We all have reasons for choosing not to be a repeat customer. Maybe the cheeseburger came out raw in the middle or the customer service representative was rude. Perhaps you paid for your windows to be replaced and the project took twice as long as the contract promised. It’s easy to get jaded as a customer. Being customers helps us to be better business owners because we have insight into what could and does go wrong in the business to customer relationship.
Don’t confuse customer satisfaction with customer loyalty. Although they make a Venn diagram of sorts and overlap, they’re two separate goals. Measuring customer satisfaction will indicate whether your customer base is satisfied or unsatisfied with your company as a whole. Customer loyalty is a measurement of how committed your customers are to your business. So, customer satisfaction has the potential to increase customer loyalty when you integrate nurturing strategies like Messenger Marketing, but it’s not guaranteed.
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The Advantage of Loyal Customers
If customer satisfaction is the silver medal then customer loyalty is the gold! It’s important to make customers happy, but what really elevates the stamina of your business is making customers loyal. There are so many advantages to having a strong foundation of loyal customers. Those loyal customers will:
Spread the word of their positive experiences with your business – The power of a positive review is measurable. It doesn’t matter if the customer brags on your company on Yelp, social media, or simply by word of mouth. That positive input will bring your business to new customers.
Shop with you more frequently if not exclusively – What is customer lifetime value and how does loyalty impact it? When a loyal customer shops they are committed to the brand and/or business that they have had countless positive experiences with. That means that when you earn the loyalty of a customer you have the privilege of their business over a long period of time.
Graciously endure changes or growing pains in the business – All of those times that your customer service department has gone above and beyond for your customers has led to this moment. Loyal customers are more willing to endure growing pains or changes in your business. They have tracked more positive experiences than negative ones and are willing to grow with you.
Help your company save in marketing costs – Your loyal customers are to thank for minimizing your marketing budget. Gaining a pool of loyal customers allows you to focus more on customer retention than customer searching. Marketing will always be important. When you have loyalty then you have a bit of flexibility on where to invest your marketing efforts.
Can you think of a time that you have become a loyal customer to a business? What encouraged you to make the leap and to stick around for the long haul?
6 Steps to Building Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty sounds amazing in theory, but how does your business bridge the gap between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty?
- Incentivize by Implementing Loyalty Rewards– Repeat customers want to know they are appreciated even if it’s on a subconscious level. Implementing a loyalty program is a great way to convey your appreciation of your customers. There are many ways to get creative with this–punch cards, exclusive sales, early-bird discounts, loyalty points, etc.
You have a plethora of tools at your disposal in your ManyChat dashboard to help you here. One of your most prominent is the SMS feature that allows you to send texts to your customers. Because this is an invasive marketing tool, giving them a loyalty reward or discount for their loyalty is a good way to stay on their good side.
- Give customers the option to donate to charity – Stemming off of the idea of a loyalty rewards program is the idea to allow customers to donate to charity. Most people love knowing they are making a difference in their community and the world around them. Offering that within the shopping experience is a great way to show customers your business has ethical substance.
- Survey often – Ask for feedback often through customer surveys. This is especially important after implementing larger changes company-wide. For example, the new check out options for your eCommerce business may seem like an obvious next step, but your current customers could really be struggling with completing their purchases. Surveys are also helpful when dealing with difficult customers so that you can find the root of their issues. Knowing that information would help you address the issue in a creative way like uploading a video tutorial on how to check out with ease.
In your ManyChat dashboard, you have the option to build a flow based on customer feedback, which is the perfect way to gain insight into how you can improve your customer experience strategy. Simply choose a “Customer Feedback” flow template and customize it for your business!
- Solidify and perfect the customer service experience – When in doubt, train. If customer complaints have been rolling in more over the past quarter then take time to retrain all customer service representatives. It’s hard losing the business of a customer and even worse to lose a loyal customer.
Believe it or not, this doesn’t take much. It just means employing a chatbot to assist customers, or brainstorming ways you can support the customer experience with your brand.
- Avoid generic marketing to your loyal customers– Think of your marketing strategy with your loyal customers as an invested relationship. Sending generic emails or SMS marketing blasts to them is only going to relay the message that your business isn’t trying to get to know them. Opt for personalized messages using their name or a recent purchase that they made. Automate emails for their “one year anniversary” since their first purchase. This is a great opportunity to get creative!
- Observe other businesses that have a strong loyal customer base– Get to know the competition and take time to admire them. Seriously, when it comes to securing loyal customers you need to put pride aside and level with your team. You need to generate ideas that are your own and not shy away from celebrating the genius of other companies.
2 Companies That Excel in Customer Loyalty
We’ve talked about observing the genius of customer loyalty and how that their inspirational practices can help our own businesses grow. Here are 3 companies that are really worth observing.
Grove is a company that specializes in offering the all-natural home cleaning and personal products. They offer a membership for customers (hello, customer retention), and within that membership are frequent rewards. Members are able to shop seasonal products first, get a discount, earn free gifts, and receive free shipping! Members also receive personalized emails suggesting products they may like based on recent purchases. Grove also has a phenomenal customer service approach. Each member is assigned a specific customer service rep that will work with them for the duration of their membership. That means there is always one point of contact for any questions or concerns!
Technically a non-profit, Consumer Education Services, Inc. is a debt consolidation company. On the surface, their customer loyalty lies in that clients are working with them on a monthly basis to pay off debt. CESI is highly rated from past and current clients. Reviews and word of mouth have helped CESI’s customer loyalty grow. Their customer service for members is phenomenal and does not mimic the dry and transactional feeling that most financial institutions do. Email and SMS marketing is personalized. The member portal offers free financial education opportunities and financial advisors are available as needed.
Ensuring that your business is retaining loyal customers is vital to the longevity of its success.
- Making efforts to increase customer loyalty is the key to business growth, and can be achieved by refocusing your marketing initiatives on nurturing your relationships with existing customers.
- There are a variety of ways you can nurture and support repeat customers, including offering a rewards program, having specific loyalty marketing campaigns, and most importantly, knowing who those customers are.
- There are a variety of tools in your ManyChat dashboard at your disposal to help you build your relationships with loyal customers and keep them engaged.
The idea is simple. Think of ways that you can show customers that they are seen, heard, and that their opinions matter. Incentives can look like rewards programs, special offers, and more.
This doesn’t mean that every problem that arises can or will be solved, but giving customers the opportunity to share their concerns is a great step in the right direction. Loyal customers are working for your business while you’re working for them. That’s something to celebrate!
Use ManyChat features and tools to help build customer loyalty.
Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please always consult your own attorney before engaging in text marketing.