In today’s article you’re going to learn everything you need to know about how to build customer loyalty. Here I write about ten steps to building better customer loyalty, and the steps are broken into three stage: You, Them, Both of you as an item.
You have to think of having a customer as a marriage, and if you focus on the three areas that we outline you will be well on your way to building better customer loyalty.
How To Build Customer Loyalty:
The steps related to you
1. Know what you sell, really well – and be the best at it within your specific niche.
This is about building up your confidence in your own product and service. Know your area and niche really well. Know what your USP is and build upon that so that you know that you’re the go to company for your service. Articulate this internally and to the world.
2. Provide world class customer service for your niche
Once you know what your strengths are – and you have provided your service/product – have the best customer service for your niche. Now where companies get this wrong is that they think people all want the same thing. They don’t – know what good customer service means to your clients and customers and deliver just that and more.
3. Be honest with yourself
This might be either too obvious or it might seem out of place here. If you’re thinking like that then you have to think again. Being honest with your own self is one of the key components in being successful as a business. What are you just not good at and what are your deal breakers. These are important not only for the strategy of your company but for the way in which you run your business. Be honest and then build a business about what you are – strengths and weaknesses. And be open about these.
The steps related to them (your customers)
4. Know your customer inside out. This is where big data really helps.
Ultimately you are providing a service and a product for an audience. You need to know exactly everything about your audience. Who they are, what they want, and everything that is relevant to you about them. Step outside yourself and do market research – both quantitative and qualitative and if you already have lots of data then look at ways of analysing that data in ever new ways.
5. Provide the products and services that your customer wants (it’s not all about you).
Have you ever been in a situation where you have spent a great deal of effort and time on doing something special for a loved one – for them to just not be that interested? Perhaps they were not that grateful and just didn’t care. This is most likely because you did what you thought they would appreciate as opposed to doing something that they would love. It’s similar with products and services – provide what customers want and need – don’t just focus on what you think they would need.
6. Be honest with your customers
Be honest with your customers. This is crucial. If you have messed up – say so and make amends. This will be much better in the long run as trust (which we will come onto) is the bedrock of the relationship that you have with your customers. If your customers trust you then there will be no going back – and they will be loyal.
The steps related to both of you in a partnership
7. Build a foundation of trust
Focusing more squarely on trust – you have to not only be honest – but seek out their opinions. Using social media you can start off honest debates – and whilst in the short term you may think this sort of open communication as damaging- but this will quickly pass – when customers realise you listen and change. This will breed great customer loyalty. Even look at crowdsourcing – trust the crowd and your customers to shift and develop the company strategy. Be open.
8. Do the little things to make them smile as well as meeting your responsibilities
In addition to meeting your business commitments – go the extra mile. Do and say things from time to time to make them feel rewarded and loved. That is what loyalty cards do and inculcate. How about adopting something similar? Or you could adopt a system where the longer they stay the more they are rewarded – 5% off for every customer who has been with the company for 2 years.
9. Build a future with them
Develop a vision of the future in collaboration with your lead consumers and customers. Hold workshops with them and gain their feedback on ideas of how they could develop things further. Co-collaboration is the word.
10. Have fun
Be a fun company and be humorous in your communications and do something for April Fools. Show your human side and compassion. Have a CSR – corporate social responsibility strategy because it’s a good thing to do and encourage this. They will like you for this – and will stick around to see what else you come up with next year.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read my article about how to build customer loyalty. I sincerely hope its contents have been a good help to you.