Technology has made things very easy for consumers to have choices. While choice is certainly a good thing, it makes developing brand loyalty an important part of your marketing plan. When customers are presented a world full of options because of modern technology, you need to go above and beyond to make your business their go-to choice.
After all, it costs five times more to earn a new customer than it is to retain one. For that reason, your customer loyalty program, combined with a solid customer retention strategy, should play a significant role in your marketing plan.
But what does that look like? Here are four ways that you can combine the idea of customer loyalty and customer retention to keep consumers dedicated to your brand.
1. Be Proactive in Seeking Ways to Correct Your Mistakes
We all know that the art of entrepreneurship means trying and failing and then trying again. The same theory is true when it comes to loyalty. Nothing is perfect—including your products. So, if you want to find out why customers are leaving, look back through your customer service records. Ask yourself:
- What has caused people to become upset?
- How did you correct mistakes you made when you attempted to satisfy customers?
- Did the solution work? Why/why not?
Use the information to invite changes and improvements. Of course, customer service is not always why people choose a competitor’s brand over yours. There are many different reasons.
An excellent way to track how/why customers stop using your products is to create some sort of database that tracks reasons customers leave. You need to find the answers to three important questions:
- Why did customers quit using your product?
- How long were they loyal to your brand before deciding to quit using it?
- What could you do to make them continue using your brand?
But, you don't want to wait until it's too late to ask these questions. Use your loyalty program to help you find answers to these types of questions. Perhaps sending an email offering a coupon code for answering the questions like the ones above—just rephrase them in a proactive manner:
- Is there anything about our product we could improve?
- How long have you used our product?
- What do we need to do to keep you loyal to us?
2. Keep Your Current Customers Happy
The easiest way to keep customers loyal is to keep them happy. This means letting them know they are appreciated. One very easy way to do this is a mobile app made to offer a loyalty program and loyalty coupons.
Think about things like this: Your product has a life cycle, and when that life cycle nears its end, your customer will either buy another product from you, or he/she will look elsewhere.
Your loyalty program will offer discounts, and paper coupons in the mail will let your customers know that you are still there, but a mobile app used as a marketing tool for customer retention will be well worth the investment. You can develop a customer engagement strategy that keeps you interacting with your clients via social media channels or mobile channels.
When you can send push notes about product updates, your customers see the improvements you are making in your product. So, your brand is the one that stays in the forefront of their thinking.
The best part, mobile is no longer as expensive as it was in the past. You can find affordable ways to build an app. You can create a functioning app with any top app builder platform for next to nothing, and the hosting fees are extremely affordable.
3. Create a Net Promoter Scoring Metric
A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a customer service scoring metric that helps you determine “good profits” vs. “bad profits.” You do this by asking one simple question. “How likely are you to promote this business to someone else?”
After you get your answers, you classify customers.
- Promoter—give you a score of 9-10
- Passive—give you a score of 7-8
- Detractors—give you a score of 0-6
Then you subtract the detractors from the promoters, and you get your loyalty health.
It’s important to understand your NPS so that you can work to improve problems with your product, and so you can adjust your marketing to clients who will yield you “good profit” instead of “bad profits.”
When you look at NPS, the first thing that you need to understand is that if you sell a product to someone who does not know how to use it and that person offers negative reviews based on his inabilities, that can hurt your business. In short, the money you make off of this person is not worth the money you could lose if he speaks negatively as a result of his misunderstanding. This is called "bad profit." It’s bad because it sacrifices growth for your company.
On the contrary, a “good profit” is when a customer knows how to maximize the benefits of your product and shares that with potential buyers. It’s a good profit because it helps to ensure positive growth for your business.
Social media makes it very easy for customers to share their thinking about products. You need to make sure that you are going after those good profits so that your business's reputation is not damaged by negative social media feedback that is unwarranted.
4. Make Your Product Something Customers Love
What you sell is the backbone of your business. If you sell a quality product dedicated to do what you designed it to do, you are on the right path to building brand loyalty. If you can set your product apart from your competitions, then you are well ahead of the game.
Products that boast a large following of brand loyalty customers have a few things in common. These include:
Deliver on promises. When your product works as you advertise it, your customers develop a sense of trust for your brand. This is a crucial element in developing brand loyalty.
Create a positive user experience. Nobody likes to be frustrated—especially if that frustration is caused by something they've spent money on. When you are developing your product, it's in your best interest to invest in usability. That means taking the time to learn what makes your product aesthetically pleasing as well as conveniently functional.
Make sure you have dedicated customer support specialists. When your customers are confident in your customer support system, they will feel valued and important. Providing a dedicated support team will help you through your entire sales funnel—from answering pre sales questions up through solving problems after a purchase has been made.
The Take Aways
Brand loyalty is tough to achieve. But, with some foresight, you can try to shut down any troubles before they happen. If you combine that vision with a strong loyalty program and a solid customer retention plan, you can keep customers loyal your company while also promoting your product to others.
About Our Guest Author
Andrew Gazdecki is the founder and CEO of Bizness Apps — making mobile apps affordable and simple for small businesses. We’re a do-it-yourself iPhone, iPad, Android & HTML5 app platform that allows any small business to simultaneously create, edit, and manage mobile apps without any programming knowledge needed. Think of us as “WordPress for mobile app creation.” Many of our customers are mobile app resellers -- marketing or design agencies that use our platform to cost effectively build mobile apps for small business clients.
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