Customer loyalty can be difficult to get and easy to lose! Customers have to feel that all their needs are being met by a company if customer loyalty is to be achieved. If that isn’t the case, they’ll just move on to the next place.
There are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account when it comes to customer loyalty. Customers will ask themselves – who treats me the best? Who can I trust? Who offers the most value and convenience? Put effort into these areas and you will reap the rewards.
If you manage to boost your customer loyalty, you’ll soon see an increase in your sales.
To help you succeed, we’ve compiled 60 actionable ways to quickly increase customer loyalty. This list gives you all the tools you need to ensure that customers keep returning to you.
By putting these tips into practice, you can get increased loyalty in no time. After all, if you don’t make your customers happy – someone else will!
1. Use loyalty cards to incentivize purchases
There are few more reliable ways to increase customer loyalty than by using loyalty cards. Loyalty cards are easy to create and distribute.
By offering a free or discounted product after a certain amount of purchases, customers are given an incentive to continue buying from you. This results in
loyalty cards driving repeat sales in a really effective fashion.
Make your loyalty cards stand out with your brand logo, a color scheme and some custom imagery. After all, you want your loyalty cards to play a memorable role in the customer experience.
2. Reach out to customers through social media
Social media is a fantastic way to communicate with your customers. In fact, talking to your customers has never been easier.
It provides a platform to answer questions and address problems quickly and effectively. Make sure to listen to what your customers have to say and then act upon it.
You can also share offers and links to your website’s landing pages to make it easier for customers to access the great deals that you have for them.
3. Foster a personal relationship with your customers
Building a strong relationship with customers is similar to any other relationship. Good communication is crucial. Don’t bombard your customers with too much promotional speak, instead listen to what they have to say and react accordingly.
You might get stressed out at times and your customers might get frustrated, but it’s always important to remain positive and enthusiastic about forging a bond.
If you’re a small business, use your role in your community to your advantage and get to know people at a local level. By regularly engaging with customers, you can find out exactly what they are looking for.
4. Send out handwritten cards
A nice way to personally show appreciation for customers is to send them handwritten cards. You could wish them a Happy Christmas or send them a thank you card to show appreciation for a purchase they made.
Many customers won’t expect such a card from you, which makes it all the more impactful.
You could send out these cards after a customer has completed a certain number of purchases or you could be spontaneous and send them at random moments to show appreciation for your customers.
5. Host themed events
Get customers on board with themed that appeal to their interests. This could be anything from a barbeque to a bake sale. Create some
custom invitations that are tailored to your customers to entice them to come.
Make sure that you promote your business at these events. Try and involve your products as much as possible. Include free samples at the event if you have the capacity to do so.
Build excitement for the event on your social media channels in the build up to it and continue the conversation about it in its aftermath.
6. Be reliable and you’ll be rewarded
Reliability is a highly-valued trait that is essential for any business to have. If you do everything that say you will and consistently deliver on your promises, then customer loyalty will be much easier to attain.
If customers know what to expect and that expectation is positive, they will keep returning. Efficiency breeds reliability, because if you show that your business can produce results quickly and easily, it will inspire customer loyalty.
You want your business to be associated with dependability and not with failure to deliver. If you break your promises, customers won’t hang around for long.
7. Offer added bonuses if customers spend over a certain amount
Repay your customers who spend a large amount of money with some enticing bonuses.
This could be in the form of gift certificates, discounts or new products. If there are incentives like this in place, customers will be encouraged to spend more money.
You could provide these customers with early access to your product. If your product is of a high quality, customers will feel privileged to receive its first edition. This can then translate to increased customer loyalty.
8. Honesty is the best policy
Everyone makes mistakes, it’s human nature. That’s why admitting your mistakes is key to humanizing your business.
Of course, in an ideal world you would rather not make any mistakes. But the reality is that you will, and when you do, it’s best to be honest about them.
Being honest with customers if you have failed to deliver what you said you would can be an effective way to minimize the damage. The same goes for any products or services that you are promoting. You should say exactly what’s on offer and not exaggerate what you can do.
