At Chief, we challenge ourselves with implementing strategies whose number one focus is to increase customer loyalty. When fleshing out sales and marketing objectives or incentives, the initiative must provide greater customer loyalty, or the initiative doesn’t get implemented. With each strategy, we go through a series of questions that ultimately lead to our goal of positively impacting our customers and building brand trust. While this process often takes more collaboration, time and ideas; it indefinitely leads to strategies that provide greater value. This value then leads to more engaged and loyal customers.

Customer loyalty is frequently described as an ongoing emotional relationship between a company and its customers, expressing itself by how willing a customer is to engage with and repeatedly purchase from one company versus competitors. Loyalty is most likely the byproduct of a positive experience with a company, leading to a trusted relationship. People show loyalty to a brand for various reasons, whether it is because they had a positive experience, feel connected to the brand values or feel they have superior products, they continue to allocate budget to buying that specific brand.

Customer loyalty is important for companies, as repeat customers cost substantially less than the effort, time and expense of acquiring a new one. Loyal customers often also help promote your brand and become the faces of a company’s story. Without satisfied customers, you cannot build customer testimonials. Customer testimonials are often the rawest and purest descriptions of a company. In fact, word-of-mouth marketing is one of a business’ most important and powerful tools. It drives $6 trillion of annual consumer spending, accounts for 13% of consumer sales, and people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend.

Therefore, the question remains, how are you making an impact on your customers? How is your company driving customer loyalty? Consider these 5 ways to help drive customer loyalty:

  1. Help Eliminate Customer Pain Points
    • All companies, large and small, can only succeed when a company identifies and addresses a customer’s pain point. Customer pain points refer to the problems experienced by customers across the touchpoints on their customer journey. There is a lot of competition in the market; therefore, the most successful companies are the ones that allow the customer to receive the greatest value at a fair price.
  2. Personalization
    • Research indicates that consumers are willing to share data to get personalized experiences. By leveraging customer data captured in a multichannel loyalty program, brands can make personalized recommendations, offer relevant promotions, and upsell and cross-sell relevant products or services to consumers.
  3. Customer Service
    • 86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience. Customers who feel listened to and looked after when something goes wrong, or if they need support after a purchase, are likely to have positive emotion towards you in the future, and to tell others good things instead of bad – whether that’s via social media or face to face. Increased customer communication and customer satisfaction should follow.
  4. Employee Experience
    • Positive employee experience can be highly profitable, as well as making your workplace a nicer environment. Customers warm towards brands who treat their people well, certainly. But more importantly, engaged employees who are part of a company culture that values them are much more likely to extend the same positive treatment towards customers. Giving your people autonomy, respect, a good work-life balance and pay that they feel is fair for the work they do will all feed into your customer loyalty outcomes.
  5. Loyalty Trips
    • Travel incentive programs have been used as a tool to motivate and engage employees since the 1970s. In recent years, experiential rewards such as travel have been growing in popularity. According to one report, when rewarded with travel incentives, customers and employees generally feel much more appreciated and trusted, resulting in greater loyalty towards the organizations.
      • Incentive trips often facilitate greater customer retention.
        • Retention is an ongoing concern for all businesses. Travel can work wonders, leaving customers feeling more rested, less anxious, and more knowledgeable about their client partner.
      • Incentive trips recognize our best customers.
        • Incentive travel is a nice way to show customers how appreciated they are and to recognize their loyalty.
      • Incentive trips attract new business.
          • Incentive travel is a unique benefit that can set your company apart from others that customers are looking to do business with.
      • Incentive trips have universal appeal.
        • Vacation is a reward that just about anyone can get on board with. It’s an incentive that will motivate and appeal to most customers no matter their age, level, or financial status.
      • Incentive trips help to forge stronger relationships between customers.
        • The shared experiences and exciting adventures of an awesome trip can strengthen the dynamics between customers. On top of that, it enables customers, management, and employees to forge stronger relationships and provides an informal venue for progressive discussions.

Building customer loyalty is about building relationships. As with any relationship, it takes time and effort to establish trust, and an ongoing investment to keep the relationship afloat. Loyalty and retention can’t just be bought—they must be earned. To improve customer loyalty, look to your customer experience and do everything you can to make your customers’ lives easier and hopefully, more enjoyable.