Anna Hubbel, writer at AdvertiseMint, Facebook advertising agency
You’ve got a friend in loyal customers who choose you over your competitors, who think of you first when making purchase decisions, who brag about their positive experiences with your brand. Customer loyalty is the foundation of your business’s success. To maintain a business in the long run, your customers need to keep coming back because not only are they your steady source of revenue, but they are also the key to reaching new customers by marketing your business through word of mouth.
The holiday season presents an optimal opportunity for building customer loyalty. Because shoppers are already in full-throttle buying mode, it’s easier to attract them with holiday sales and offers. You need to capitalize on the momentum to convert those shoppers into long-term loyal customers. If you do it right, your spirits will be bright all year round. Here are some tips for building customer loyalty this holiday season.
Create Valuable, High-Quality Products
Emarketer reports that 55.3 percent of US internet users say high-quality products are the most important factor in becoming loyal to a brand. In contrast, for 51.3 percent of US internet users, low-quality products are the primary reason to drop a brand. But you can’t sell one high-quality product and expect customers to pledge their loyalty to you. Emarketer says for 37 percent of US internet users, it takes more than five purchases to decide whether they want to be loyal to a brand. Only 12 percent say it takes only two purchases. Thus, consistently produce exceptional products of high quality and value. When you do, customers will become confident in your business and will more likely return to you.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
For 7.1 percent of US internet users, excellent customer service contributes to brand loyalty, according to Emarketer. If customers need to return a product either because it was defective or it didn’t arrive in the mail, provide stellar customer service. Provide a full refund, offer a free exchange, or re-ship a brand new product for free with a bonus gift as an apology for the delivery error.
Mistakes happen. It happens to the best of us. What matters most is that you fix the problem and prevent it from happening again, all while providing a positive and professional customer service experience.
Offer Great Deals
Free shipping, VIP perks, and special discounts for multiple purchases are examples of offers you can provide to keep customers returning to you. Offering consistent discounts throughout the holiday season is a great way to create a sense of urgency, leading to more purchases, and ultimately, to more customer loyalty.
Convenience is the top loyalty determinant for 5.7 percent of US internet users, reports Emarketer. Mobile payments, two-day shipping, and personalized experiences are examples of ways to give your customers convenience, which is especially pertinent during the holidays, when customers are scrambling to finish their seasonal to-do lists. Make their lives easier by giving them easy shopping experiences.
Promote Customer Reviews
An earlier survey shared by Emarketer shows that more than half of US internet users frequently refer to ratings and online reviews before making a purchase. Loyalty is primarily built on trust, and seeing what other customers think about your business helps customers determine whether they should trust your business. If you’ve garnered some positive customer reviews, highlight them in your ads this holiday season to build trust and, subsequently, to build customer loyalty.
As with all relationships, building loyalty takes time, patience, and work. If you put in the effort, you will be rewarded with customers you can count on for years to come. The jolly doesn’t have to end with the holidays.