New customers are the lifeblood of companies, or are they? Lately, marketers have been spending more time on current customers — revamping what customer service means, investing more in customer relationship management (CRM) systems and building teams to improve communication with customers.
In this age of social connectivity, customer loyalty has become more valuable than ever. Consumers share stories of their interactions with businesses on social media, meaning that word-of-moth marketing is especially valuable.
Here are some best practices to take customer loyalty up a notch:
1. Improve your ‘Thank You.’
Most of us have a Web page or email that thanks our customers for converting, whether that means joining the community, purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter. But chances are good that the “thank you” could use some work. Because the thank you page or email is seen by every single one of your customers, you should ask: Does it put your best foot forward?
Rather than merely using that page to confirm an action, why not add some useful resources, follow-up steps or company contact information? Other ideas for improvement include lacing in a promotion to instigate immediate action or simply making the message more visually enticing.
2. Optimize your feedback channels.
Feedback comes in many forms but chances are you’re getting customer responses you aren’t even using. While many companies tap into what their customer service department is hearing, they are less likely to proactively survey their website visitors or to analyze their cancelation and return forms. That’s a shame because these are all opportunities to get more information on what customers need.
3. Assign someone to manage it.
Tracking and improving customer loyalty can be a challenge if no one specific is managing it. Good candidates for this responsibility often come from customer service, marketing, operations or product teams. The key qualifications are the ability to work well with others and a belief in the value of both qualitative and quantitative data analysis.
Whoever you choose should understand that customer loyalty may touch a number of departments at your company, but it deserves its own champion for maximum success.
When you take the time to improve your feedback channels, you are telling your audience, “We care about what you think.” This reminder can help build loyalty and help you answer concerns in a timelier manner, reducing customer loss and building trust.
4. Broadcast your customer loyaty.
While customer loyalty should have a dedicated advocate, it is a company-wide effort. Unfortunately, customer loyalty scores rarely get touted as much as revenue and profits. Why is that? Many companies see customer loyalty as something beyond their control, that it is the natural result of the websites they build and products and services they sell. But companies have a number of opportunities to build trust and loyalty by making their interactions with customers the best they can be.
To show the importance of these interactions to customer retention, you can share with the rest of the company the results of your loyalty measurements, whether good or bad. This makes it a company-wide priority, and only then are you really taking customer loyalty to the next level.
Not sure how to increase your customer loyalty? Looking for some industry marketing advice. Contact us, we are the experts.
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