What is customer loyalty and why is it important?
Customer loyalty represents the relationship you have created and nourished between your brand and a satisfied customer. Their willingness to engage with your brand and give you repeat business helps you measure customer loyalty.
But creating such a relationship is not a small feat. Every interaction must be carefully thought out and executed so that they continue to choose you over your competitors.
So, what’s in it for you? Well, for starters, it costs up to 7x more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one, which means loyal customers help reduce your overall spending.
Loyal customers tend to spend 67% more and you also have a 60-70% chance of completing a sale with them. This makes them more reliable than new customers. By building loyalty among customers you can drastically boost your revenue and improve your bottom line.
Loyal customers are reliable, trustworthy, and faithful to your brand. Unfortunately, they tend to be forgotten or neglected when brands focus on acquisition over nurturing old relationships.
Repeat business is simply more cost-effective. The best way to ensure a customer is loyal is to focus on their satisfaction throughout their entire customer journey. To increase loyalty, you must improve overall customer satisfaction (CSAT scores), and in turn, you can decrease customer churn rate, and increase revenue.
Let’s break down some key ways to increase customer loyalty.
6 ways to increase customer loyalty
1. Understand who your customer is
Collect data from various sources and channels every time a customer interacts with your brand. These interactions help you build a detailed customer profile, highlighting who they are and what they are looking for from your brand.
Using a customer data platform can help you collect and organize customer data to boost customer loyalty. When you collect data from various sources and remove data silos, you can view the full image of who your customer is and how they want to interact with your brand.
Show them you know more than just their first name through personalized campaigns and messaging. Personalized customer experiences increase revenue and loyalty. The best way to start is by optimizing how you use customer data so that you can invest in creating loyal relationships.
2. Engage your customers with meaningful communication
The days of automated and generalized messaging are over. Customers appreciate and value personalized communication with brands. In fact, 72% of customers only engage with personalized messaging. By developing customized content, you create meaningful communication with your customers, which increases their satisfaction. When 80% of frequent buyers only purchase from brands that personalize their interactions, this step is a must for improving customer loyalty and boosting revenue.
Take advantage of an omnichannel customer engagement hub that tracks the behavior and engagement of every customer. It is essential to analyze their behavior and send relevant information through their favorite channels throughout their customer journey. Some sure-fire ways to successfully engage your customers include sending:
- Payment reminders
- Vouchers for their wish list items
- Promotional offers on special dates, such as birthdays or anniversaries
- Messages when their favorite products are back in stock
- Order status updates
3. Segment and personalize your loyalty program
Simply having a loyalty program is not enough. When 90% of businesses have loyalty programs but 71% of customers say it has no effect on their loyalty, something’s got to give. The trick is to understand how to increase customer engagement in loyalty programs to make them more valuable.
Customers need to feel the benefits of a loyal relationship with a brand. Generalizing your customers will not be enough to keep them loyal to you. Personalizing loyalty programs will make them relevant to the customer and encourage them to return to your brand.
You can optimize your program by taking what you already know about your customers and making sure they get rewards and promotions that are relevant to them and their status within the program.
Petpetgo is a top pet supply e-commerce company that used our solutions to segment customers based on purchase behavior and preferences. Customers received promotional offers based on loyalty status and preferences which doubled Petpetgo’s purchasing frequency.
4. Take advantage of feedback
Analyzing feedback helps you map each customer’s journey with your brand. It can help you identify pain points and guide you on how to target them in the future. Many companies collect feedback data, but how you put that data to use affects the standard of customer loyalty you can build.
Since SMS has a 98% open rate compared to email marketing, it may be time to move past email surveys and optimize on other channels. Moments allows you to send customized follow-up messages or surveys via the customer’s favorite channels. Using SMS, WhatsApp, Viber or Messenger can improve convenience and satisfaction with your brand.
By listening to their reviews, you can provide them with exactly what they want. If they left an excellent review for your products, target them with similar ones or steer them away from campaigns for products they returned or that didn’t fit their bill.
5. Be responsive and reliable
Customers appreciate brands that manage to respond to inquiries quickly. Being reliable and responsive in your communication with customers can increase customer loyalty tremendously. Almost 70% of customers say when they switch from one business to another, it has nothing to do with being dissatisfied with the product. The main reason for the loss in loyalty is poor customer service.
A chatbot could be just the thing you need to bring your responsiveness to the next level. If FAQs or miscellaneous questions overload your channels, you can program the chatbot to respond to these inquiries, so live agents don’t have to.
Since personalization is critical for customer loyalty, the chatbot can recognize customer intent and include NLP for a truly conversational experience on any channel. When the customer needs more information than the chatbot can offer, it can seamlessly transfer them to an agent who has a full view of the customer’s interactions with the brand.
A chatbot enables you to automate repetitive tasks so support agents can spend more time resolving complex customer issues. In addition to a chatbot, adding a failover channel like 2-Way SMS will ensure your customers have a way of reaching you even when they aren’t connected to wi-fi or don’t have a cellular data connection.
Here are three examples of how 2-Way SMS can save agents’ time and create convenient communication to boost overall loyalty:
- Speed up simple transactional tasks: simple questions with easily automated answers such as balance updates, bill payments, bus schedule requests
- Managing appointment scheduling: lessen your receptionist’s workload by automating appointment confirmations, cancellations and rescheduling requests
- Brokering communications: for ride sharing services, an SMS can be sent through a VLN to the driver, masking the customer’s real number. The messages go through, questions are answered but everyone’s privacy is maintained
6. Re-engage inactive customers
A lost customer doesn’t need to be lost forever. It is your job to engage and re-engage your customers to nourish loyal relationships. You already know them well. You understand their habits, favorite communication channels, and their purchasing history. Use this to your advantage to reduce your overall churn.
Push notifications are a great way to re-engage. After a few weeks of inactivity on your app, send a relevant notification via their favorite channel to entice them to revisit your offers. This notification could be anything, from a ‘we miss you’ message to a 10% voucher just for them.
Volpy had over one million registered users, but only 130,000 users were active monthly. With re-engagement as their goal, Volpy implemented our SMS solution. They sent SMS messages offering incentives to users who had not been active for five days and increased their active users by 30% in the first month.
Geotargeting is another great way to re-engage lost customers with push notifications. If a store is opening in their area, or having a sale, send them messages to let them know. Geotargeting is ideal for sending time-sensitive promotions to people in a particular location, reminding them of your brand.
Increase customer loyalty throughout the customer journey
Achieving customer loyalty does not happen overnight. You must actively work to maintain your customers’ satisfaction to ensure they stay loyal to your brand. This must happen at every stage of their customer journey. From pre-sale (push notifications for items left in a cart) to post-sale (convenient order tracking and feedback surveys), to re-engagement (sending relevant promotions and reminders), use their favorite channels to ensure engagement is constant.
Having an omnichannel strategy is the most effective way to collect and organize your data and manage communication, identify pain points, and increase satisfaction. Decrease churn while increasing your revenue by growing the trust customers have in your brand. Reassuring them that you are the best choice since you know them best.
Create Conversational Customer Experiences
Find out more about how omnichannel customer experiences drive satisfaction and loyalty