9. Don’t always rely on technology
While technology will often be a massive part of marketing to your customers, it doesn’t have to completely dominate it.
Overuse of technology has the potential to interfere with customer relationships. You must find out the real reason a customer is purchasing from you. It’s simply not enough to know how many times and when they are buying your products.
Metrics that are measured by technology do offer fantastic insights, but they often fail to capture context. It can be very difficult to ascertain why a customer is making a particular purchase at any given moment in time. Communicating with customers about why they made specific purchases can help your business adapt to their needs.
10. Know who your regular customers are
If you own a café, for example, and see the same customer coming in day after day and buying your goods, chances are that you’ll get to know that person well.
No matter what size of business you own, the same attitude towards returning customers should apply. You should always know your customers, look out for them and try to build relationships with them.
Make your most consistent customers feel like they are part of the business. They will appreciate being recognized for their custom and there’s a greater chance that they’ll keep buying from you.
11. Making your customers’ lives easier makes your life easier
Simplifying transactions for customers is guaranteed to make things easier for you too. As a result, the purchase process will be far shorter and more efficient.
While it may take money and time to create those shortcuts, the long-term benefits are worthwhile. For example, you could introduce self-service checkouts at your store or offer free shipping if you’re an online business.
Staff should always be on hand to help and answer questions in a prompt and comprehensive fashion. This cuts out confusion and gives customers a clear idea of what’s on offer. If you’re an online business, try introducing FAQs and a live chat option to deal with customer queries.
12. Asking customers for advice gives you a better idea of what they want
Customers love sharing their opinions on how a company could improve. That’s why it can be a good idea to send out a survey and listen to what they have to say.
Not only will they feel more included, but they may contribute some valuable information to help tailor your products to better suit your customer base.
It makes sense that customer loyalty will increase when customers see their contributions making a difference to how your business operates and the products that you sell.
13. Make customer service the backbone of your business
Good customer service is obviously an integral part of customer loyalty. Making customer service the backbone of your business ensures that treating people fairly is always a priority.
If you convey this message effectively to your staff, then the right attitude will trickle down through your business. This will result in less complaints and increased customer satisfaction.
Asking for feedback shows you that you care what your customers think and gives you opportunities to improve on what you can deliver. With this mindset, you can ensure that making a profit runs hand in hand with providing great customer service.
14. Saying thanks can go a long way
The simple things can go a long way. That’s why saying thank you can mean a lot to a customer.
If a customer makes a purchase on your site, set up a thank you page that loads afterwards to show your appreciation.
15. Set expectations for your customer as early as possible
Customers like to know what to expect from you. They like results.
If you can let them know what to expect from your business as early and as often as possible, they will be more likely to believe in what you’re doing.
Try set expectations low and if you manage to exceed them, your customers will have even more faith in you. Even if you don’t achieve anything amazing, you’ll have a good chance of hitting your targets.
16. Let customers know about your results
Being transparent is crucial to gaining the trust of your customer base. Highlighting to them how your company is faring shows that you want them to be part of your growth.
Of course, if it’s results that directly involve a customer, it’s important to inform them. But even when the results are completely unrelated, it can be beneficial to highlight positive results in other areas.
This could be done by sending out emails or by posting on social media. Social media posts give customers an option to congratulate you on the company’s performance.
17. Analyze transactions and examine purchase trends
Keep a close eye on what your customers buy, why your customers buy and how your customers buy. This allows you to choose the best way to sell your product or service.
However, the best way shouldn’t just be the method that makes you the most money. You should always consider what gives your buyers the best customer experience.
For example, if you can determine that your customers buy from you to make their busy lives less stressful, try and promote your products along that line and tailor them to achieve that goal.
18. Provide value for your customers to improve customer loyalty
Selling quality products and services at good prices is one surefire way to provide value for your customers.
Lots of rival companies will be competing to grab the attention of customers, so if you’re looking for loyalty, it has to be earned.
Try and figure out what your unique selling points are and use them to your advantage. Ask yourself what you can offer customers that no one else can.
19. Don’t spam people with pointless information
One thing that every customer hates is getting spammed. Promotional emails that don’t provide any benefit to a customer are a perfect example of this.
