What Is Customer Loyalty?
You keep your customers if your service is satisfying what they want, and that's the backbone of customer loyalty.
Customer loyalty refers to measuring a customer’s possibility to renew business with a company or brand. It results from customer satisfaction, the overall value of the goods or services a customer has gained from a business and positive customer experience. One of the main reasons to endorse customer loyalty is because those customers can assist you in raising your startup faster than your sales and marketing teams.
There are figures, too, explaining why customer loyalty is significant to your success. In other words, loyalty is about likability and the ability to trust the product and brand. Customers that trust the companies they do business with are more likely to purchase again in the future.
Why is customer loyalty very vital?
Customer loyalty is something all enterprises should embrace, whether small, medium, large and mushrooming enterprises. They should all set customer loyalty as one of the indicators of meeting the clients of their products and also use it as an opportunity to outweigh their competitors on the market: This is a starting point for a company to attract and keep happy clients who consume your products thus driving revenue and meeting obligations.
Customers spend more time and money with the brands to which they are loyal. These buyers also tell their relatives and friends about those brands, which drive referral traffic and word-of-mouth marketing. It also fosters a strong sense of confidence or faith between your brand and clients. When the customers decide to return to your business, the value they are getting out of the relationship outweighs the possible benefits gotten from one of your arrivals, thus an opportunity to grow your business more.
How to keep customers loyal?
Be truthful to your customers.
Show a good attitude to your customers.
Scratch the program completely.
Build a useful community for your clients
1. Being truthful to your customers: The owner’s equity should be as generous as your customers are to you! And if your loyalty program requires customers to spend more money and much time just to be rewarded with meagre discount and samples, the company is doing it wrongly, Instead walk the walk and show your clients how much you value their support to your business by offering perks that are so good. This would be more of being loyal to your customers and attracting new customers to become members.
2. Show a good attitude to your customers: some entrepreneurs think that offering a loyalty program, expressing their gratitude for their business, and loyalty is enough to retain the existing clients and attract more new customers. Think again, Some of your customers are routinely bombarded by businesses, and your competitors also included. So what sets you apart in a way that keeps customers loyal is expressing your gratitude through handwritten notes or direct one-to-one messages; this includes thanks notes in their products deliveries or purchase confirmation emails as one of the market strategy to compete with your competitors.
3. Scratch the program completely: This fact minimalist advance works best for companies that sell unique products or services. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you offer the lowest price or the best quality. Considering how many businesses offer loyal programs, one innovative idea to make you stand out is to trade the idea of employing a program that will beat your arrivals instead and build loyalty by providing customers with awesome benefits related to your business and products with every purchase.
4. Build a useful community for your customers: As the online community progress, an entrepreneur may honour the customers to keep things organized. Having a consistent system in place to ensure fairness and keeps customers satisfied over time. Clients will always commerce their peer more than they trust your business.
Types of customer loyalty programs
1. Point-based loyalty program
2. Tiered loyalty program
3. Paid loyalty program
4. Value-based loyalty program
5. Partnership loyalty program
6. Game-based loyalty program
1. Point-based loyalty program: This is the most common loyalty program line in existence that frequent customers earn points that translate into rewards such as a discount code or other type of special offer.
2. Tiered loyalty program: This helps to find the difference between the points system and the tiered system- is that customers extract short-term against long-term value from the loyalty program; thus, you may get tiered programs that work better for high commitment, higher price-point businesses like airlines, hospitality businesses, or insurance companies.
3. Paid loyalty program: it is meant to break down barriers between clients and businesses. This type helps businesses to identify some factors that may cause customers to leave the business. Businesses can adopt a fee-based loyalty program to address those specific obstacles.
4. Value-based loyalty: As an entrepreneur, you have to understand what your customers require from you to identify the values and needs of your target audience. In doing it, you can encourage customer loyalty by targeting those personalities. In addition to this, some enterprises may get greater success in resonating with their aims by offering value in ways unconnected to money; thus, this builds a unique connection with customers and loyalty.
5. Partnership loyalty program: This strategy can be an effective way to retain customers and helps the company to grow. When a company provides its clients with relevant value beyond what the company alone can offer to its clients, it shows them that it understands and cares about their challenges and needs and helps you grow your network to reach your partners’ clients.
