Customer loyalty is the lifeline of every business and industry. It’s one thing to land a sale, but establishing a trusted customer relationship offers a host of benefits besides steady cash flow. Brand loyalty is essential for creating a strong reputation of success and service that is essential for growing your business. Establishing and maintaining these customer relationships is no exact science, but the cornerstone of customer loyalty is the genuine value of the customer and respect for their individual needs. Here are 6 ways you can maintain and enhance your brand’s customer loyalty.
1. Quality is Key
From your first sale to your hundredth, quality is everything – it’s what keeps customers returning for your product or service, and not your competition’s. Therefore, ensuring quality control and high-level customer service is a no-brainer. Every opportunity with your customer is the chance to reaffirm that they have made the right decision in choosing your brand in the first place. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a sense of urgency in addressing customer needs – make their experience better each time. If your quality is top-notch, and you remain dedicated to customer needs, they will remain dedicated to you.
2. Happy Staff, Happy Customers
The people you employ to work with customers must never be overlooked. Your staff not only represents your organization, they’re the individuals whom your customers actually build relationships with. They’re the face of your company. Through them, your company is gaining and retaining customers. In an interview with Inc.com, Richard Branson, billionaire owner of the Virgin Group, stated:
“-if the person who works at your company is 100% proud of the job they’re doing, if you give them the tools to do a good job, they’re proud of the brand, if they were looked after, if they’re treated well, then they’re gonna be smiling, they’re gonna be happy and therefore the customer will have a nice experience.”
Simply put, affirming and treating your employees well is what will lead them to have passion in their work, which will greatly enhance the customer’s experience. If you want customer loyalty, be sure that your own employees are happy with your business and fully equipped for their roles. Take care of your staff and they’ll take care of your customers.
Customer engagement is very important for continually building customer loyalty, and also marketing your company. Asking your customers for feedback is great because you gain insight into what you’re doing right, as well as improvement opportunities – but also because you are showing customers that you’re striving to improve their experience. This enhances trust and helps you create a dialogue between you and your customer.
Building customer loyalty also entails connecting with customers on some personal level, through a stream of positive memories and experiences that tie them to your brand. There are several fun ways you can boost customer engagement, but this is also an opportunity to promote and build trust in your brand. Creating and sharing useful content such as blogs, videos, and newsletters is a great way to promote your product while providing free resources to help your customers. Producing customer success stories is also a great way to promote both your individual customers and demonstrate key benefits of your business. Extra steps like these give your company a personality, which helps you maintain customer loyalty by going that extra step.
4. Own Failure
While you should never strive to fail your customers, within every failure is the opportunity to redeem the relationship and affirm your customer’s trust. Your positive attitude is essential, there’s no point in placing blame, however taking ownership of errors is important. Listen to issues and reassure customers that you’ll correct problems – this shows customers that you value them and are committed to serving their needs. Remember, most customers abandon companies simply because they don’t feel valued or listened to. Properly addressing failures and delivering solutions show how dedicated you are to maintaining their loyalty as a customer.
After de-escalating customer issues, it’s time to follow up and exceed customer expectations. This can be as simple as sending a personalized email making sure their problems were addressed or giving them discounts or other incentives as a sign of good faith. The effectiveness and efficiency of addressing a problem can be just as powerful as your responsiveness, sincerity, and dedication.
5. Loyalty Programs
Anything that adds value to your work and shows your appreciation for your customers will go a long way maintaining their loyalty. One way companies are doing this is through loyalty programs. Small gestures like offering discounts, advanced feature preview, or an extra service or product free of charge are nice ways to make customers feel happy, appreciative, and more connected to your company. Simple gifts and personalized messaging also helps establish lasting bonds that make customers feel connected to your company on a personal level.
6. Innovate Operations
Customers want things simple, straightforward, and as fast as possible. Implementing business tools to streamline operations will enhance the customer experience because they will increase your efficiency and ensure that your company is able to meet their needs. Software that enables enhanced collaboration and data sharing between departments makes it easier for your co-workers to understand customer behavior by meeting and exceeding their expectations at an accelerated rate.
One way you can innovate operations is through using a collaborative accounting software like Accounting Seed. Cloud-based and fully automated, Accounting Seed’s connection to the Salesforce platform ensures that the financial data from all your other business software will be consolidated in a single solution. This streamlines your entire operation from billing and revenue recognition to paying vendors and managing inventory control. Our system also lets you capture and clearly visualize all the important data from each dimension of your business and sales lifecycle. We can help take your business to the next level by giving you deeper insight into the underlying details that define your financial health and budget variances.