8 Ways To Build Customer Loyalty After The Lock-down

24 April 2020

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8 Ways To Build Customer LoyaltyAfter The Lockdown


One of the most common mistakes many small businesses make is that they spend a lot of energy trying to get “new” customers; while ignoring retention efforts to keep their “existing” customers coming back.

In other words, they allocate most of their budget to getting new customers to come through the doors, but hardly invest any of their marketing dollars on keeping their existing customers spending money with them.

To clear it up, a successful business is not about who gains the most new customers; it’s about who gains the most PROFITS in the end. A true “loyal” customer is cultivated over time; not one who makes a couple of purchases and they’re gone.

Business owners who only focus on attracting new customers usually find out the hard way that many of their customers won’t stick around for the long-haul.

Therefore, instead of looking for a million ways to attract “new” customers, companies must put more attention towards their existing customers.

What is customer retention?

Simply put, this is the act of applying effective strategies and techniques that prompt your existing customers to use your company whenever they are in need of your type of products or services in the future; turning them into long-term, loyal customers.

Of course, customer loyalty heavily depends on how good (or bad) your products are – as well as how good (or bad) your customer service is. However, without solid processes that actively keep your existing customers coming back, even the best products and best customer service won’t keep your business afloat alone.

Some companies already understand that REPEAT business should be one of their top goals; so they are aggressively implementing powerful customer loyalty and retention strategies.

What does this mean for your business?

Well, if you are not on the same track, you could be losing some of your customers to your competition. Not only that, but those competitors are probably using customer retention tactics that will make your customers STAY with them.

A loyal customer can be further described as:

• Someone who makes regular purchases from you
• Someone who purchases multiple products and services from you
• Someone who refers others to your company
• Someone who ignores the competition

Loyal customers are hard to come by; so HOW do you make it happen?

Ways You Can Build Customer Loyalty and Retention

You may be wondering “how” your company can build stronger customer loyalty.

In this post, we are going to quickly review some procedures you can implement into your marketing mix that will help keep your existing customers coming back to do business with you. Not only that, but you will learn some ways to “keep” them in a long-lasting relationship with you – ultimately leading to a boost in your bottom line.

Every business should make a serious effort to devote adequate time and apply the appropriate budget to the area of “customer loyalty” if they want the best ROI.

Don’t know where to start?

Digital technology –

OK, we need to get a little more high tech such as mobile phones and computers – they make building customer loyalty easier than ever before. Not only that, but these methods make it easier for companies to actually track data associated with those strategies.

Here are 8 strategy’s that can help you keep in touch, build relationships and get more repeat sales:

1. Email Marketing:

This is one of the most popular forms of marketing today and is a very good way to stay in touch with your local customers. Most internet users use email, so this is a simple way to remain connected with consumers.
Building a relationship with your customers via email allows you to keep them up to date on your company, your products, and your services.
Most businesses these days have already come up with an email database of their customers. However, many of them are not doing anything with those email addresses – so they’re just sitting on their hard drive or in an old notebook collecting dust.
With email marketing, you’ll be able to reach people in the comfort of their own home – or wherever they may be in the world. In other words, you can keep your business at the forefront of their minds when they need your type of product or service.
Email is a great tool for relationship-building with your customers because you have the ability to personalize your communication – creating trust and credibility.
Your responses will be delivered instantly and the emails are traceable so it’s easy to track how well your campaigns are working for you.

2. Text Message Marketing:

Just like email, text message marketing is a very effective way of driving more loyal customers and generating more sales. As a matter of fact, it could help you reach your target audience even faster.

Millions of mobile consumers keep their mobile phones within arm’s reach at all times; meaning most of them will see your message within minutes of you sending it… What other forms of marketing can claim that?

Happy customers are likely to respond right away when they receive your special text message offers. Instead of waiting for your audience to reach out to you, text message marketing allows you to be proactive just by sending a quick text message.

However, just be careful to mix in some good, value-added content from time to time instead of hitting them with offers every single day.

