Customers play a critical role in any business’s growth and success. Not only do customers conduct purchases, but they can also become an effective source of referral and tool for brand establishment.
Considering this, it is important for business owners to take care of their customers. More importantly, it is crucial that they understand and learn how to effectively build a solid and loyal customer base.
With that, here are some helpful tips to improve customer loyalty as well as ways to gauge its success.
What Is Customer Loyalty?
Customer loyalty refers to the conscious and consistent act of choosing one brand over another. It is generally built from good customer experiences that are less than what the competition has to offer. With this, ecommerce businesses can rely on repeat customers to continue supporting their digital products, goods, or services.
However, customer loyalty doesn’t stop at repeat purchases. They also serve as a passive marketing tool that consistently advocates, recommends, and urges other people to support your brand. Furthermore, truly loyal customers are not as easily swayed by negative opinions and occasional mishaps or mistakes.
7 Ways To Boost Customer Loyalty
Educate, entertain, and engage
The first step to building a loyal customer base is to find valuable customers. To do this, it is important to effectively engage audiences through various marketing campaigns to get their attention and pique their interest.
Digital marketers usually use an array of marketing tools and strategies such as content marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing, and the like. Through this, an online business can start gaining traction, increasing brand awareness, and driving ecommerce website traffic.
While building an audience is the first step, it is essential in building a loyal customer base to continuously and consistently educate, entertain, and engage your customers throughout their customer journey. Doing so allows customers to see value in your brand before, during, and after completing an online sale.
Build a user-friendly website
Your ecommerce website is one of the first things that a potential customer would come in contact with. Whether they found your online store through social media or through a search engine, they would spend most of their time on your website if they are interested in what you have to offer.
Taking this into consideration, part of providing a good customer experience is to ensure that your ecommerce website is easy to use from start to finish. Take into account the user interface and user experience design and build your website from the point of view of the customer to see necessary changes and points for improvement.
Provide amazing customer service
Around 80% of customers say that a positive customer service experience is an important factor for repeat purchases. At the same time, 61% note that a single bad experience can push them to do otherwise and find an alternative. Considering this, it is crucial for online stores to provide top-notch customer service to improve the likelihood of customer retention and loyalty.
Ecommerce businesses need to invest in their customer service operations. Consider hiring a team of experienced customer support agents and rigorously train and educate them on the nuances of different customer interactions.
More importantly, make customer support easily accessible for customers. Use customer service tools that can make it easy to keep track of customer details, transaction histories, and the like. Aside from that, open communication through different channels such as email, phone, SMS, and other popular tools to provide customers with flexibility and convenience.
Personalized content and recommendations
Customers tend to support brands where they feel valuable and special. Therefore, one way to build a loyal customer base is to provide them with a more personalized experience.
Offering personalized content and recommendations through newsletters and alerts allows customers to see the brand as more relevant and valuable in their life even before or after completing a purchase. Such email marketing tactics can be further developed to target specific customer pain points and provide content or recommendations that can provide answers or solutions to their current situation.
Offer exclusive promos and discounts
A more tangible way to make customers feel special is to offer them exclusive promotions and discounts. Rewarding repeat customers or even supporters with perks such as cashback promotions, discount codes, and even free shipping vouchers encourage customers to purchase again and again.
However, it is important to manage such giveaways as well. Customers need to feel special and excited whenever they receive such perks. Giving discounts all the time can make it feel routinary instead of being an exclusive perk for truly loyal customers.
Implement a customer loyalty program
Some customers need more convincing to become loyal to your brand. One way to urge them and guide them through this journey is to set up an incentivized customer loyalty program. This breaks down the whole process into smaller more manageable and achievable steps that come with simple gifts and rewards when achieved or completed.
An ecommerce store can implement a loyalty program that starts with daily website visits with a reward for a discount or free shipping voucher and continues to unlock more perks as they complete more valuable steps such as completing a purchase, giving a review, and rating their products.
Create relationships with a customer onboarding experience
Building good customer relationships is essential to establishing a loyal customer base. However, this step doesn’t have to start only when a purchase is made. Ecommerce businesses can foster good customer relationships the moment they come in contact with the website.
Start by showing a simple opt-in form where site visitors can choose to receive personalized content through email or SMS. From there, a simple welcome email with a website overview, product guides, and other valuable information can encourage visitors to check out your online store even more. Sending out onboarding emails or SMS is also a personalized way to introduce your brand and provide more relevant and valuable content.
How To Gauge Customer Loyalty
Aside from learning how to effectively encourage customer loyalty, it is also important to know how to measure the success of your efforts. Here are some metrics that can help gauge and identify the level of customer loyalty your brand has.
Customer Lifetime Value
The customer lifetime value or CLV is a metric used to calculate the expected revenue from a customer over the span of their relationship with a particular business. It is computed using the customer’s average order value multiplied by their repeat purchase rate. Then, the customer acquisition cost is subtracted from the total.
The CLV can help determine whether a customer is worthwhile to keep or not. It can also be used as a guide on how much a business should spend in order to retain a customer. For example, if a customer’s CLV is at $75, it is up to the business owner to decide whether to retain the customer or to continue efforts while keeping the costs below the customer’s CLV.
Net Promoter Score
Customers do more than increase revenue through purchases. They can also be used as a marketing tool through referrals and positive customer reviews. The net promoter score (NPS) measures a customer’s likelihood to recommend or promote the brand to others.
The NPS is simply computed through a single-question survey asking how likely a customer would recommend the brand’s products or services on a scale of zero (not at all) to ten (most likely). The customers’ net promoter scores are categorized into three groups – detractors (0-6), passives (7-8), and promoters (9-10).
The repurchase rate looks into a customer’s probability to place orders within a given time frame. Repurchase rates are commonly calculated 30/60/90/180/360 days from the customer’s first order and help determine the number of repeat customers as well as identify which products are particularly popular within the said period. Repurchase rates are calculated by dividing the number of customers with repeat purchases in a time by the total number of customers.
Learning how to establish a loyal customer base is important when starting a business. It can help guide you on how to handle and manage potential and repeat customers and ensure their support for your digital goods, products, or services. Incorporating these strategies into your business plan can help ensure a good start or a better experience for your customers throughout their journey.
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