Reading such an email will only serve to push customers further away from your company.
Your emails and newsletters should be informative and contain value that will make a difference to a customer’s experience. Include images and email headers that have the potential to engage with your customer base.
20. Collaborate with like-minded businesses
Joining forces with other businesses allows you to give your customers an experience that they would otherwise not be able to get.
Pooling resources with another business gives you greater ability to address the needs of your customers. Improved resources lead to improved support.
Offering deals and discounts in partnership with another company will positively impact customer opinion on both businesses.
21. Go above and beyond for your customers
Going above and beyond the call of duty can give your customers immense satisfaction. Do something that they would not expect from you and you will be rewarded for it.
You might be putting in extra time and effort, but it can result in a huge boost in customer loyalty.
Customers who are really pleased with what you have provided them with are more likely to become advocates for your company and post positive comments and reviews on social media.
22. Don’t let complacency creep in
Even when customer loyalty looks promising, it’s important not to get complacent about it. If you start taking your customers for granted, that loyalty will soon dissipate.
Like anything worth holding on to, customers need constant maintenance. Keep your customer care consistent and thoughtful. Becoming lazy can be detrimental to the success of your business.
The neglect of a customer can happen suddenly or it can occur over time. Businesses need to be able to look out for the signs before it’s too late.
23. Boosting your employees’ morale can improve customer loyalty
Happy employees are more likely to contribute to bringing in happy customers. If your employees buy into what your trying to do, it will be a lot easier for them to be passionate about helping customers.
This all starts by treating your employees well. If employees feel appreciated they will be much more effective.
Putting employees on a training programme will help them understand your vision for the company.
24. Increase loyalty by targeting customers with special offers
Target customers with special offers to keep them interested in what you have for sale. Gauge what your customers are interested by looking into what previously sold well.
Then use this information to tailor your offer to suit what they’re after. By figuring out exactly why they want to buy something, you know how to prepare for it.
Customers will feel valued if they get special offers in return for their continued custom. You could use an early-bird scheme, which would allow previous customers early access to certain products or features.
25. Make time in your schedule for follow-ups with customers
Making time for follow-ups with your customers should be a priority after they make a purchase from you. The quicker you act, the easier it will be to solidify customer loyalty.
Establishing customer relationships is far easier if you reduce the time that you wait to contact them again. At this point they will be more familiar with your business.
Customer loyalty is easier to get when customers feel that you actually care about them. By following up with them to find out how they are getting on with your product or service, you can show that you do.
26. The benefits of being where your customers are
Convenience is key for customers when they are deciding who to buy from. People would naturally rather travel a shorter distance for a similar product.
The same can be said for online purchases. People don’t want to be scouring through your website trying to find what they want. Customers want to be presented with easily accessible products.
By ensuring your website has a clear and easy-to-use layout, you can boost your customers’ satisfaction.
27. Create a community to grow customer loyalty
When you reach a certain level of customer loyalty, creating a community can help to retain it. Facebook is a great place to develop this community. It already has built in features that allow you to easily set a community up.
A community gives customers a platform to speak with each other and ask questions. Positive discussions between customers on a continuous basis in this community can result in the creation of a fanbase.
If you manage to create a fanbase, then you’re really onto a winner. Now you have customers who will always choose your product and will remain loyal to you through thick and thin.
28. Educate your customers and reap the rewards
Sometimes the benefit a customer gets from a business can be an educational resource.
This could be in the form of an online course or an e-book. You could provide gated access to this content by encouraging users to sign up to your website and then sending it out via email.
Providing customers with information that enables them to improve themselves can result in a huge win for you.
29. Send out welcome emails to new customers
Make your new customers feel at home straight away by sending them out a welcome email. Doing this gets your relationship off to a good start.
A welcome email shows that you care about your customers and is a personable way of interacting with them.
Ensuring that you personally address each customer in your email is the right way to begin the journey towards customer loyalty. Include information about how you are going to help them going forward.
30. Be thoughtful with your packaging
Putting your own unique stamp on the packaging of goods can really make an impression on customers.
