5 ways to win and retain your customers

When I was a humble intern at a digital marketing agency, I was allowed to attend client calls to “absorb” all the data and strategy going on. One of our customers, a large retailer, was going through a spring crisis, which happens to many retailers after the holiday season. The customer was worried because in the low season without a big flash sale, the only people we saw shopping were those who had been customers in the past. This audience was considered to be his loyal clientele, and they were small.

Your loyal customers are the ones who will buy your products even if they are not on sale and recommend your offers to your friends, and you always want that audience to be large enough to keep you afloat.

What is customer loyalty and why is it important?

Customer loyalty is a measure of the likelihood that your customers will do business with you.

Different industries have different ways of measuring loyalty, but the easiest way is to look at the number of purchases in a customer’s lifetime in your database. Regular buyers are your the most precious customers. Although they are not big buyers, it is likely that over time their income will exceed the income of the big one-time buyers.

In fact, only a 5% improvement in customer retention rates results in a 25% to 100% increase in profits across all industries: Satisfied customers spend more money, more often. There are plenty of other benefits to having loyal customers as well – free word-of-mouth advertising, positive reviews online – so here is a list of ways you can help you build customer loyalty. When you look at types of customer retention (a whole different conversation), you’re looking for reciprocal customer loyalty: a premium relationship for the benefit of both the brand and the customer.

Customer loyalty tip # 1. Know your customer and let him know you

One of my favorite things is when I meet someone once, and the next time I see them, they remember my name and a detail from our last conversation. It’s important for customer loyalty! Businesses should strive to do with their customers. Sure, it’s easy to say, but much harder to do.

Send “Happy Birthday” and other personalized emails

Customers are more likely to be loyal if they feel valued; do you remember their birthdays, their children’s ages, or the last item they bought? Many retailers have set up triggered email programs that will send birthday emails and discounts during a customer’s birthday month and personalized pregnancy planning / first year of life emails for them. new and future mothers. Everyone loves a birthday present!

How to build customer loyalty

It’s almost as important to be transparent with your customers about your business. Are you going through a rough patch to get your shipments on time? Let them know. Have you just hired a new CEO or launched a great new product? Send a personalized announcement to your customers, telling them before the news hits the media. Better yet, release it in beta to your loyal and engaged customers first to get honest feedback.

At WordStream, we assign customer service representatives to specific accounts to help them during their initial transition to our platform throughout the customer lifecycle. This allows a representative to know the client’s company and business goals, in order to better assist them. We also send handwritten “Welcome to WordStream” cards from our representatives to all new customers! These customers are important to us and we want to let them know.

Customer loyalty tip # 2. Reward loyalty with a customer loyalty program

Customer loyalty card programs

Confession: I have too many credit cards. Anytime I’m on a plane or in a retail store and they ask if I’m part of their customer rewards program, I give in. Spend $ 1000 the first month and get $ 200 back! What a story! And then I’m stuck with a credit card that Needs to accumulate a fee of $ 1000. It sounds like a tricky way to lock in your customer, but if you’re honest about the implications, credit card rewards programs can be great.

If you don’t like credit cards, grab a page from the Starbucks book. Customers earn stars with their purchases, with the ability to double their rewards on certain days of the month and upgrade to loyalty tiers. All you need is a Starbucks Gift Card and a smartphone. This rewards program also helps Starbucks know its customers better by storing all of their order and payment information in the app.

Try punch cards

If credit cards are too restrictive, an easier way to reward loyal customers is to use punch cards. At WordStream, our building café has stamp cards. After getting 10 stamps out of 10 purchases, you get something free! I find a lot of frozen yogurt and consignment stores like Plato’s Closet do this as well. It’s a good way to build customer loyalty in your store rather than the local coffee shop.

Customer loyalty tip # 3. Facilitate customer loyalty

Store customer data

Always a great example of customer loyalty, one aspect of Starbucks’ rewards program is the ability to order and pay on your mobile device. I love it when I buy another book for my Kindle and don’t have to enter my credit card information. This one-touch command tells me that Amazon knows who I am (they probably don’t) and they are kindly helping me by taking me offline ASAP!

To look at it from another angle, Apple is doing it too. With each upgrade, iPhone strives to make life a little bit easier for the user, from easy access to the camera on the lock screen to accessibility with a double press of the button. home for people with small hands. Apple is very public about showcasing its new changes and the amount of work that goes into updates, although it doesn’t offer discounts, which translates into a loyal following.

Use automation

Personally, my favorite experience of “keeping it simple” is with my cable company – shocking, I know. I called them to complain about our internet speed and was directed to the right person by my phone number – didn’t even have to type a long account number! The customer service rep made it clear that she saw and understood the problem, prompting a technician to come in and replace our router at a convenient time later in the week. After he left the same rep called me to make sure everything was working. It’s awesome! I hardly had to do anything other than pick up the phone and dial the number!

Customer loyalty advice n ° 4. Be the best at what you do

An easy way to build customer loyalty is to simply be the best. There are so many brands that I love, but I just can’t justify the cost of buying with all of them. Or, it’s cheap but doesn’t last. When I asked my colleagues which brands they saw themselves as loyal, the response was resounding: “TJ Maxx! It makes sense to me! Not just because we’re in Boston, where TJX is located, but because TJX has great brands at affordable prices, and it’s also one of the only companies that has mastered that. We are all Maxxinists!

Make your valuable accessory part of your brand

Another brand mentioned was Patagonia. Patagonia has some competition, like REI and Eagle Creek Outfitters, but they have a great history and offer a great shopping experience (great value proposition): great return policies, a founder, and employees who really love the outdoors. , even a unique business model that was popularized by the publication of Let my people go surfing.

Patagonia Company Personality

No one is perfect, so a great alternative to being your best bet is to show your customers that you are constantly striving to improve yourself. Everyone appreciates the effort, which leads me to …

Customer loyalty tip # 5. Encourage customer feedback

Customer reviews go hand in hand with customer retention. Good reviews will drive leads to your business, good service will convert leads to customers, and happy customers will leave great reviews!

The first step in this chicken and egg cycle is good serve. Make sure that everyone in the business who comes into contact with customers pays attention to their needs and takes action to resolve any issues. You can also provide great customer service through channels like Twitter and customer portals. Once an issue is resolved or a transaction is complete, contact us to learn about your customer’s experience.

Request email reviews

While this is a boring example of customer loyalty (as a customer), another way to ask for reviews is through automated messaging programs like birthday triggered emails. After a customer has made a certain number of purchases, send a prompt to ask the business for a special discount. If you work with clients, include them in your NPS surveys.

Kate Spade Customer Survey

Customer engagement and retention are two essential components of growth marketing. If you have any proven ways to build customer loyalty that we forgot about, let us know! To learn more about how we at WordStream try to keep our customers happy, check out this article from our Customer Marketing Manager, Chris McHale.

Joseph P. Harris