Regardless of how you look at it, you will more than likely find an abundance of definitions as to what “customer loyalty” means. Put simply, customer loyalty is the outcome of a continuous and positive experience in relation to a customer’s level of satisfaction. Likewise, customer loyalty showcases the length to which customers will be faithful to a specific brand and company’s services and/or products. So, with this in mind, we present to you a handful of practical tips to aid you, and your business, in perfecting the ultimate bond in customer loyalty 💗
1. Know Your Customers Like the Back of Your Hand 🤝
In all seriousness, this is probably the most important aspect of customer loyalty. How will your customers ever be loyal, or even care about what you have to offer, if you don’t actually know anything about them? Ideally, you should be transparent (showing your true self) and share similar values with your clients. Moreover, you ought to create an authentic sense of community. The reason being, communities tend to be a productive way to frequently engage with your customers. With the huge selection of social media platforms currently out there, there is seriously no excuse to NOT have a strong community. Additionally, acquiring your customer’s email is another common and effective way to keep in touch with your customers in order to offer them updates, follow-ups and special offers that will keep them coming back 🏃.
OUR TIP: Always personalize any emails you send out. If you can try to address these emails by the customer’s name, offer coupons/incentives and, if you really want them to feel appreciated, send them a pleasant birthday message when the time comes; everyone loves feeling important! Since we know you are a busy bee, another helpful tip is to use an online booking platform where you’ll be able to send personalized messages in just a few clicks.
2. Master Your Craft 🎨
Being the absolute best at what it is you do will be a sure way to build powerful customer loyalty. Easier said than done we hear you saying, but don’t panic. A relatively easy way to do so is to provide excellent customer service. The reason, it generates potential lifelong customers, avoids unwanted negativity, and always leaves you two steps ahead of the competition. In addition, by becoming a trusted and reputable expert in your craft, you will not only retain current customers, but you will attract new ones as well. Now seriously, who wouldn’t want that?
Another tip is to always exceed customer expectations (when possible). For example, if you were to inform your client that your business will reply to them within a 24-hour timeframe and then you actually get back to them in about a quarter of that time, not only will you be exceeding their expectations, but your clients will be happy and feel valued.
3. Always Encourage Customer Feedback ⭐
Customer reviews tend to go alongside customer loyalty. Briefly, positive reviews will propel others to your business, excellent service will convert these prospects into satisfied customers, and said customers will continue the cycle of positivity by leaving additional good reviews! It’s a win-win for everyone!
What’s more, you should always listen to and address their concerns, new and existing customers alike. Never neglect what they have to say because, believe it or not, they will be helping your business in the long run. That said, it is quite easy to forget your current loyal customers when attempting to gain new ones so make sure to never reduce the quality of your services/products, otherwise they’ll take note. With that in mind, if you need a bit of a head start on how to approach your customers and benefit your business, check out our blog article for some recommended tips and tricks!
FUN FACTS: Do you know that 93% of consumers initially read online reviews in order to decide whether a company/brand is good or not, 85% of consumers tend to trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations and, finally, 57% of consumers will only trust a company/brand with a minimum 4-star rating? Mind-blowing, isn’t it?
4. Anticipate Potential Issues ⚔️
Rather than panicking like a headless chicken when inevitable disaster strikes, you should always be on your toes. For example, if for whatever reason you must cancel an appointment, you should prepare and send your client an email or SMS as soon as possible, ideally 24 hours in advance, minimum. This way, not only will you appear more professional in the eyes of your customers, but they will also be far less agitated by the unfortunate situation. And don’t you worry, a convenient online booking and scheduling software has you covered when sending out these last-minute notifications!
PRO TIP: Apart from that, and this may be difficult to hear, you should always admit your mistakes. In order to avoid an otherwise negative review, you must acknowledge your faults and remain open to constructive criticism. In short, take responsibility, be flexible, and resolve the issue, professionally. Otherwise, be prepared to forfeit your loyalty base because, after merely two negative experiences, as much as 42% of customers will cease all interaction with a brand.
5. Offer a Worthy Loyalty Program 😺
A great and effective program, if points cards are too much of a hassle, would be to use punch cards. For example, after a customer receives five paid haircuts (punching five distinct holes into the card), the customer’s sixth haircut would be free! Who doesn’t enjoy free perks? It’s the small and unforeseen gestures that keep your customers happy, loyal, and wanting more!
By ensuring a fun, accessible, and motivating loyalty program, you will establish a loyal customer base in no time and an extremely positive word-of-mouth. And remember, ensuring a loyal customer base will save you from needlessly spending money on marketing tools intended to find new prospects, which costs anywhere from 5 to 25 times more than retaining current loyal customers.
PRO TIP: With the aid of a practical scheduling software, you can even distribute ‘class passes’; prepaid passes at a much better value. You can even offer passes to your most loyal customers as a ‘thank you’!
It should now be obvious that customer loyalty is never to be neglected. Without your loyal customers by your side (spreading positive word-of-mouth), there is no business. Ultimately, you ought to know how your customers think and feel, master your craft in order to provide the best services/products possible, encourage necessary customer feedback while anticipating potential dilemmas, and offer a loyalty program worthy of your client’s time. When all is said and done, by following our five practical tips, you’ll build a mighty strong customer loyalty base in no time!