On average, it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. So, if you are only focusing on new customers, you could be missing out on retaining valuable customers and revenue opportunities from cross-selling and upselling. Therefore, turning your attention to your current customers and playing a hand in creating loyal evangelists is a nice way to ensure your revenues keep rising.
Unfortunately, creating evangelists isn’t easy when there is so much competition. Today’s business world is more competitive than ever before, so just keeping customers is hard enough, let enough making those customers feel so loved they start selling for you. However, if you can create evangelists, it is the most powerful sales tool at your disposal. Nothing is more powerful than a referral.
So, here are three easy ways you can improve your customer loyalty.
1. Create a loyalty programme
If you want customers to show you loyalty, you should be prepared to reward them. Creating a sale-boosting loyalty or referral scheme is a good place to start. For instance, if a customer refers another prospect to you, give them a discount. Alternatively, you could offer loyalty discounts to long-standing customers that can be redeemed either online or via a sales rep.
Whatever programme you choose, the key is making it easy for your customers to actually cash in on their rewards. Digital loyalty schemes work best as they can be managed online or through an app – the physical, business-card-like loyalty cards of old are a dying breed. Loyal customers will always favour a simple, smooth, digital experience today.
Loyalty programmes are a good way to reward your customers and also generate more business. You can either incentivise further spending, or reward customers for sending other business your way,
2. Get closer with social media
If you aren’t using social media these days, you are really missing a trick. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are utilising social media to increase brand awareness, generate conversations and engage with prospects. However, social media isn’t just a selling and marketing tool.
Your customers are also using social channels, and building loyalty on social media can come in many forms. For example, social listening, where you pay attention to what your customers are talking about to have more informed conversations, is a technique used to improve customer relationships. Additionally, handling support questions via social channels is another easy way to build better relationships. Essentially, social media provides an opportunity to understand what your customers’ needs are and make them feel valued.
Softer techniques (other than cold-calling), such as building trust on social media are essential in the digital era. And the greater the trust, the more likely you’ll be to get further sales. But social isn’t only a great engagement tool. Customers will also research products on social media.
You should see every social channel as a prime opportunity to engage with your audience, build greater trust and establish a business personality. Make sure you pick the right channels though. If your business is B2B, try LinkedIn. If your products look great visually, try Instagram. And using video is the way forward now. Lastly, always reply to all the messages you receive.
3. Connect with customers in real-time
Today’s customers expect you to be using modern technology to improve customer experiences. One of the best pieces of technology that can be easily implemented right away is live chat, so prospects and customers alike can have direct conversations with your sales reps whilst they are on your website. Live chat is an extremely effective marketing and sales tool, plus it makes your business look forward-thinking.
But why is it so good? In the online world, live chat means you can provide your customers (and prospects) with helpful answers, in real-time, delivering a much better customer experience than your competitors and solving their challenges straight away.
Being able to directly chat with customers means you’ll be providing a pretty unique level of personalisation that every prospect/customer loves. And the more personal you get, the more they will love your business, and the more likely they’ll be to buy more. You’ll also be able to quickly provide the information needed to improve the chances of a sale.
There are plenty of other options you could consider to build better customer loyalty, but these three are really easy to implement and can quickly improve your bottom line. Don’t underestimate the power of loyal customers – they will spend more than prospects and they will market your business for you.