You could use your brand colors and logo on the packaging or tailor it to suit aspects of the product. Including small bonus items can also increase a customer’s satisfaction with their purchase.
Making a joke centered around the packaging is a light-hearted way to show customers your sense of humor and the human side of your business.
31. Use flash sales to spark interest in your products
Flash sales can be beneficial to your business in a number of ways. They have the potential to clear unwanted stock swiftly and can turn a low seller into a high seller in an instant.
Know exactly what you want to achieve when you begin a flash sale and keep things simple. Customers will appreciate the reduced prices and may find out about some of your other products in the process.
Your flash sale might even be featured on a deal site if it attracts enough attention. This can further increase your ability to attract new customers and bolster the loyalty of the ones you already have.
32. Look into why some customers might be leaving
On your journey to achieve improved customer loyalty, you might encounter some bumps along the way.
One such problem might be that certain customers are failing to return to you. Finding out the reasons for it and reversing the trend is essential to retaining customer loyalty.
Sometimes there may be nothing you can do about it, but other times it’s possible to retain a customer. If a customer feels wronged by your business, offer them something in an effort to reconcile with them.
33. Encourage your customers to create user-generated content
User-generated content can be beneficial in a number of ways. Firstly, you will have content that you didn’t have to put your own resources into, secondly, it gives you an idea of what customers want and finally, it makes customers feel a part of what of you’re doing.
If customers feel part of something they will be much more inclined to be loyal to it. The user-generated content could be anything from an article featuring a customer testimonial to a video of them using your product.
Make sure to be polite and respectful when asking for content from a customer. At the end of the day, they are doing you a favor and their work is not mandatory. Send a courteous email to some of your most loyal customers, as they will be more likely to be receptive to the idea.
34. Always be available to offer support to your customers
In the age of social media, the need to respond to customers quickly has become very prevalent.
The sooner you can fire a message back to someone, the better. Even if you haven’t managed to come up with a solution to the problem, it’s best to acknowledge it and then go about solving it.
Social listening is a big part of modern online customer service. By listening to what customers want on social media, you can improve their overall experience and boost customer loyalty.
35. Communicate your values to customers to find common ground
Often customers will look for shared values in companies that they purchase from. They could be from the same place, have the same morals and have similar interests.
Knowing your market and informing customers about what you have in common with them is an effective way to build customer loyalty.
Customers will always favor a company that they can relate to. Use your website and social media feed to talk about your values and what they mean to you.
36. Constantly re-evaluate your businesses’ pricing strategy
Pricing is obviously a huge factor in attracting and retaining customers. You want to have appealing prices that customers will gravitate towards, but you also want to make a profit.
Proper pricing sets the foundation for a successful business. Getting your pricing wrong can have the opposite effect, as it has the potential to do serious damage.
Do some market research. Find out what your competitors are charging and figure out what your customers are willing to pay. Make sure to think about other factors too, such as how much it will cost you to make a product.
37. Promote product awareness among customers
Making customers aware of exactly what your product does, how it was made and where it comes from can significantly reduce complaints and returns.
If they make an informed decision about what they’re buying, it will increase the likelihood that they’ll be happy with it.
Customer loyalty will increase if they can make an informed decision to purchase your product. On the contrary, if they find out undisclosed details afterwards, they won’t be happy.
38. Be flexible with your company policies
The companies that adapt the best to change are always the ones which have the capacity for flexibility. Seeing a problem before it negatively impacts you can make all the difference.
There might be a policy that has been the cornerstone of your company for many years, but if it’s not bringing results, then it might be time to change it.
Customer loyalty can be heavily affected by certain policies that may make it difficult for them to purchase from you. For example, you could have a very small area that you deliver to or a very acute market that you’re trying to sell to.
39. Avoid becoming stale to stay ahead of the market
Taking risks can threaten customer loyalty, but resorting to the same tactics over and over again can be just as bad.
This can be especially prevalent if an aspect of your niche is offering products that are supposed to be cutting-edge. If you fail to hit the mark, customers will become bored and disenchanted.
Do your research into what’s trending at the moment and incorporate it into your inventory. This will allow you to stay ahead of your competitors and keep customers interested.
