It’s hard enough to attract new customers, it’s even more challenging to keep them coming. Here’s the best ways to encourage customer loyalty in online services.
It’s one thing to attract customers, it’s another to make them want to stay.
82% of companies agree that customer retention costs less than customer acquisition. The reason? They’re trying to persuade customers who have already been attracted to their brand once. If customers’ interest in your service or product is good enough to make them want to try it themselves, they’d want more if they’re satisfied with their previous experience.
Studies show that the likelihood of converting an existing customer is 60-70%, whereas conversion of a new prospect can be as low as 5-20%. If the data is so clear about the effectiveness of customer retention, why are only a few prioritising it? And an even more important question is: how do some brands retain customers more than the others?
There are many reasons why other brands have it easier than others.
Here are the top 8 reasons why successful businesses have built customer loyalty in online services:
1. They provide stellar customer service
If you want to keep your existing customers, they have to feel secure and welcome on all your platforms. Whether they speak to you in person, over the phone, or through emails and chats, a customer who feels heard will want to come back for more.
Have you ever been to a store where nobody smiles? Not even a quick acknowledgment of your presence? It doesn’t sound like a very likable place, does it? Successful businesses make it a point to treat their customers like VIPs regardless of the value of their purchase and how many times they’ve been around.
Putting customers first does not come naturally to everyone, of course. In fact, Apple takes customer service so seriously that they have to train their staff to make their customers’ buying experience more pleasant.
2. They provide personalised interactions
Customers love it if they feel special or valued. This could be as subtle as addressing them with their names or knowing small details about them like their birthdays. Don’t just bombard them with messages that they might not find relevant. For example, a young lady might be more interested in outfits for girls her age rather than new product offers for toddlers. Sift through your messaging and only give what your customer is interested in.
Giving signs that you know and understand and customer signals a relationship. It’s like recognising a new friend when you meet them. If you want to build customer loyalty, get to know your customers more.
3. They offer promos and discounts
We’re pretty sure your customers would appreciate a few promo codes every now and then. After all, who doesn’t want a good deal? Encourage customer loyalty by offering these promos and discounts to your existing customers. Treat it as an effort of gratitude from your end. Not only does it convince your customers to get something new from your business, you’re also strengthening the bond that you have with them.
Here are a few customer loyalty promotion ideas you can try:
a. Coupons/deals for repeat customers
Reward customers with percentage discounts or free shipping deals if they purchase something new or if they come back for your service.
b. Customer referral program
The chances of a person trying out a new product or service is high when someone they know recommends it to them. Take advantage of the power your existing customers have. To encourage them to refer your business to others, offer deals and discounts on their next purchase.
4. They reach out regularly (through newsletters)
Studies show that today, newsletters have an ROI of 4,400%. It is reliable and easily measured. This is why newsletters continue to be one of the most effective means to market your brand.
Unlike your regular social media posts, newsletters target people who you know might be interested in your products or services — especially those who have already been your customer. Newsletters remind them of your existing offers and notify them about new ones.
It’s so easy to be forgotten and ignored on social media. But when you become present in your target and existing customers’ email inbox? We doubt it!
5. They engage in different platforms
Be wherever your customers are, and make it easier for them to come to you. A strong online presence gives you a competitive edge because your customers wouldn’t have to put a lot of effort into finding you.
Whether it’s a business website, a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook page, or a combination of all social media pages, taking your business online is vital. It increases engagement, credibility, and chances of getting more loyal customers.
6. They seek and manage customer insights
To give what your customers want, you have to know what they want. Gathering customer feedback or insights is the best way to do this. From evaluating complaints to reading reviews, understanding what they expect from the brand helps you improve your reputation and how you run your business.
Don’t forget to let them know that their feedback is heard! Customers are reassured when they feel valued.
If you’re already trying to seek customer insights and can’t seem to get them on board, we wrote a guide (How to Get People On Board When Seeking Customer Insights) to help you out.
7. They use social proof
Humans are social beings, and social beings are heavily influenced by the actions of others. For your customers, this could mean reviews or testimonies by their family and friends, and even strangers who have similar interests. This kind of positive influence is called social proof.
Tell your future customers how happy your existing customers are. You can do this by adding a reviews or testimonials section on your website or social media platforms. When a prospect sees the positive reviews about your services, the chances of conversion are high. Meanwhile, any existing customer who sees themselves featured on your business platform will feel appreciated.
8. They are consistent
Finally, customer loyalty is encouraged when the quality of service they receive is consistent.
Consistency earns trust. When your customers come back to the same kind of service every single time, it creates a more recognizable and dependable experience. This strengthens your bond with customers and makes them more confident to promote or try your services again.
Going online might make customer attraction easier, but it can be a challenge to earn trust and loyalty. Even major brand names invest so much on nurturing their existing customers. After all, the internet is home to a very large fickle market.
Customer retention and customer loyalty is not a light thing. If you want a successful business with customers who love to come back for more, make them your priority. Know what they want, and let them know that you’re giving them what they want.