Whether you’re just starting a business or you own an already established enterprise, it’s vital to build a reliable customer base. One of the easiest ways to do this is by developing customer loyalty and giving your customers reasons to keep coming back.
Okay, maybe that’s not as easy as we made it sound, but it’s possible, and it works all the time.
Unfortunately, retaining loyal customers takes a lot of effort, and money, which can hurt ROI. But if you compare it to the cost of acquiring new customers, you’ll see that the effort is worth it.
Increasing customer loyalty can be the turning point for your business. It can be what turns you from a business rookie to a niche authority, boosting your sales and strengthening your customer relationships.
But how do you go about it? What are the best strategies to boost customer loyalty?
We’ve done the heavy lifting for you by researching some of the best relationship marketing strategies. Here are 15 top tips you can always leverage to boost customer loyalty, irrespective of your business type or size. Let’s go!
15 Relationship Marketing Tips
1. Live and Breathe Customer Service
Truly, nothing is perfect in life. Irrespective of how tenacious you’re with product offerings, there’ll still be a few times when things may go south.
Such situations can put customer loyalty on the line, and an excellent way to reinforce this loyalty is to be there for them. Live and breathe customer service because, without them, you’ll be out of business before you know it.
Every interaction with customers counts, and whether things are wrong or right, your customers deserve to feel that you’re there for them.
But how do you provide excellent customer service?
There are so many ways to, but perhaps the most common ones are:
Quick response time: Whether via telephone, live chat, or email, customers do not like to be kept waiting. The longer you keep customers waiting, the less likely they are to do business with them. So, it’s typically recommended that you hasten response time and provide the help customers need as soon as possible.
Live chat: Customers expect quick and instant communication when they need to know anything about your brand. Live chat helps you to deliver instant communication at such times. Fortunately, there are software that help you stay in touch with customers when the need arises.
Our top software for instant communication with customers is Livechat. This software lets you contact your customers and engage them on your website. It offers many customization features to help you connect with clients exactly how you want it.
2. Don’t Let Your Customers Down
As always, your customers are the live wire of your organization, and you must always be at the top of your game to keep them loyal. Nothing ensures customer loyalty more than the knowledge that they’ll always get top-quality products or services from your business.
So if you’ve started your business on the basis of delivering top-level products, ensure that you stick to it. Only go up if you ever need to change the quality of your products and services. Customers will stick to you if they know they can count on you to always deliver.
We always recommend doing market research every once in a while to know the latest trends in the market and how you can improve your offerings to meet up. It takes a proper understanding of your customer’s unique needs to keep up with efficiently catering for them.
The marketing research tips on this page will help you keep up with trends. They’ll also help you understand the massive customer data available on the internet and how to leverage them to tweak your products.
3. Be Authentic and Consistent
We can never underestimate the power of consistency and authenticity when it comes to being able to maintain customer loyalty. It’s one thing to win new customers and another thing to keep them.
Keeping customers requires that you remain consistent with the quality of products you’ve always offered. Customers want to be sure they can trust your company to continue delivering the same outstanding products and services they know you for over time.
If issues arise, they want the reassurance that they can count on you to resolve them quickly and with individual consideration.
Tons of available software make it easy to conduct customer satisfaction surveys and know how satisfied your customers are with your company’s offerings. You can even draft some of these surveys into your website so customers can leave their thoughts about your product and services on the checkout page.
Industry-leading CRM software like HubSpot CRM, Zoho, and Freshsales allows you to customize your survey in ways that allow you to understand the specific improvements your customers may desire over time.
4. Personalize Your Marketing
If your business relies heavily on intense marketing to win customers, market personalization is the way to go for customer loyalty. Personalized marketing aims to communicate and engage potential and existing customers as individuals. This way, they can know that your brand cares for their needs and wants beyond whatever gains you’ll get from them.
One of the main reasons personalization drives customer loyalty is its ability to build upon the foundational emotions that established strong customer-brand relationships. The truth is that customers constantly expect more personalization in how you treat them.
Therefore, it makes sense to always pay attention to the data your customers are giving you. You can use the data to create more personalized experiences to deliver what they want.
5. Personalize all Interaction With Customers
We know we’ve talked about marketing personalization. But beyond that, you still need to personalize every interaction. While it is true that quick response time helps to maintain customers, they also do not want to feel like they are talking to a robot.
Whether they are making an inquiry or complaining about a malfunction, customers generally want to know that you understand and feel their pains.
