This is part of the Digital Marketing Insights series -- featuring tips, analysis and recommendations from marketing experts on how to become successful online.
Maintaining customer loyalty is key for creating a long term, successful business. While new customers have the potential to add to your future overall profit, long-term customers add to the present as well as future profit. Of course, it's always a smart idea to market for new clients; however, it is imperative to keep the loyal customers you already possess.
Image Credit | torbakhopper
A way to boost loyalty is to build brand identity. The stronger a customer identifies with your brand, the stronger the loyalty will inevitably be. So just how do you build this type of customer loyalty? Here are a few tips from the experts to help you get started:
- Give Your Brand a Positive Spin Get involved in a charity. You'll gain goodwill for your efforts while enhancing your brand's reputation. Get the customer involved as well. The customer may feel better about spending a certain amount of money if they know a percentage of their sale is going to a popular cause.
- Use Social Media to Its Fullest Advantage
- Create a Positive Customer Service Experience
- Adopt Easy Payment Options as Part of Your Brand
- The Customer Is Always Right
- Consider What Consumers Will Want
- Be an Innovator, Not a Follower What works for another brand may not necessarily work for your brand. Spend some time on business websites that market the same product as your company and read their online posts or Facebook pages. What does the business do that you would find positive or negative if you were a customer? Use this experience to your benefit.
Don't be shy. Use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram blogs, and other social platforms to talk about your brand. Offer a coupon for free merchandise or services when customers sign up to follow your account or like you on Facebook.
This tactic is employed by many successful businesses such as retailer Jimmy Jazz, which offers a10-off coupon when you like the company on Facebook. They also employ another technologically savvy tip; create a sophisticated, helpful, and appealing website.
According to Forbes, "Seventy-one percent of customers who ended a business relationship did so because of poor customer service experience." Be courteous and remember to greet the customer with a smile.
Keep this in mind when dealing with an angry customer too. Although they may have had a problem with your brand, a simple smile can help them forget all about it.
Thanks to our digital world and things like Apple Pay, consumers have the ability to pay without ever taking out their wallet. Following these same easy payment options for your business will keep customers coming back. If paying for things on your website is too complicated, customers may just skip to another site.
Another payment tactic is to offer differing payment schedules. Break large payments down over months instead of one lump sum. It will give your customer the idea that you care and are there for the long term.
Having a favorable customer return policy is crucial in promoting positive brand identity. Clients may not feel comfortable using your services if you are not going to stand by them. Take Zappos, which has a 365-day return policy on its shoes.
Sounds crazy, isn't it?
What's not crazy is the 20 percent lift in revenue they saw after instituting the policy.
Put yourself inside the mind of your customers. If you have a new product line coming out in six months, send your clients a sneak peek. Consider surprising customers with a gift from your product line, a coupon for a percentage off, or even an upgrade. Let the consumer know you appreciate their patronage.
Acquiring new customers to your company is an important part of business, but not as important as maintaining the customers you already have. Customer retention creates profit not just for the future but in the present as well. There are many ways to retain customers but the most important thing to remember is to use modern-day technology with a little bit of old-fashioned manners.