To businesses, especially businesses in the B2C segment -- loyal customers are more valuable than new customers. Even research has shown that loyal customers are worth up to 10 times the value of their first purchase. This makes it paramount for businesses to improve the number of loyal customers they have versus their one-off customers.
Also, given that the cost of acquiring a new customer is higher than that of maintaining an existing one, building customer loyalty is necessary for any business that aims to remain competitive. When a business has more loyal customers, it has the opportunity to put its marketing cost at a manageable size and spend more on improving the quality of its services and products. This is mainly because loyal customers are more likely to spread your business through word of mouth marketing (WOM), which, like customer reviews, is very critical to customer acquisition.
The following are strategies you can use to improve customer loyalty.
1. Improve on customer experience
Customer experience ranks as one of the most important tools for increasing loyalty and advocacy. The secret to satisfying your customers lies in providing them with superior customer experience. A study conducted by the White House Office of Consumer Affairs found that 80 percent of consumers in the US are willing to pay more in order to get an improved customer experience.
By improving on the experience and satisfaction delivered to your customers, you're erasing the chances of losing them to you competitors. In the age of improved consumer awareness, customers are now well aware of the powers that lie in the choices they make. Use this opportunity to your own advantage.
2. Improve employee morale
Employee performance will affect the experience your customers have when doing business with your company. This is even more so for businesses where employees maintain constant touch and interactions with their customers such as the food and luxury industry.
How your employees see their job will impact how they treat your customers. Some form of morale boosting strategies could either be offering them career-advancing training or giving them incentives based on how much satisfaction they bring the customers.
Daniel Carter, founder of CrusieNewPortBeach, a company in the luxury travel industry says they benefited from training employees on how to interact with their customers. "We had all of our employees go through training in handling customer requests before they are trusted with the role of interacting with customers directly."
While this strategy might be tedious, especially for businesses who need as much hands as they can get -- the results actually pays off.
3. Showcase your customers' success story
This strategy works in two ways and its benefits are like killing two birds with one stone. Customer success stories, or case studies, can help influence existing customers into bringing more people to your business. The feeling of being appreciated and having their success story shared on your company website or on social media will motivate your existing customer base and will also help you win the trust of new customers.
4. Run loyalty programs
Rewarding your customers for their loyalty is another strategy you can successfully implement. The aim of loyalty programs is to reward your customers for frequently making purchases. You can even encourage users to become repeat customers by targeting them with the right loyalty programs. Some of the loyalty programs can be in the form of customers earning points for every purchase they make, which they can end up using to redeem valuable goods or services from your company.
At the end, being able to retain one loyal customer is worth more than earning two new customers that you'll lose. By using the right strategies geared towards securing the trusts and loyalty of your customers, you'll keep your business afloat without expensive marketing costs.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by Entrepreneur.com.ph