So many companies focus on bringing in new clientele, and while that is important, it’s not the only element to a thriving business. If you’re losing as many old customers as you’re bringing in, you’ll only break even. Client retention and strong brand loyalty are just as important.
Boosting these elements lets you unlock greater profits and potential. Studies show that just a 5% boost in customer retention can lead to a profit increase of more than 25%.
How do you capitalize on this? What are the steps to take to build strong brand loyalty and increase retention?
No one would argue that sales are not important because, of course, they are. However, if you’re only chasing the sale and then stopping engagement, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table.
Take some time to research and understand your customers. You need to go beyond merely appeasing them and instead offer support for the long term. Build strong relationships that provide reciprocal benefits. It will cost time and resources to keep existing customers, and it will be extra work, but retention is worth it.
Choice-based market research can help you discover new ways to support and serve customers.
There is some good news for brick-and-mortar stores. As the pandemic seems to be winding down and vaccines are widely available, consumer comfort levels with public spaces are growing once again.
Over the past couple of years, many companies have shifted away from traditional experiences to virtual ones. COVID helped accelerate that movement. However, businesses that offer in-store and face-to-face experiences can once again become a valuable way to build customer loyalty.
GameStop’s recent overhaul is a perfect example of this. The company is restructuring its focus to provide enhanced e-commerce opportunities, but it’s also revamping stores to offer a unique gamer-friendly service.
You don’t have to make such a drastic change, but offering something new and innovative can certainly help.
There are many negative things going on in the world right now, and many interactions can end up being very impersonal. Providing more genuine experiences is a direct counter to this problem.
The most successful brands realize this, and more importantly, they have a proper answer to their client’s fears and concerns. They don’t use marketing lingo. There are no fluff pieces and no lies. They build trust by offering legitimate products or services and talking about or showing what they contribute. That’s precisely why brand loyalty — for consumer-favorite brands — has gone up from 2019 to 2020 and continues to do so.
Even if you serve a particular demographic, your customers are diverse and have varied interests and personalities. Use market research, performance metrics, and other relevant pieces of data to establish customer profiles. What makes them unique? Why do they buy your products? What would make them leave?
Tailor your messaging, sales, and delivering experiences to each of those customer personas. Personalized messages will lead to better results and stronger loyalty. Unsurprisingly, 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that offers personalized experiences. A further 90% say they find personalization appealing.
People don’t want to be relegated to a number or statistic. They want to feel like they matter, and one of the best ways to do that is to provide a custom experience. That cannot happen if you don’t understand your audience.
When you launch a new marketing campaign, you don’t wait for customers to find you — you seek them out. You place advertisements and promotions where they are most visible and where they’ll have the greatest impact. You should be doing the same for your existing customers. Reach out to them and engage, using the platforms, channels and locations where they spend time.
If your customers have created a subreddit to talk about your brand, products or services, join it and participate. Invest time in responding to and interacting with the community. Answer questions, provide customer support, and direct them to more helpful guides and resources. You should use the same strategies on social media, through customer service and support channels, and even in your stores.
Incentives are an excellent way to offer value to your customers and reward them for their loyalty. Customer rewards programs are the obvious and popular answer to this. However, they’re not the only way to incentivize your repeat customers — and they’re not that creative, either.
Consider Amazon Prime. Amazon is a powerhouse, and not every business can afford to provide as many perks as the retail giant does. However, it offers so much beyond what other e-commerce companies do. A subscription grants access to exclusive deals, free shipping, Prime Video, Prime Music, unique offers, Prime Gaming and so much more.
Pay attention to some of the more creative opportunities. There is no denying the incredible value of a Prime subscription. That’s what you should be striving to provide your customers. It doesn’t necessarily have to be such a massive collection of perks and value, just something that people would find interesting, relevant and worth supporting.
Brand ambassadors are considered highly valuable because they direct new customers to a company or product. They build hype and interest. The same is true for conventional word-of-mouth advertising and customer referrals. You can use this to your advantage, especially since customers can react emotionally to your brand and its messages.
Invite your customers to help by encouraging referrals, providing exclusive offers for family and friends, and rewarding their efforts. Empowering them increases buy-in, allowing them to be a valuable part of your business’s success.
The prevailing concept across all these steps is that you deliver on your promises by giving customers what they want and developing trust, loyalty and satisfaction. You already put a lot of effort into creating your products and services, marketing, and growing your business. By retaining your customers, you ensure your brand thrives.