully, and let them know how much you value their ideas and contributions.
The role of employee engagement in creating customer loyalty and retention
Exactly how is employee satisfaction a relevant factor in securing customer and client loyalty? As reported by Forbes, the emotional attachment of workers, which is bolstered by employees’ satisfaction with their jobs, translates directly into employees’ customer service. Since customer service translates directly into sales and marketing effectiveness, the equation for customer loyalty is obvious: Business owners must prioritize their employees’ workplace satisfaction in order to boost customer loyalty and retention.
What is the most effective way to maximize the experience of employees and develop consumer loyalty?
Since engaged workers are 44% more productive than unengaged workers, business owners must keep employees engaged through measures like creating trust in the workplace as well as outstanding pay and emotional engagement with the work. To nurture an effective level of employee engagement, employers must facilitate strong and/or effective internal communication and respect while recognizing staff members’ potential for success.
By giving staff a voice, employers can maximize the company’s potential for creating customer loyalty and retention, as fully engaged employees provide more effective customer service. It’s the difference between supporting customers who call in with questions or concerns and putting those same customers on hold or in an endless cycle of automated messages or voicemails. Employees should also be equipped to recognize when potential customers will respond well to an extra perk or if a small gift or reward could turn a disappointed caller into a loyal client. These real human connections are moments customers will remember as they consider making another purchase.
Create customer loyalty by recognizing their needs
Now that you’ve addressed any internal roadblocks, it’s time to think about your current customers. Not your ideal customers, but your real customers who are already purchasing what you’re selling. Who are they? What do they need not only in their lives, but from you specifically?
Getting to the bottom of these questions is not a step toward world-class marketing; it’s essential to building consumer loyalty into each business decision you make. If you have a successful business, it’s due to your clients purchasing your goods or services. How can you keep fulfilling their needs so they continue being loyal to your brand? If you sell incredible shoes for outdoor adventures, recognize that your customers don’t need shoes – they’re looking for a reliable product that will accompany them on all of their adventures.
To build customer retention and loyalty, you need to recognize that your customers are looking to reconnect with the outdoors and need something they can count on along the way. This type of thinking is what helps you create the ultimate customer experience and makes you talkably different from your competitors.
Build customer loyalty by providing real value
You’re tuned in to your customers’ genuine needs and are on your way to creating a brand identity people are inherently loyal to. The next thing to assess in developing customer retention and loyalty is whether you’re adding real value to the lives of your customers. What can you offer that your customers value? Are your outdoor shoes reliable? Are they made of eco-friendly materials? Are they under warranty? Do they cater to a variety of styles and sizes?
If you’re not actively giving potential customers reasons to be loyal, there is no reason for them to keep buying your products or services. But once you realize that your customer’s life is your business’ life, you can understand what they need from your product to enhance their lifestyle. This helps you provide an excellent buying experience for your customers so they’ll never have to find somewhere else to spend their money. Keeping your customers’ prime values in mind while developing and marketing your product will take you a long way in establishing sincere and long-lasting customer retention and loyalty.
Continue innovating for lasting customer and client loyalty
You might feel like you’ve got everything covered when it comes to customer loyalty. You’ve recognized your customers’ needs and are offering real value, but you’re not done yet. In fact, you’re never really done, because you always need to continue innovating. You must never consider your product complete because changes will come that require you to fit the diversified needs of your customers. Is there an opportunity to not only offer hiking shoes, but shoes specifically designed for rock climbing? Are your customers demanding a kids line so they can get their children in on the brand?
As you learn to anticipate your customers’ needs before they emerge, you’ll be able to secure customer loyalty while eclipsing your competition.
Strengthen consumer loyalty with the value of preeminence
Marketing guru Jay Abraham developed his Strategy of Preeminence around the idea of the business owner acting as a trusted advisor to customers. You must empathize with their problems and understand their needs. By closely listening to a customer’s needs and serving those needs with additional products or improvements to your products instead of brushing their ideas aside, you strengthen customer retention and loyalty.
When you implement Jay’s Strategy of Preeminence into your business, you’ll shift your mindset to view customers as clients. While a customer is someone you sell to, a client is someone you protect and advise over the long term. Even if you sell a product such as the outdoor shoes mentioned above, you can still view your customers as clients and find ways to continually serve their needs.
Taking the long view is an excellent way to increase customer loyalty and retain those who are likely to buy again from you in the future. You should also view what you sell – no matter what it is – in terms of a belief or outcome rather than a product. Are you selling hiking boots or are you selling the rugged freedom of the outdoors? It’s easy to see which of these is more likely to inspire consumer loyalty.
Recognize ways to change and improve your product so you always stay relevant and necessary to your target audience. By continually adapting your product so that it aligns with the current and future needs of your business and your market, you’ll secure customer loyalty that will help your business thrive for years to come.