Five Effective Ways of Driving Customer Loyalty

These days, every business is fully aware of the value and importance of loyalty. By contrast, comparatively few businesses have any idea how to nurture and encourage customer loyalty.
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the kind of thing that simply happens by accident. Instead, loyalty is something that needs to be generated proactively, mindfully and strategically.
So when it comes to the overall customer experience you deliver, how can you step things up to improve loyalty among your target audience?

Unexpected Extras
Well, first of all you might want to consider the value and impact of unexpected extras. Providing customers with an outstanding experience from start to finish is all well and good. However, providing them with something they didn’t expect takes things to an entirely higher level. And it’s not as if it has to be anything particularly expensive, complicated or extravagant, either. Absolutely anything you can think of that your customers may appreciate which comes as a pleasant surprise is exactly the kind of thing that keeps them coming back for more.

Start and End Strong
Make no mistake about it – the first impressions and last impressions carry equal weight in the eyes of customers. The importance of first impressions is obvious – you need to set the customer experience off in the right direction and instil an initial sense of confidence. In terms of last impressions, it’s a case of making sure the customer experience ends on a good note. A thoughtful follow-up, demonstration of genuine gratitude or some kind of unexpected extra as mentioned above. Along with creating a great first impression, you also need to leave them with a lasting impression.

Common Interests
It’s important to ensure that your online assets are used to create the kind of social identity your customers can relate to. It’s all about showing your customers that you share their beliefs and values – focusing on common interests can be extremely effective. Think about it – how do you feel when you meet someone for the first time, only to realise you have so much in common?  The answer – you immediately feel a kind of connection and sense of trust you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Personalise Rewards
If you are going to attempt to nurture customer loyalty by handing out rewards, it’s critical that you do so on a personal level. Or to put it another way, ensure that everything you hand out is relevant to the recipient. After all, sending a generous discount coupon valid only on steaks isn’t going to go down well with a lifelong vegan.

Communicate More
Last but not least, the more any given business makes the effort to join the conversation with its customers, the less it comes across as a faceless corporation. Driving loyalty is all about showing the human side of the business and generating interest in what you do and what you have to offer. Which is something you will never succeed in, should you choose to operate like a glorified vending machine. The more you communicate and the more personal your communication, the more likely your customers are to show loyalty to your brand.