There’s an old truism in business that it’s easier to retain an existing customer than it is to find a new one.
Yet many in business are terrible at doing just that. We focus attention on lead generation and finding new customers. We get distracted, if you like, by the ‘shiny new thing’: the potential value of a new prospect.
If that sounds like you, here’s a statistic that should jolt you out of it: 66 per cent of consumers spend more money on the brands they love.
That is to say, they’re spending money with:
- Brands they already know
- Brands they had a positive experience with
- Brands that, for whatever reason, have earned their loyalty.
That could be you!
So, how do you do it?
Give good customer service
A lot of people talk a good game on customer service but don’t actually deliver on it, yet this is the first step to building loyalty.
If you don’t know whether your customers are actually getting good service or not, ask them. Do a survey. Find out your strengths and weaknesses.
Track the customer journey through your business. Look closely and carefully at every contact point. What are they experiencing? Could it be better? Make the changes you need to make and get your whole team on board with them.
PODCAST: Customer service is a marketing tool
Ensure your product delivers on the promise
If your product isn’t up to scratch, it doesn’t matter how good your customer service is, customers aren’t going to come back.
Whatever you’re selling, whether it’s car mufflers, cosmetics or algebra tuition, make sure your product is the best it can possibly be. Live up to the promise you make in your advertising.
Create content that builds brand loyalty
In recent years brands have woken up to the fact they can build brand loyalty by creating first-class content that engages their customers. A recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute found 81 per cent of brands were concerned with creating content that builds brand loyalty with existing customers.
Whether it’s written, video or audio content and whether it’s entertaining, informative or educational, the important thing is you’re providing your customer with some added value, totally free of charge.
You’re giving the consumer a chance to engage with your brand at times other than when they’re planning a purchase. You’re turning your website (or content platform) into a destination – somewhere consumers want to spend time. Good content keeps them coming back.
FURTHER READING: How to use content marketing to build brand loyalty
Make the most of your database
How do you use your customer database? Are you hitting them up with sales messages regularly? What’s your email open rate like? And the bounce rate?
Yes, customers want to know about discounts, specials and new products, but if they know your emails (or newsletters or whatever) include great content with fantastic and useful insights, information or entertainment, then they’re far more likely to:
- Open it
- Stick around
- Open the next thing you send them.
They might even click through and buy something.
Your customer database is your best friend. You can contact existing customers directly, without paying money to the local newspaper or radio station, Facebook, or Google. You just need to make sure the message you’re sending is worthwhile.