So, paying attention to even the smallest details when talking to them is essential. Be empathetic about their problems and offer responses where necessary. This way, they’ll develop a positive impression of your business and feel encouraged to return.
Sometimes, when customers make inquiries or talk about their problems, they do not expect a magic wand to fix them all at once. Still, they want to patiently listen to their complaints and assure them that all will be well.
Thankfully, personalized communications don’t have to be stressful anymore. Not with the abundance of available technologies you can use to integrate personalization into customer experience.
One of such technologies that stands out for us is Ringblaze, a software that allows you to personalize all your communication channels, including websites, phone calls, and email communications. The software sorts customer messages and assigns agents to relevant ones, ensuring they know where to begin when addressing the issues.
6. Leverage Social Media Platforms to Engage Customers
Social media is one of the biggest marketing tools of the 21st century. But beyond being a marketing tool, it can also enforce customer retention and loyalty, especially among millennials.
Here’s how it works: Social media has grown beyond news and advertising channels. It has become a fundamental communication tool. And just like every other friendly conversation on social media, users expect brands to always engage them by updating them about the latest offerings.
Businesses are even learning to use social media platforms to exert their authority in specific niches. And it’s not even too difficult to achieve this. You just need to start creating exciting content that discusses specific information users will be interested in.
The more valuable your social media contents are, the more they can trust you as an authority in your niche.
Of course, you won’t have all the time to constantly engage your customers across all social media platforms, and that’s fine. You need to leverage existing tools and software that can help you handle this responsibility.
One of such software is InfluencerDB, a software that’s designed to profile followers and deliver content that suits them best. It also schedules content and reminds you to post them at specific times.
7. Partner With Another Company
Another helpful way to create and maintain customer loyalty is by partnering with other brands. First, it can help to boost your exposure, while offering your existing customers more options.
Customers generally want different things at the same time, and there’s no way you can meet up to all their demands. Therefore, while improving your products, you can also partner with brands that offer complementary products and services to ensure that customers can get all they want from your website.
For example, if you run a veterinary office, you can partner with a local pet food store. This way, your customers won’t need to go to the local pet food store when they need pet food. Instead, they can come to your office, knowing they’ll get treatment for their pets and food in one spot.
Besides, you also get customers from the pet food store talking about you when they need to treat their pet. So you’re not only earning customer loyalty, but you’re also extending your reach and putting yourself in front of more potential customers.
8. Encourage Referrals
It’s common knowledge that referral programs are effective ways to reward customers while also gaining new ones. However, most entrepreneurs do not know that it’s also a fascinating customer loyalty tool.
While participating in your referral programs, your customers know they’ll face serious questions about your brand. So, they’ll be pushed to learn more about your brand.
During this period, they’ll get to find something that hooks their attention. Besides, it also often feels like you’re rewarding them for being loyal. So, they’ll see themselves always coming back. And it doesn’t have to be too big.
It can be something like “give $10 and get $1”. It could also be gaining points for every new person a current customer brings to your company. However, it’s important to always set criteria that further reinforce loyalty.
For example, you can set the program for only customers who have purchased up to 5 of your products or customers who have been with you for at least two years. Hence, you’re rewarding customers for loyalty while encouraging new customers to work towards qualifying for the program.
9. Send Out Educational Emails to Keep Your Customers Constantly Updated
Customer retention email campaigns are generally ranked among the best customer loyalty strategies because they are sustainable. Add to the fact that it’s a cost-efficient strategy, and you can tell why numerous businesses still trust it.
How to do it: Sesign emails that are aimed at educating customers about product features, new updates, new launches, and other subjects that they’ll be interested in. You can also share relevant newsletters when possible, letting them in on industry happenings and how you intend to navigate them.
In the end, customers want to get all the information they can about the product they want before settling for it. Offering them this information will make them trust you more. And what better way to deliver the information than through the old trusted email communication?
Software like Emailoctopus can help you segment your target audience while offering insight into the best types of emails for each segment.
10. Invest in Content Marketing
Beyond social media, you can leverage many other channels to dish out content. Invest in developing a standard blog site of your own or post content in forums and other third-party websites. However, your overall goal should be educating, entertaining, adding value, and building authority in your niche.
Creating content like blog posts, videos, and picture stories are time-tested and proven ways to build solid customer relationships. The whole process begins with creating a clear digital marketing strategy.
From there, you can identify the most effective channels that’ll suit your business model. To learn more about content that sells, visit our “how to create killer content” page for tips that help.