Once your text message subscribers send a text message to your mobile short code, they will automatically be added to your mobile subscriber list – which means they are opting-in to receive future messages and offers from you.

Here are some benefits of text marketing:

– Fast delivery. Seconds after sending your text message, your customers will open and read it.

– Reliability. Compared to email marketing where you have to fight against spam and other filters, there are no barriers with text messaging. You will then be assured that your message will be received and read right away from the targeted market.

– Unlimited market-reach. Text messaging is the fastest way to communicate with people… and it’s the same thing when marketing a business. Can you imagine the number of people you’ll be able to reach with just the click of a mouse?

– Direct to the point. E-mails are pretty long compared to text messages, which means text messages take a lot less time to prepare.

With a limited number of text message characters, businesses are forced to omit irrelevant information and go directly to the whole point of sending the text message.

3. Mobile Coupons:

As far as experts in marketing are concerned, mobile coupon marketing is the next big thing to hit the advertising world.
For consumers, keeping up with paper coupons is getting harder and harder. Everyone is busy these days; so remembering to bring along coupons is usually the last thing on our minds.

However, consumers have embraced mobile coupon marketing due to the convenience of carrying the coupon with them at all times – right on their mobile devices.

Your customers use their mobile phones all the time which means that your mobile coupons will likely be opened and read right away.

This is powerful for creating repeat sales as you will stay in the forefront of your customers’ minds when they need your type of product or service.

4. Mobile-Friendly Website:

Let’s say one of your happy customers is out and about and decide that they want or need your product or service…
So they whip out their cell phone to get your phone number… but when they land on your company website, the website does not load. And if it does, they have scroll like crazy just to find what they need.

Not only will this be a frustrating experience for your mobile customers, but it’s one that could impact your ability to generate more sales from them.
Nothing can get our blood boiling like the inability to access a company website on our mobile devices – especially when we’re in need.

So if you really want to send your customers running to your competition, don’t bother to make your website mobile-friendly.
This is a surefire way to create some unhappy customers, which could jeopardize your ability to win their attention in the future.

Besides… the world is mobile… your customers are mobile… isn’t it about time for YOU to become mobile? Your customers expect this of companies they do business with.

5. Social Media Marketing:

With more than one billion people using social media to connect with friends, family, and businesses, it is safe to assume that social media is here to stay and will not be going away anytime soon.

Who doesn’t use social media these days?

Only a handful of people and if you really think about it, millions of people all around the world can be reached quickly and easily through the various social media networks.

This is great news for companies around the world because social media has opened the doors to create a real-time consumer to business interaction online. This is a huge opportunity for small businesses to connect with their local customers and keep them engaged.

Socialization is perfect for building strong relationships with your customers as you watch them continue to do business with you – as well as refer your business to others within their networks.

You can market your products or services on the most popular social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, etc. Your customers will be able to leave feedback or questions about your products and services right on your pages; giving your brand a chance to shine by publicly responding and providing excellent service.

Responding to customer concerns – and even customer praises – shows that your company really cares about your customers. Showing that you place value on your customers’ happiness will ultimately lead to repeat sales and a higher level of customer retention over time..

6. Monitoring and Responding to Customer Reviews:

Have you ever read a product review on something you were considering purchasing? If you can recall that specific review, how did it affect the way you felt about the product after reading the whole thing?
A positive review probably had you set on buying it, right?
A bad review probably had you running the other way…

This is exactly how your customers will feel when they come across negative information about your company online. Just because they may have had nothing but good experiences with your company in the past does not mean that they will ALWAYS hold that image to heart.

Consumers today fully trust what other consumers have to say about a product, service, or business online – whether it’s true or not. This means if your “satisfied” customers come across negative comments regarding your company, chances are that your image can be tarnished with them – making them seek out other alternatives… a.k.a – your competition.

Want to really put your customer loyalty on speed level? Ask your happy customers to leave reviews for you on the various online review sites such as Google+ Local, Yelp, YellowPages, etc.

Happy customers will likely leave a positive review but do not offer an incentive for doing so because that is considering “bribing,” which could backfire.

