Here’s something that not every business owner realizes: getting your leads to convert is a job only half done. If you think your work is over once the initial conversion takes place, you’re leaving money on the table.
Once the initial conversion takes place, it’s time for phase two of optimization: building customer loyalty.
Customer loyalty is defined as the “likelihood of previous customers to continue to buy from a specific organization.” Customer loyalty can extend beyond simply engaging with a business on a repeat basis, however. It can also lead to referrals and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
And investing in customer loyalty optimization is important for businesses, because it’s easier and less costly to retain customers than it is to acquire and convert new leads. Plus, it can yield a significant return on your investment.
According to Alex Birkett, “It’s been shown that after one purchase a customer has a 27% chance of returning to your store. But if you can get that customer to make a second and a third purchase, they have a 54% chance of making another purchase.”
So How Can You Optimize Your Business For Customer Loyalty?
Increasing customer loyalty is more an art form than an exact science. Nevertheless, you can find a lot of suggestions backed by research. You just have to do your own testing and tweaking to find what works best for your business’ unique needs.
Minimize Customer Effort
Think about it: if navigating your website or app, or going through the checkout process on your website were a super arduous task with numerous steps, do you think customers would want to go through that over and over again? Definitely not.
So you need to make the process of doing business with your company as effortless as possible. Otherwise, customers won’t return. So keep your sales funnel and overall design friction-free and simple, as customers process simple designs, messages, and procedures more fluidly and readily.
Similarly, try to out-shine your competitors in terms of convenience and ease-of-use. Depending on your business, you could do this by having lightning-fast customer service turn-around times. Plus, you could offer multiple ways for customers to get in touch, including Facebook Messenger and Twitter. Or, you could offer functions like auto-billing and automatic refills.
Spotlight Your Fans And User-Generated Content
Anytime a fan or follower posts something positive about your company, show some reciprocity by featuring that content on your website or by sharing it on social media. This lets your fans and followers know how that you appreciate them.
Modcloth is one company that regularly spotlights user-generated content. The retail company includes a style gallery on its website where it features a stunning array of customer-submitted photos. And the result is that the company fosters a sense of community and encourages engagement with its customers.
Another company, SodaStream, spotlights its fans by running contests and then featuring the contest winners as “fizzy” fans of the month on its Facebook page.
Setup A Customer Loyalty Program
Implementing a customer loyalty program is a way for you to reward your customers and make them feel appreciated. And since being part of a loyalty program means getting perks, like free gifts or discounts, having a loyalty program makes doing business with you over one of your competitors the better option for customers from a financial standpoint.
In addition to free gifts and discounts, you could also offer customers free shipping or advanced notice about new products or sales.
Or, if you sell something that customers need to replenish fairly often (coffee, for example), you could give away one item for free after customers purchased a certain amount. For instance, after buying nine bags of coffee, customers could get their tenth bag free once they joined your loyalty program.
What do you think of these tips to increase customer loyalty? How loyal are your customers? What are you doing to nurture repeat business? Drop us a line and let us know!