The rise of online shopping and accessibility to products and services is making it harder for companies to build customer loyalty. But it’s crucial to hold onto your existing customers and keep them coming back, if your business is going to succeed.

According to research conducted by BIA/Kelsey and Manta, repeat customers spend 67% more than new ones. Furthermore, earning loyalty with just 5% of your customers can result in an increased average profit per customer of 25%-100%.

There’s clearly a significant profit potential from returning customers. So, what are you doing to promote customer loyalty and outshine your competition?

Here are four tactics to build customer loyalty among even the most fickle of customers:

1. Personalization

Personalization is a proven technique for increasing customer loyalty. One of the reasons it works so well is because it makes your customers feel like you care about each and every one of them. Companies in every industry can use personalization to increase loyalty—and they should. While a personalized experience may once have been a “nice to have”, today it’s a “must-have” if you expect your customers to stay loyal.

There are a number of ways to embrace personalization. An “oldie but goodie” that goes a long way is addressing your email recipients by their first names. You can also present offers based on your customer's physical location, according to their IP address.

You can take personalization further by making use of the vast amount of information you can gather about your customers’ online behavior.

For example, you might notice that a customer tends to make purchases in the evening hours. If this customer has items in her shopping cart and has not yet checked out, you can present her with a limited-time offer for one of those items during the time of day she’s most likely to see and use it. You can also personalize your customer’s experience by offering product recommendations based on her unique browsing and purchase history.

One tool that can help you do this is Personali’s Intelligent Incentive Platform.

How Online Businesses Can Build Customer Loyalty in 2017 1-1.png

The platform has advanced algorithms that can help you offer personalized pricing and discounts to specific customers based on their purchasing behavior and history, which helps improve the customer experience and build loyalty.

2. Ask customers for feedback 

Everyone wants to feel appreciated. And everyone wants to know that their opinion matters. People also like to share their experiences and help others out there with their purchasing decisions.

By reaching out to your customers and asking for their testimonials about their experiences with your product or service, you are giving them exactly what they want.  They will feel like their personal experience with your company matters to you. And by providing you with feedback, your customers will feel like they are helping you improve your service for others and for themselves when they return as customers, in the future.

Reaching out to each of your past customers might seem like an overwhelming task, but it doesn't have to be. There are plenty of tools out there to make it easier. For example, the Spectoos testimonial platform is a great tool for streamlining the collection of testimonials. It gives you access to a user-friendly interface where you can customize messages, send them to your customers, and receive replies - all directly from within the platform.

How Online Businesses Can Build Customer Loyalty in 2017 2.jpg

Then, all you have to do is enable them to appear in a beautifully designed widget that you can embed across your web assets.

How Online Businesses Can Build Customer Loyalty in 2017 3.jpg

3. Providing phenomenal customer service

Today’s consumers expect top-notch customer service. But this doesn’t mean that you should quickly respond to their emails with canned messages. In fact, template responses are a serious “no-no” and they’ll have your customers checking out your competition’s website quicker than you can say “Please don’t go.”

Good communication is crucial to maintaining strong consumer relations. In order to provide phenomenal customer service, you need to be active and engage with your customers not only via email, but also on social media and other channels they might use. Your replies to questions, comments and complaints should always be helpful and should focus on providing value. They should also make your customer feel like you actually took the time to address what they had to say.

For an example of phenomenal customer service, check out this email reply from a representative at Melissa & Doug, a toy company. The customer had sent an email asking for replacement blocks for a toy they’d purchased. Here’s the reply they received:

 
 

Thanks so much for your email. We’re truly sorry to hear about your missing shapes. I have looked all over our office since I read your email early this morning, but unfortunately, we do not have a Shape Sorting Cube here for me to “borrow” the shapes from. I even called our warehouse to see if we had an open package, but no luck. With over two thousand toys in our collection, and due to slight cutting variations from cube to cube, and over time, we do not stock any individual replacement pieces for this shape sorter in our inventory. I am so sorry we couldn't be of more help.

Thanks so much for supporting Melissa & Doug.

Make every day Funday!

Shelly

 

  Despite not being able to fulfill the customer’s request for replacement blocks, this representative clearly showed an effort to address the customer’s question and took the time to write them a personal, detailed message.

4. Use incentives and gamification

People are drawn to the competitive nature of games and to the appeal of winning. Companies can use gamification, which is the use of game-like elements such as points, levels and rewards, to encourage engagement with a brand or product. This helps effectively increase customer loyalty.

To fully embrace gamification and incentives, you can design offers for your customers that are personalized and fun. Promotions like free gifts or discounted add-on items can be tailored to the individual’s preferences to increase the chances they’ll complete their purchase and come back to make future ones. Point systems are another way companies are using gamification to encourage customer loyalty.

Samsung Nation is a great example of gamification done right. The electronics giant implemented Samsung Nation as a social loyalty program and as a way to show customers that they’re appreciated. After registering their Samsung product, participants can earn badges for doing things like writing product reviews, participating in forums and registering other Samsung products they own. As a reward, Samsung gives away products like tablets every month, and automatically enters loyal members into exclusive sweepstakes.

How Online Businesses Can Build Customer Loyalty in 2017 4.png

Customer loyalty can make a significant difference to your bottom line. It’s worth investing in effective ways to stand out from competition and keep your customers interested in coming back for more. With the tactics discussed here, you’ll be able to grow your client base and your profits with return shoppers for the long term.

Find out more about how to get your customers to love you by contacting KeyScouts for a free consultation, today.

B2B Customer Loyalty

Services, Social Media, Tools

About Tomer Harel

Tomer Harel is founder and CEO of KeyScouts, and co-founder of Spectoos.com. He has been practicing Internet marketing for over a decade, helping hundreds of businesses to thrive online. Despite his extensive knowledge and years of hands-on experience, Tomer is always looking to learn more and be a little bit better every day at what he does.