Customer loyalty is important to your business because when you have it your customers keep buying from you even in the face of competition. Loyal customers give you regular patronage even when "alternative economic activities" threaten to disrupt your relationship with them.
Customer loyalty also yields important secondary benefits, like:
- Direct referrals back to you.
- Insensitivity to price (yours rising or your competitors' falling).
- Something called "brand advocacy," which basically means your customers advocate for your brand when you're not around.
Here are a couple ways you can get started putting customer loyalty to work for your business, making engagement with your customers a reality and a priority.
Focus Your Efforts on Building Customer Relationships
"You want to be able to interact with your customers in the context of their daily lives. Not only are you able to provide them with better, more immediate service, but you also gain loyalty and stay in the forefront of their minds." – Wendy Lea, Get Satisfaction
Focusing on the relationship with your customers means learning about them from the very first purchase they make. From that point forward you want to offer a consistent "brand experience" that addresses their needs. When you become an "indispensable asset" for them you begin to stand out from the competition.
Inspire Customer Loyalty With These Simple Steps
"Position yourself at the forefront of your industry through the mastery of your craft. When you put out valuable and innovative content, your brand will become associated with expertise. Obviously, quality is better than quantity." – Fred Hernandez, Business on Market St.
Retaining customers is far cheaper than acquiring new ones. Here are some ways you can keep your customers coming back:
- Good service – being unhelpful or inattentive just doesn't work.
- Go the extra yard – with freebies or custom products.
- Surprise them – a "happy birthday" message with a freebie.
And most of all, keep the promises you make. Do what you say you will do when you say you will do it. Hit deadlines you've set, honor your price guarantees, reach out when you said you would.
It makes a difference.