Six stages of customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is measured by the level of commitment that the client shows to the company. There are six stages of customer loyalty, and every stage increases the amount of loyalty the customer shows.
The six stages of customer loyalty are;
1. Awareness; Here, every customer is aware of the company and its offers to a member.
2. Research; more clients prefer to purchase the products online that they have seen or visited the website.
3. Buy; clients have bought products or services.
4. Use; products or services purchased should be used by customers.
5. Repeat; customer purchases from the company again.
6. Refer; potential clients refer their relatives and friends to the company.
The fundamental elements of customer loyalty
There are four elements of customer loyalty. Each element plays a role to retain or keep a client returning.
1. Expectations: it is essential to know what value your potential clients get out of a product or service.
2. Service: it consists of people behind the brand, such as engaged employees and a dedicated customer team, and this is where the customers will get the most value from their purchases.
3. Engagement: Engagement is significant for businesses that don’t have regular transaction opportunities. Membership organizations, for example, must have strong membership benefits that can express regular value.
4.Value: This includes how a brand matches the identity of the clients. Most people prefer to do business with a company that matches their personal values, such as environmental friendliness or community involvement.
How to measure customer loyalty
When a customer is loyal to a definite brand, they are not simply influenced by accessibility or pricing. They are willing to give more as long they get the same worth of a product or services they well know. Other characteristics of a loyal customer include the following;
They are inactive in looking for different suppliers
They are more willing to submit a brand to their relatives and friends
They are not open to pitches from competing companies
They are not close to other goods and services provided by a particular business
They are more understanding when issues occur and trust business to fix them
They offer feedback on how a brand can promote its product or services
As long as there is a need for customers, they will keep purchasing from a business.
All businesses should strive to improve customer loyalty to keep clients purchasing and promote their brand to new audiences. With email marketing, brands can boost relationships with their existing customers, thus improving loyalty in turn. Email marketers build relationships by sending relevant campaigns that increase retention and build customer loyalty, thereby yielding quicker growth than other marketing strategies.
How to build customer loyalty
Reward loyal customers with a loyalty program.
Make customer care a priority for the brand.
Boost customer experience by introducing VIP tiers
Segment your clients
Send event-based emails
Optimize the businesses’ referral program
Encourage customers to give feedback and act on it
A business intends to make its buyers happy because potential customers will be willing to spend more money on its products or services more often. This benefit of having a good relationship with customers should make any business invest in building customer loyalty.
Here are some practical ways to do that in a more well explained and detailed manner.
1. Reward potential customers with a loyalty program
A reward system for potential buyers is a great way to keep them returning. The simplest and probably the most popular loyalty programs use a point system: customers earn loyalty points every time they buy from the brand. Then, these points, when accumulated, earn them a reward, e.g., discounts, special client treatment, freebies. Another loyalty program is a card-based system where customers get rewarded for loading up and spending money through the card. With a loyalty program that rewards customers with monetary or non-monetary gifts, people will feel compelled to keep coming back.
2. Build customer care a habit for the brand
A fundamental part of any brand is customer service. An effective client relationship management strategy translates to more focused solutions for specific customer desires. First, learn all you can about the brand’s different customer segments, including their buying habits, favourites, feedback about products, or the brand as a whole. Use this information to improve the service. Also, make sure employees dealing with customers directly have the information they need to serve customers effectively.
3. Improve customer experience by introducing VIP tiers
Social status is a great motivator and influencer of customer behaviour and can be leveraged in a business’s customer loyalty strategy. By adding VIP tiers for the most loyal customers, a company can boost loyalty among existing customers and entice new and less engaged customers to interact more with the brand. Start with smaller rewards for all customers in the program, encourage repeat purchases by increasing the rewards for each step up the loyalty ladder.
4. Segment your customers
It isn’t easy to visualize any customer loyalty program without a personalized approach. It allows every customer to feel special and cared for. To be at the right time with the right message, make use of segmentation. It will allow marketers to divide their mailing list into segments according to age, gender, geographic location, occupation, preferences, interests, engagement, and so on. Then, they craft different email campaigns with relevant offers to each group.
5. Send occasion-based emails
This is the best factor to personalize communication with your clients. Stop sending the same email to the entire mailing list and choose event-based marketing. This means that every time a user performs a specific action interacting with your brand, you automatically respond to their relevant email efforts.