Customer Loyalty: 5 Ways to Turn Clients into Fans

How much of your revenue comes from repeat customers? How much have you lost due to those who never returned?

If you are not sure, consider this:

A 5% increase in customer retention can result in an average profit increase of nearly 40%!

40% is a lot! But how is it possible?

In addition to positive word of mouth, studies show that loyal customers spend 14 times more than those who are still on the fence. If that weren’t enough, once you consider the cost of marketing, advertising, and follow up, it can be 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.

No matter what industry you are in, there is one simple truth about doing business in the digital age: customer loyalty is important. This is easily said, but how do you make sure your clients stick around for the long haul?

How to Turn Your Current Clients into Lifelong Fans

There are a lot of ways to build a solid customer base and some strategies have proven more effective than others. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of my most successful tactics based on my personal experience of growing your customer loyalty.

1. Provide Exceptional Customer Service

In this day and age, competition is strong and choices feel unlimited. As a result, it is imperative that you keep your customers happy with every interaction. In fact, 71% of consumers admit to ending a business relationship due to a single negative customer experience. A single negative experience! The good news: their 71% loss is a lot of friction for you to pick up new business by providing better customer service than your competitors.

Don’t stop at resolving customer complaints, take it a step further. Build a personal relationship with your clientele. Send them thank-you notes and birthday cards—even go so far as to look them up on social media, learn about their interests, and add a personal touch to your communications.

Recognizing your clients as individuals, rather than revenue, will go a long way in keeping their business for years to come.

2. Offer Free Services Grows Customer Loyalty

One thing that has never failed to keep customers interested, is the word “free.” However, it’s important that you offer something your clients will value—the more personal the better. Who are your primary and secondary personas? What are their goals and aspirations, and what is standing in the way of their ability to achieve them?

Offer classes, either online or at community colleges. Publish a monthly or weekly newsletter with tips on how to make the most of your service. Or think outside the box. I was recently speaking with a friend in real estate who mentioned that many would-be clients come unprepared, with poor credit and no idea how to fix it. I suggested that she offer credit repair services to both help raise their credit score and increase their borrowing potential!

The possibilities are endless but you should be specific. If you can’t think of what to offer your customers, ask them.

Engaging with your clients is a big part of providing good customer service and gives you the opportunity to understand what they love most about doing business with you and what they feel is lacking.

3. Reward Clients with Promotions and Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are often viewed as “old school” but studies show they are still very effective. After researching over 200 brands, Payfort found that engaged customers tend to buy 90% more often, and spend 60% more per transaction. That’s real money in your pocket that would be spent elsewhere by customers who don’t feel any loyalty to your business.

But there’s a catch. Any old discount doesn’t cut it anymore. According to ICLP, a customer loyalty consulting firm, successful rewards programs focus on the specific choices and preferences of your clientele. In fact, 41% of consumers are more likely to remain loyal to a business that offers personalized rewards.

If you don’t have a system in place to track specific data about your client purchasing patterns, roll up your sleeves and do it the old-fashioned way. Send them thank-you emails and include a questionnaire or a simple call to action, asking them what they’d like to see more of—or even what their plans are for the summer.

The more you know about your customers, the more specific you can be. Do they love to travel? Offer them hotel vouchers. Are they coffee addicts? Send them a Starbucks gift card. There is no wrong answer, as long as you make it personal.

When your clients love you, so will their friends, families, and followers.

4. Share Useful Tips on Social Media

Social media is a two-way street. While you can gain valuable details about your clients’ interests, you can also provide them with information about your products and services. To make the most of your social media strategy, you should be doing both at the same time.

In addition to sharing your own posts, be sure to follow those who like or comment on them. Respond to the comments and ask if you can share the ones that highlight your personal brand.

As far as your own posts are concerned, here is one very important rule to follow: do not make it all about you! Your clients already know you exist. Aside from a new product or a special sale, they don’t need to be reminded of things they are already aware of. Offer them helpful information that may relate to your business without trying to sell them on it.

When in doubt, err on the side of humor. Some of the most successful brands on social media have a lot of followers because they are funny. Even when their posts have nothing to do with the product itself.

5. Give Clients a Quick Response Time

An Oracle study found that 50% of customers wait one week for a company’s response before abandoning the service entirely. In my experience, it’s less than that. Whether it is a bad review on Yelp or a negative comment on Facebook, don’t waste any time addressing it.

Also, be specific with your response. Don’t offer a generic apology, reference the real problem at hand and how you will fix it. If it’s a question, answer it. Don’t wait a week or even a day. Answer it immediately, before they have a chance to Google it.

If it is valuable, offer them additional resources like video tutorials or eBooks. Microsoft, an already well-known brand, had a lot of success with their eBook, “3 Ways the Right Data Improves Customer Engagement,” because it provided value for their clients without trying to sell them on a new service.

It is also important to respond to positive reviews and comments. Let your clients know that you are paying attention, and more importantly, that you care how they feel. Sharing a particular comment (with their permission) can go a long way in making them feel special, which leads to positive word of mouth and higher revenue.

Conclusion

Go the Extra Mile.

There are many ways to increase your customer loyalty but they won’t work if you don’t make them a priority. By providing exceptional customer service, you will prevent your customers from moving on to your competitors. By paying attention to their individual interests and purchasing patterns, you will have the tools you need to offer personalized services and rewards that lead to higher and more frequent sales. When you get a negative review, address it immediately and learn from it.

The new age of marketing is all about offering a personal touch. Take these tips and try them out for yourself. Figure out what works best and what doesn’t. If you show your clients that you care about how they feel, they will be loyal to you! That’s how you grow your customer loyalty for your brand.

Daniel Rosen
Daniel Rosen is the founder of a successful software company and an expert in running credit repair companies. His training work includes The Ultimate Guide to Starting a Credit Repair Business book and the Credit Repair Master Class online course.
Daniel Rosen

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