40. Deal with customer complaints effectively
How you deal with customer complaints says a lot about your business. One wrong move and you will lose that customer for good.
Listen to what the customer is saying and make note of the facts in the case. If there is a problem, recognize it and come up with a solution.
Effectively dealing with a complaint and providing a solution can make all the difference to a customer’s experience. Sometimes a customer might be so displeased that they will vow never to come back, but by dealing with the situation, you give yourself the best chance of retaining customer loyalty.
41. Buy your customers’ products and use their services
While this may not be an option for everyone, buying your customers’ products and using their services is a very way effective way of inspiring customer loyalty.
It works almost like a partnership, you buy from them and they will likely reciprocate by buying from you.
If you’re a local company, employing this strategy allows you to create a tight knit network of people that will always show support for one another. This ensures that you will always have a solid source of customer loyalty.
42. Impress customers by looking professional at all times
Looking professional is a given when it comes to attracting customers. First impressions are often crucial when customers make a purchase.
Brand image is more than just how your business appears, it embodies how a customer perceives your business and what it stands for. Looking professional helps you to be perceived as a professional organization.
A respectable and credible company goes hand-in-hand with a strong brand image. Customer testimonials, reviews and recommendations go a long way to establishing a credible brand image.
43. Stay on the same page as your customers by cutting down on jargon
A mistake companies often make is trying to get too in-depth or too technical with their product descriptions. You don’t need to use complicated language to create accurate descriptions. In fact, the opposite is true.
Customers will prefer simple descriptions that tell them everything they need to know. While it’s important to include all the details, you want them to be easily comprehensible.
Try making sentences shorter, adding images and creating help center videos to make things easier for your customers. Make your customer experience more personable by providing a live chat option on your website.
44. Hire mystery shoppers to test your own customer service
The most genuine appraisal of your customer service that you can get is by hiring a mystery shopper.
Mystery shoppers will be able to determine how your employees treat customers when they think no one is watching. It’s important to do them regularly and over a period of time, as one isolated shop can’t determine how good or bad your staff really are at their jobs.
Ask objective questions if at all possible, as you want to make sure that you cover areas that customers will be concerned about.
45. Make your customers confident in themselves
If you can manage to help your customers become more confident in themselves, then they will repay you for it.
An example of this is Dove’s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ advertizing campaign, where women are shown that they are more beautiful than they believe themselves to be.
You can do this on a more basic level by using social media to compliment and reassure your customers. Maintain strong relationships with customers, as this will make them feel more valued and therefore boost customer loyalty.
46. Provide them with a mutually beneficial way to recommend your business
One way to indirectly increase customer loyalty is by providing an avenue for customers to recommend you.
Incentivizing this recommendation can be extremely effective. For example,you could give existing customers a discount for getting a new customer to sign up.
Offering a discount for both customers in this scenario will prove to be very beneficial.Using this tactic goes a long way to ensuring the loyalty of both of these customers.
47. Be socially responsible
Now more than ever, being socially responsible is crucial for companies. One place to start is the environment.
Doing your bit for the environment shows that you care about the world around you. For example, you could take a brief break from growing your business to grow some trees.
Donating to charity also portrays your business in a positive light and helps to inspire customer loyalty.
48. Offer product trade-ins
Maximize the value your customers can get from their transactions by offering product trade-ins.
For example, if you’re a video game shop, you could accept trade-ins from customers who have previously purchased something from you.
Trade-ins can be structured so that they’re not direct swap deals or could include a voucher (rather than cash) being exchanged for a returned product.
49. Personalized loyalty programs for younger customers
Younger customers can often have a huge impact on the perception of your company among their peers, so it’s essential that you have a way to attract their attention.
Creating a loyalty program that’s specifically tailored to their interests is a great way of doing this.
After a certain amount of purchases you could reward them with prizes like football, cinema or concert tickets.
50. Gamify your loyalty program
Turning your loyalty program into a game can bring more customers into play. This can help you to truly engage with people and makes it easier to hold their attention.
Creating a competitive and social aspect to your loyalty program will not only make the program itself more interesting, but also your brand.
