Customer loyalty: turn customers into fans
In today's competitive market, customer loyalty is more important than ever. After all, loyal customers are essential for selling products or services and often lead to greater brand awareness and positive word-of-mouth advertising. In this blog, we explain the importance of customer loyalty and share some steps to increase your customers' loyalty.
What is customer loyalty
Customer loyalty is a customer's willingness to remain loyal to a company through positive customer experiences. High customer loyalty indicates that a customer has confidence in the company, feels emotionally connected, and that the value the customer receives is greater than that of the competition.
Why is customer loyalty important
Customer loyalty, like customer satisfaction and trust, is important because loyal customers often buy the same products or services from the same company over a longer period. A Capgemini study shows that 70 % of emotionally engaged customers spend twice as much on brands they are loyal to. This is not only valuable for the company, as it brings growth and revenue to a business and saves sales and marketing costs, but it also provides customers themselves with security.
The benefits of customer loyalty for businesses
- One of the most apparent benefits of customer loyalty is that it leads to increased revenue and business growth through repeat purchases. Through positive experiences, loyal customers are also more likely to make larger purchases, AND it costs the company less time and money to acquire new customers.
- Customers who are delighted with your product or service are more likely to become brand ambassadors and recommend the company to friends and family. This word-of-mouth advertising, including social media, can be incredibly valuable as it leads to new customers and increases brand awareness.
- Customer loyalty also leads to (long-term) customer loyalty. When customers feel connected to a company, they are less likely to switch to a competitor. And because companies need to spend less time and money on acquiring new customers, they can instead focus on maintaining relationships with existing customers, leading to greater long-term success.
How to increase customer loyalty in your business
- Increasing customer loyalty starts with providing high-quality products, services, and good value for money. For instance, make sure that products and services always perfectly match customer needs. You can exceed customer expectations by providing customised products or services, and offering added value and extras.
- Excellent customer service: When a customer experiences an emotional connection with the company, he or she will not trade these positive experiences for cheaper options at competitors. Companies known for strong (emotional) customer loyalty are often also known for excellent customer service.
Tips for providing excellent customer service:
- Resolve customer issues proactively, make sure the company is easily accessible, and anticipate potential queries.
- Show and create mutual empathy by building a positive emotional bond with customers permanently, even under pressure.
- Offer a listening ear and let customers share experiences by helping them not only with 'transactional' but also with 'experiential' support.
- Recognition: By using a loyalty program, reward customers for that great collaboration, (repeat) purchase, positive review, or referral (referring friends or family). Think of offering a savings programme, discount, or an original corporate gift. Stand out by putting customers in the spotlight not only at the end of the year but also at authentic moments or milestones throughout the year, such as the completion of an important job, the receipt of a large order, or your customer's anniversary.
- Corporate social responsibility: Many consumers are increasingly making a conscious choice for companies with a 'green' or 'doing good' image. Accordingly, research shows that customers increasingly find it essential that companies take responsibility for social issues and that investing in CSR positively affects customer loyalty. This is not about adding a 'green topping' over marketing communications, but living through and complying with solutions that positively impact people and society. You can make this visible as a company by making conscious choices, supporting good causes, and showing generosity when people need it, such as offering help during a crisis. Also, keep this in mind when you choose to give away a sustainable giveaway or corporate gift, for example.
An additional step really makes a difference
Customer loyalty is essential for companies that want to be successful in today's competitive market. This is because increasing customer loyalty leads to more revenue, growth, and long-term success. How to increase customer loyalty? By 'over-delivering' products or services, offering a reward system, and visible investments in CSR. Especially when combined with excellent customer service, customers will not easily trade the positive experience of your company for cheaper options at competitors.