No brand can be successful in the long run without customer retention and word-of-mouth referrals bringing in new business. And customer loyalty is necessary for both.
Customer loyalty means your existing buyers come back repeatedly when they need a product or service that you sell. They do so even if there are competitors with their own advantages, whether it’s greater convenience, faster service, a lower price, or something else. You’ve earned that business regardless. You’ve built a relationship and earned trust, and you’ve earned the benefit of the doubt and the chance to make things right should something go wrong.
No matter what industry you’re in, no matter how often your customers or clients might need what you sell, use the following tips to promote customer loyalty and help secure your brand’s continuing success.
How to Win Customer Loyalty
- Have a unique selling proposition that’s important to your target market
- Be highly responsive to inquiries, requests, complaints, and all other contact from existing and potential buyers
- Be friendly, professional, thoughtful, and respectful in every interaction with customers or clients, even when a situation starts out negative
- Show gratitude to your buyers, whether it’s a simple thank-you, a free gift, a customer appreciation day, etc.
- Treat your best customers specially
- Demonstrate an interest in your customers’ lives
- Make your customers’ lives easier in some way
- And make it as easy as possible to do business with you
- Never promise anything you can’t deliver, and deliver on every promise
- Exceed your customer or clients’ expectations
- Offer guarantees and stand by them at all costs
- Ask your consumers for feedback and suggestions—and actually implement the useful stuff that can improve your products, services, or processes in a practical way
- Listen to customers when they’re upset and acknowledge their feelings (even if you don’t agree they’re warranted)
- Take responsibility for your mistakes or shortcomings, apologize for them, and fix them
- Do everything reasonable in your power to make a negative customer interaction end well
- Be willing to help out, even when there’s no sale or direct benefit involved for you
- Keep your brand honest and as transparent as possible
- Promote your strengths, don’t point out your competitors’ weaknesses
- Consider establishing a customer loyalty program
- Buy from your customers or clients when you need what they sell; refer business to them, too
- Set the bar so high that if your customers or clients do try a competitor, they’re bound to leave less happy than they do when they buy from you