Remember, your goal is not just to win customers but to help them create a habit of always returning to you. Thankfully, content management tools like Google Drive can help you schedule and save content for future purposes. So, even when you can’t create new content, you’ll have available content you can post from your archive.
11. Give Them a Heads Up
Nothing wins customer loyalty like making them feel like family. How else can you treat them like family than by giving them a heads up about events beforehand?
Key them to know what’s going on before others know. Whether it’s a new promotion campaign, price rise, or an expansion, tell them about it. Ask for their feedback and creatively incorporate their suggestions.
By doing this, you’re not only showing them they matter; you’re also making them part of your brand’s family. With time, they’ll feel like they’re part of your company and may never have the courage to leave.
However, you must be careful when implementing this strategy because while it’ll help you create a good relationship with loyal customers, it can also chase away other customers that would feel marginalized.
So, finding a middle ground where everyone will benefit from this strategy makes sense. Use software like Callrail to get insight into consumer behaviors before choosing which customers deserve exclusive information.
Sometimes, even perceived one-time consumers have the potential of returning or even referring to your products, but because you do not have the necessary data to know, you may chase them away with your actions.
12. Offer Them Something They Don’t Expect
Although we often see the phrase “be remarkable” being thrown around in the business world, marketing experts are still yet to take full advantage of it. Once customers feel like family, they’ll want to boast about you at every opportunity. Make it easier for them by giving them reasons to talk about you in a positive light.
No one wants to share average experiences with their friends or anybody. They want to talk about remarkable experiences. So the more unexpected things you do for them, the more they can talk about your brand and win more customers for you.
Even more interesting is that they channel these brags to their influence cycle. So, they’re giving you the services of an influencer marketer for free while maintaining loyalty to your brand.
13. Play to Your Strengths and Values
Every business has strong and weak areas. Think about it this way: what areas of business are you good at? What special offering sets you apart from other businesses? With these questions, you can know your areas of strength. Don’t just know these areas of strength for the sake of it. Leverage them to earn customer loyalty when possible.
To continually connect with your customers, you must stay true to your brand and focus on letting them see what you do best. That’s what marketers call being constant in your market – a brand that customers can count on to deliver consistently.
Continue to work on these strong areas. It’s easier to improve on something you’re already good at than to start another from scratch. Don’t know what you’re good at? Consider asking for feedback from your clients to understand what they think about your business.
From their replies, you can pick the areas you shine on and focus on polishing them to help you maintain loyal customers.
Xoxoday is one software you can always rely on to help you get this feedback. You can set the software to target repeat customers and ask them vital questions that’ll help you know what you want.
14. Store Customers Data
This may seem like a no-brainer, but many businesses still default to it. Many others just don’t know where to start. By storing customer data, you’re making it easier for customers to shop with you in the future.
For example, by securely storing your customers’ shipping and payment information, you’re making it easier for them to come back to your website when they need to make quick purchases. This way, they don’t need to input all this information afresh, saving them time and stress while making them feel special to your business.
Consider big drop shipping companies like Amazon, for instance. Prime members can simply order by clicking “buy now” on the website. So any time they need to make a quick purchase, they’ll always quickly jump on the website and out of it without going through the stress of filling out so much information again.
15. Reward Customer Actions
What better way to end the list than talking about the need to reward customers for coming back after the initial purchase? Think about it: how many times have you appreciated or rewarded customers that come back again? If your answer is few, then it could be the reason you’re losing so many new customers.
Let’s face the fact – many brands do this. So, once customers find that you don’t do it, they feel put off and may return to a brand they expect rewards from. One of the best ways to establish a relationship with customers that take action with your brand is by recognizing their efforts and rewarding them.
The reward doesn’t have to be so big. Some businesses use point systems, and customers will receive free products or discounts when they reach a specific point tally. Other businesses offer bonuses for every set number of purchases you make.
Whatever you choose, make sure you don’t set the bar too high for customers to reach because that can discourage them and push them to brands that reward them for less.
While customer retention has a lot of benefits, it’s not the easiest task for any entrepreneur. It takes careful attention to detail, data analysis, and detailed implantation of the strategies above to achieve customer loyalty.
However, there’s no reason to be scared. Most of the strategies we’ve listed in this article are easy and can be implemented without necessarily spending much. You just have to create your goals, develop strategies, and find the right software to help you reach the goals you’ve set for yourself.