4 Tips For Increasing Customer Loyalty

Notice how almost every big Internet marketing “guru” out there nowadays usually focuses on teaching you how to grow your customer base… and says nearly nothing about retaining the customers you have?

I mean, don’t get me wrong. It’s important to keep growing your followers and getting new customers. But that’s only half of the battle.

In order to drive profitable growth and stay ahead of the competition, you also need to retain your customers beyond the initial purchase.

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The truth is, at the end of the day retaining your customers is a lot more profitable and cost-effective than it is to focus on new customer/user acquisition by about 7 times, according to studies done by the social analysis platform SumAll.

Here are the findings from the SumAll analysis:

  • 25%-40% of the total revenues from the most stable businesses in the SumAll network come from recurring customers
  • Steady customers can actually help businesses weather lean economic times
  • Businesses with 40% repeat customers generate nearly 50% more revenue than similar businesses with fewer recurring customers

It’s pretty safe to say that your business should also focus on increasing customer lifetime value and loyalty, and not just on finding new customers.

So instead of just focusing on increasing your social media reach, focus more on building long-term relationships and having meaningful engagement with your current followers.

Here are some ways you can do this:

1. Feature your followers in your content.

Put your fans in the limelight.

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If your fans have shared your content or said something good about your brand to their followers, reward them and let them know how much you appreciate them. You can do this by sending them free online coupons or sharing what they said, or giving them a shout-out. You can even take their advice concerning your product (and credit them for it, of course).

Once your fans see you reciprocating, they will likely make your brand a priority and could easily become one of your most valuable marketing assets.

Regularly engage your followers with contests, make sure everyone knows who won, and create a lot of buzz while you’re at it.

2. Give your fans something your competitors aren’t. 

And I’m not talking about discounts. I’m talking about features, services, resources – things your customers will place some real value on.

For example, SumAll provides their customers with an image library which has sets of images that are free to download and use. They invite people to use the images on their blogs, websites, emails, and other marketing efforts.

You may not have a suitable product/service to provide customers with this type of extra value. If so, do it through your customer service.

Ask customers about their interests and PM them with offers or updates that they might be interested in. Take some initiative and try to answer your customers’ needs and questions before they ask them.

It may seem like a lot of hard work, but the little extra effort you put into making sure your customers keep coming back will pay off in the end.

3. Solve problems for your customers.

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Of course, every good product should solve a problem for your customer.

However, I mean that you should go beyond your actual product and provide them with a little something more that makes their lives easier on a regular basis.

For example, QuickSprout has their website analyzer, and Portent has their content idea generator.

Start by understanding your customer and what they need to make life easier, then fill that need. If done right, your customers will rely on you for more than just your product/service, and you’ll become almost irreplaceable in their lives.

4. Be there for your customers.

You may have your own customer service channels, and don’t consider your social media accounts or blog to be the primary channel for answering questions or addressing concerns.

However, customers are still going to be asking those questions and making their complaints there. And when that happens, whoever’s manning your social media account needs to know how to help your customers to solve their problems – and that doesn’t necessarily mean directing them to the customer service page or email address.

One common point most truly successful businesses have is great customer service, that actually takes their customers by the hand, and either walks them through solving the problem, or directly connects them to the person who can help them (without having to wait for an email response or be on hold for hours).

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Providing people with a good customer service experience is definitely a better idea, because people who had a bad experience with customer service are 50% more likely to talk about it on social media… and share it with their friends and followers about 5 times. WoM is still a powerful tool in this day and age, and you don’t need people spreading bad things about you.

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