Four effective ways to create customer loyalty

June 22, 2015

Many estimates place the cost of acquiring a new customer at five times the cost of keeping an existing one. However, regardless of this information, many businesses focus so much on customer acquisition that their existing customers are all but forgotten.

Here we list four effective ways in which you can build customer loyalty without breaking the bank:

1 – Exceed expectations

One of the easiest ways to keep a customer loyal is to exceed their expectations of your product or service. The first step in this however is to manage their expectations, so you know what they are expecting and how to exceed that.

An example of managing expectations would be to provide your customer with a guide detailing exactly what they can expect from purchasing your product or service, and the steps that may be involved in the service being completed or the product put together.

Once you have done that, you can then add things to the product or service that they did not expect, and which give them a pleasant surprise.

An example of this could be a e-commerce that sells premium bikes including a free helmet and tool box with their bikes, that the customers don’t find out about until they open the box to find a nice letter saying “just for you” alongside the free goods. Next time that customer needs a new bike, you can almost guarantee where they will go.

2 – Keep in touch, and make it personal

Your customers are busy people, and may have a lot of different suppliers who provide them with many different products and services. Often customer loyalty is just as much a question of being remembered as it is about being good at what you do or what you provide.

As many music performers – such as Lady Gaga – may attest, there is no better way of being remembered than standing out, and one great way to stand out is to keep in touch not only by way of your clients’ cluttered email inbox, but via sending them physical reminders that you value their custom and relationship.

A quick, easy and effective way to do this is to send them a Christmas card every year, along with a small gift. A great way to tie this more directly into your marketing is that the “gift” could just as easily be a voucher for them to get money off a new product or service, or if you want to go a step further in relationship building, you could do your research and send them a bottle of their favourite beverage.

3 – Provide information for existing customers too

Your company website is a portal of information about your products and services, and while it may be tempting to write all your content for trying to catch the eyes of new customers – or even search engines – it is important to remember that your existing customers are just as likely to look at your website than potential new customers, perhaps checking if you provide information about a problem that would allow them to avoid the necessity of getting in touch.

An example of this is how companies in the wearables market will design an area of their website to act as a “users guide”, providing information on how to clean their product or the fastest way in which to charge it.

4 – Keep your branding consistent

Back to the topic of your business being remembered, we come to branding consistency. By keeping your brand consistent across all your marketing channels – both online and in print – you help to make it more memorable for your customers when they are trying to recollect companies that provide the product or service that you provide. As being remembered is key to building loyalty, this is an important thing to remember. There is a reason that large companies tend to put their logo on everything, from their T-shirts to their doors.

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