Customer loyalty is often the poor relation of marketing.

The siren song of hunting down new customers is often more enticing.

However… it is estimated that keeping a customer costs five to ten times less than acquiring a new one.

Customer loyalty (or retention), then, should be a key focus of companies’ strategies.

Yet only 18% of businesses implement actions to build customer loyalty.

 

What is a loyal customer?

A loyal customer is a customer who consumes your product on a regular basis. The term “regular” here is, of course, relative.

Understandably, customers will buy chocolate spread on a more regular basis than they do cars. Does this mean that someone buying a car is less loyal? Does this mean that it is more difficult for car manufacturers to build loyalty than it is for chocolate spread manufacturers?

Not necessarily.

How to build customer loyalty ?

Deliver an impeccable customer experience

Delivering a high quality product or service is, of course, the first step to building loyalty. However, customer experience has come to mean more, and refers more generally to the customer’s path to purchase as a whole. This is when things get more complicated. Since consumers are on many communication channels, it is more and more difficult to offer “enchantment” on all devices at once, and therefore to build loyalty. How many customers switch from one channel to another because the first one they used did not give them the response they expected quickly enough? So, in order to build loyalty, it is important to work in isolation, and to make sure all your communication channels are equally responsive.

Turn detractors into ambassadors

What better way to build loyalty than to let customers complain thereby opening the way to offering them further satisfaction? This may seem counterintuitive, but a dissatisfied customer who calls customer service and is then satisfied with the response provided becomes a satisfied costumer, maybe even a brand ambassador. Therefore, customer service has to be seen as a channel for building customer loyalty.

Particular care should be paid when handling requests from your loyal customers, because loyalty is fragile.

Be there at the right time

Another way to gain customer loyalty is to be there when they need you, but without harassing them.

A good way to achieve this is by measuring the digital pressure you exert on them.

Whether commercial or digital, too much pressure will drive even the most loyal customer away; too little and your most volatile customer will move on.