You could include mini games with prizes on your website or ask your customers to collect tokens.
51. Use unique aspects of your products to grab customers’ attention from the get-go
Apple are one brand in particular that are brilliant at executing this strategy. They release a small amount of products that have an emphasis on quality and luxury.
Consumers buy into the excitement that surrounds a new product release and this in turn drives sales.
While you won’t be able to generate the same level of buzz as Apple, you can still take advantage of your product’s unique selling points. Look at what you can offer that none of your competitors can and make sure your customers know about it.
52. Let your customers know about opportunities and news
As an active member of your community, you might hear about news, job vacancies and other opportunities that would be of interest to your customers.
While some of this information might seem useless to you, it could be invaluable to others.
You could disseminate this information via your email list or offer it as part of a subscription to a service. If a customer directly benefits from it, they will become more loyal to your company.
53. Give your place of business the wow factor
Don’t just impress your customers, amaze them! When they walk into your business premises, make sure that they take time to appreciate how great it is.
A workplace that wows does wonders for a company’s brand image and the opposite is true of a workplace that disappoints.
Depending on what industry you’re in, you could paint the wall with your brand colors and include interesting furniture, lush plants and ample space.
54. Take an alternative approach to your advertizing
There are so many companies jostling for attention in today’s marketplace that sometimes it takes an alternative approach to stand out.
Millennials are infamous for short attention spans, so your message really needs to stick if you want younger customers to engage with it.
Put your budget into referrals instead of the same ads you’ve always ran. Customers are more likely to listen to a peer than a brand. Continuously encouraging engagement through your advertizing can lead to fantastic results.
55. Get an influencer to promote your business
Some of your customers will be more attracted to a company who has ties to a famous name.
Often companies do promotions with social media influencers to raise awareness amongst a younger audience. If a celebrity uses a product they will be more likely to buy it.
A customer’s loyalty to a celebrity can therefore translate into loyalty towards your brand.
56. Have a common enemy
One way to forge a bond with your customer is to have a common enemy. This doesn’t mean brewing up a controversy on social media and hoping some people get behind you.
Rather it should be an effort to make your customers aware of who your competitors are and what they are not doing for their customers.
You can emphasize this through advertizing campaigns that compare you favorably to your competitors.
57. Know what strategy works for you
While it’s important to be flexible, you must be able to recognize what strategy works for you and what doesn’t.
Playing to your strengths might be an obvious ploy, but often companies don’t know what their strengths are or instead invest too much time and money into covering up a weakness.
By doing this, you boost the aspects of your company that customers were initially drawn to when they first gave you their custom. This can stimulate loyalty from a number of your previous customers.
58. Connect with customers
A lot of customers will react positively to a business if they can see a part of themselves in it.
Identify exactly who your target audience is and then create a brand message that truly speaks to them.
Find out what they are passionate about and what they get emotional about and tailor your products to those parameters.
59. Get your marketing copy correct to reduce pain points
Reduce pain points for your customers by including marketing copy that engages them, not dissuades them.
Make it easy for your customers to buy and find out information about your products. Include a blog on your website to provide your customers with interesting content and to boost your site’s visibility.
Create user-friendly customer service channels, reduce clutter on your website and recognize how your ads are being viewed. This all plays in to how loyal a customer is to your brand.
60. Don’t sacrifice quality for speed
No business should ever sacrifice the quality of their customer service for the speed in which they deliver it.
If all your staff are on board with your strategy and are given the tools to adequately cater to the needs of your customer base, then this should be no problem.
Customer loyalty will be badly affected by poor customer service and they will feel you are just trying to take their money and run.
“We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” – Jeff Bezos
So now you know what it takes to achieve strong customer loyalty. While there’s no overnight solution, by putting these steps into practice you will slowly see an increase in the loyalty shown by your customers.
After a while you’ll learn to appreciate what makes the customers that frequent your business happy. You can develop a system that makes sure they are taken care of and eventually that system will run very smoothly.
If you have any more suggestions about how to increase customer loyalty, please free to leave a comment on Twitter with the handle @getdesignwizard.