Five ways to improve customer loyalty

Want to increase your profits without constantly needing to find new people to buy from you? Find out how to improve customer loyalty, and keep the ones you’ve got.

As a business, you’re probably putting in a lot of effort into acquiring new customers. But what do you do with those customers once they’ve bought from you?

If you want to grow your business quickly, customer retention is key. Here are five ways to improve customer loyalty.

Trethowans
Trethowans

1) Always prioritise customer service

When a customer buys from you, they deserve the best possible service you can provide. Take customer service seriously – apologise when you get things wrong, and seek to remedy the situation as soon as possible.

Make sure all members of staff understand the importance of customer service – and the issues customers regularly face. Amazon famously makes all members of staff spend time working on the service desk each year, including CEOs. It’s a tactic that works. Amazon is regularly praised for its customer service, and boasts incredible brand loyalty.

2) Give your customers an incentive to return to you

Why should your customers come back to you? Many businesses are fast to incentivise new customers with discount codes or free shipping. But what about the people who buy from you time and time again?

Give your loyal customers a reason to come back. Discount codes work well, but you don’t have to give them away if it will hurt your bottom line. Reward cards work well, as well as gifts with purchase.

Some companies use loyal customers to test new products. This makes them feel special and incentivises them to come back, but it also helps you evaluate new products and services before you make them available to the general public.

3) Offer a subscription package

If you’re offering a product or service that people need regularly, why not offer a subscription package? This means customers sign up for the repeat order when they make the initial purchase, usually in exchange for a slight discount or a free gift.

Although this doesn’t guarantee a customer will return (they can always cancel the payment), it does increase the likelihood significantly.

4) Be better than your competition

If a customer has already bought from you, and you’ve provided a good experience, you already have the upper hand.

But customers can be easily swayed by competitive offers, smart branding and clever advertising. Make sure you’re always one step ahead of your competition. Watch them closely, and keep yourself ahead of the curve.

This doesn’t mean you should copy them – but don’t get complacent with your position in the market. In this digital age, a customer’s loyalty can change at the drop of a hat, so don’t get caught out.

5) Ask for feedback – and act on it

If you want your customers to stay loyal to your brand, value them. It’s hugely important to seek out their feedback, and listen to it. It’s easy to automate the process of asking for feedback, so you can maximise responses each time someone buys from you.

Evaluate their feedback for trends, and use these trends to inform the business. How can you make your offer more attractive? For example, if you’re consistently hearing your shipping prices are too – how much would you need to increase your prices by to offer free shipping?

You might not be able to action every suggestion, but when you take customer feedback seriously, they’re more likely to return.

Photo by John Schnobrich