Loyal customers often make the difference between a successful business and one that’s always struggling. Creating customer loyalty just makes sense: While attracting new customers is necessary for success, getting more purchases from existing customers is just as essential.
How do you create loyal customers? There are three simple steps your business can take to assure that one-time customers become lifelong assets to your company.
1. Offer quality products.
This may seem like a given, but some companies never achieve a high level of customer loyalty because their products break quickly or their services prove ineffective.
Most consumers have been ripped off or taken advantage of by businesses more than once, so they’re always looking for reputable companies with good track records to provide them the products and services they need again and again.
Making sure you always offer the highest quality possible is the first step toward a loyal customer base, and it’s one you can’t afford to ignore.
2. Give existing customers a way to get to know and stay in contact with your company.
Loyalty comes with attachment, so offer plenty of ways for customers to become attached to your company.
Tell your customers the company’s story on your website, through direct opt-in emails, newsletters and in videos, seminars and every other way possible. Then, let customers tell you their stories through online essay contests, polls and whatever other two-way communication methods you can think of.
Always make emailing, calling and researching the company as easy as possible so customers will feel you’re being completely transparent.
Customers are much more likely to remain loyal even in a competitive marketplace when they feel that changing to another supplier would be like turning their back on a friend.
3. Offer customers rewards for their loyalty.
Even small discounts, inexpensive prizes and simple rewards can make a big difference in creating customer loyalty.
Notify existing customers in advance of upcoming sales, clearance events and special purchasing opportunities. For best results, make these offers good only for a limited time so they’ll act immediately.
Send out free samples, free gift cards for certain product lines and other premiums to your best customers to make sure they stay inclined toward your business.
When existing customers see you offering enticements to new customers, they could become jealous, so be sure existing customers can access offers that are at least as good as new customer offers.
Even customers who do not use every offer will remember seeing your company name and perhaps think of you the next time they need something.
Treating Customers Right
Creating customer loyalty is essentially about treating customers right. Offer them good things, a chance to stay in touch with you and a few carefully chosen incentives to make additional purchases, and soon your customer database will morph into a directory of satisfied, repeat customers.
Loyal customers, of course, then tell their friends how much they like your products and services, creating a snowball of goodwill and good sales for your business.