So you know the best way to accomplish this? Just provide great products and services and they will be happy to leave a good review for you! It’s as simple as that.

Over time, you will see the level of online reviews get better and better for your business as long as you continue to offer quality products and services. This, in turn, will keep your existing customers coming back for more – as well as attract new customers.

7. Online Reputation Management & Branding:

To build upon customer reviews, which we talked about in the last section, an overall good business reputation is something that your existing customers expect from you.

The last thing you want to happen is for your loyal customers to move over to one of your competitors because of a bad online reputation.

Can you afford to see them go elsewhere – taking a risk that they’ll never come back? The most important thing to remember here is to be extra careful about what content is published about your company online.

How are you marketing your brand on the internet? Are you flooding the web with good, helpful content in regards to your industry? Are you keeping your personal opinions off of your business pages? Are you even paying attention to your online reputation at all?

Not only do you need to monitor and respond to things that are being said about your brand online; but you also need to continuously build brand awareness using various methods to help your customers remember YOU when it matters most.

Remember, your happy customers can still leave you in just a blink of an eye; but don’t let it be because of your online reputation, which can be monitored, managed, and controlled.

8. Under-Promise and Over-Deliver Every Time:

Want to really see your customers giving you kudos? Simply give more than you promise. In just about any type of business, this strategy will help you keep your customers around for a long time.

Value-added items, such as occasional freebies or great discounts will show your customers that you really do care about providing them with value.

Another powerful method is to give them something really simple – such as free tips in regards to your type of product or service. For instance, a dentist can offer their patients dental care tips via email, text messaging, direct mail, or other methods. Their patients will appreciate this and keep them in mind the next time they need a filling.

Here’s an extra tip and strategy to get you going!

*** Customer Loyalty and Rewards Programs ***

The implementation of a customer loyalty and rewards program has worked wonders for many companies across the world. Getting your customers into your rewards program funnel is one of the most powerful ways to keep them buying from you over and over again.

Loyalty and rewards programs make your customers feel “special” because they are part of your “discount and coupons” club, which means they get first notifications of any special offers you may have.

Let’s take a closer look at loyalty and rewards programs…

The Importance of Customer Loyalty and Rewards Programs

The sole purpose of a customer rewards program is to keep our competition at bay by motivating your happy customers to continue to do business with you.
Implementing strategies to retain your existing customers is much more affordable than aggressively prospecting for new customers. So any money spent on loyalty and rewards programs will lead to customer retention and repeat sales, which is always worth it.

What Exactly Is a Customer Rewards Program?

A customer rewards program is a marketing strategy that is adopted by companies with the purpose of creating repeat, loyal customers.

Many business industries only see an increase in sales during special events or peak seasons; that’s unless they have a customer loyalty and rewards program, which is designed to help them see an increase in sales consistently.

Once you implement your loyalty program, encourage every single customer – and potential customer – to join for the best results.
Using email or text messages, you can be in direct contact with your local customers, resulting in repeat sales and higher profits.

Why Use a Customer Rewards Program?

A customer reward program is a great way of keeping your customers loyal, excited, and happy about their relationship with you. While your customers will see bigger savings just for being a member of your loyalty program, your business will see some benefits as well:

1. Repeat business. Your loyalty club members will receive a lot of perks just for being a member… so they’re excited about coming back for more.
Due to the fact that they are enrolled in your loyalty program naturally encourages more spending. Every time they spend, they get rewards – and you get more money. So it’s a win-win for everyone involved!

2. More Profits. Your customers are likely to get hooked on your rewards program, which is great. The longer they stay, the more money you will make in the long run. Does it look like Monday night is your slowest night for the past several months? Shoot out a text message to your program members and let them know about an awesome special offer you have just for club members on Monday nights. That won’t cost you much, but it sure could add a few extra hundreds of dollars to your bank account.

3. Instant Contact with Club Members. Whenever you get an idea about an offer to send to your loyalty club members, there’s no waiting. You can send it out instantly and many of them will see it within minutes.

What are the Different Types of Rewards Programs & Incentives?

• Buy One, Get One Free
• Buy One, Get One Half-Off
• Bring a Friend Deals
• Dollar Amount or Percentage Off if Spend a Certain Dollar Amount
• Dollar Amount or Percentage Off of Total Purchase
• Birthday Discounts and Freebies
• Free Product or Service After a Certain Number of Purchases
• Earn “Points” for Every Purchase
• And many others…

Deciding which type of rewards program and incentives are best for your company takes come research; it’s different for every company and heavily depends on the type of products and services you offer.

Just choose the structures that make the most sense for your customers; be sure to test out different strategies to see which ones work the best for you.

Tips for Starting a Successful Rewards Program

• Plan it Out – before you start anything, develop a detailed plan that outlines how you will go about your customer loyalty rewards program. How will your points system be structured? What are your rewards? If the system does not work, what is your exit strategy? Answer all of these questions and more when planning out your rewards program for the best results.

• Ask Your Customers What They Want – this can be done by sending a quick email or text message… or even simply asking your customers who come into your establishment. Take their feedback and create programs that will make them flock to your business for the long-haul.

• Make it Easy for People to Sign up – keep it simple. You can have them opt-in to your mobile or email list… or you can have them fill out a short form in your store… or on your Facebook page… the possibilities are endless. Just keep the sign-up form short and appealing.

• Tailor Incentives for Specific Customers – segment your customers by certain attributes that make sense. Then, create incentives to cater to each group.

• Make Sure Your Rewards are Valuable – make it worth your customers’ time to participate in your rewards program. Your offers must fill a specific need your customers face – in a very big way.

• Initiate the Program – Let all employees know the details of the program so that they can explain how it works to your customers. Also, make all customers aware of your new loyalty program by informing them through website updates, emails, in-store posts, text message and many other means of communication

• Ask EVERYONE – to Join Your Rewards Program

When implementing a customer loyalty and rewards program, your main goal will be to invite as many people as possible to join. If not, it could end up being a waste of time.

It’s as simple as asking all of your customers, “Would you like to join our rewards program and receive discounts on future purchases?”

Not asking people to join is like letting money slip through your fingertips because once they join, you will have a direct marketing connection to them.

Take advantage of all means of communication, such as:

– Ask customers who visit your establishment
– Ask your Social media followers
– Post in-store signs
– Send an e-mail to your list
– Send a text message to your list
– Post it on your website or blog
– Put it on your flyers and direct mail

• Don’t give up. There may be a point, especially during the first few days or weeks, when you feel like the strategy is not working but be consistent all the time and don’t give up. Over time, you should begin to see the fruits of your labor as you start to generate more repeat sales without having to spend a ton on advertising.

The main reason customer reward programs work so well is because everyone stands to get something great out of the customer-business relationship – your business and your customers.

Many people are willing to go the extra mile just to get special discounts and rewards in the future. If correctly implemented, a loyalty program could completely change the fate of a struggling business.

What are you doing to keep your customers coming back for repeat sales? If you have not implemented any marketing strategies or processes that promote customer loyalty and retention, it’s about time you seriously take a look at it.

It’s easy for customers to go checking out the competition, so be serious and consistent about your customer retention efforts for the best results.
Delivering quality builds trust. Delivering value builds credibility. The combination is the most powerful tool you can have in your company to keep your customers loyal for life.

Over time, your company will realize increased sales, profits, and ROI… which is exactly why keeping your customers satisfied, engaged, and informed is no longer an option… it’s a MUST.

Not only will they continue to choose your company, but they will also send even more potential repeat buyers your way.

I hope you find this blog post helpful in developing a larger and stronger customer base.
Chris Tietgens
Matukka Marketing
[email protected]

I help local businesses in the area implement various online marketing strategies that help them build loyalty and retention. Chances are especially lately you’ve wondered how you can stay connected to your current customers and I have several ideas to help you do so.

Contact us using the onsite contact form Here –> for a free consultation so we can start to create a solid customer loyalty plan for your company right away.

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