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Laura McLoughlin
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7 ways to earn loyalty from your customers

Laura McLoughlin

October 11, 2017


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Earning loyalty from your customers shouldn’t be a nice add-on to your company’s ambitions. If your company is to be a success, it needs to be threaded through all of your communications strategies so that your buyers feel less like an advertising demographic and more like valued patrons.

If you’re struggling to find ways to connect with customers and make them feel valued, check out our top 7 ways to do just that:

1. Get on a first name basis

When it comes to addressing your newsletters and responses on social media, use first names. This can help you create an immediate connection between your company and your customer as an individual.

You can use your first name, too. A tweet sent from Michelle or Daniel sounds much more human than a brand logo, and it’s even useful for customers to know who they were speaking to for customer service purposes. You might even include brief bios at the end of your blog posts, alongside a headshot. Don’t be afraid to break rank and be a person. Your customers will appreciate your personalised help and attention.

2. Friendly tone

Avoid being too robotic or cold in your marketing. Sure, it might seem more direct and helpful to get straight to the point, but your customers will appreciate a more human interaction. For example, Innocent Smoothies regularly posts jokes on Twitter, and recently connected with its 286,000 followers over a love of Bring Your Dog To Work Day. The drinks brand then responded personally to followers who sent their own dog snaps back to them.

You needn’t be silly either. You can be warm and helpful without being unprofessional, even when helping someone with a problem they have with your company. Simply by saying hello and expressing some sort of emotion, such as disappointment or apologies, you can build trust between you and your customer.

3. Talk about what they want to talk about

If your social media is full of salesy posts and not much else, rethink your strategy. Building trust between customer and company can be difficult, but if you communicate with them about things they are already interested in, you will find it much easier.

For example, if you sell paint, it makes sense that your customers are at least somewhat interested in home decor. You might consider sharing a few articles about the best colours for different rooms in the house, or write a blog post about the best technique for quick, hassle-free painting.

An example of this is Quinnstheprinters.com, a printing company whose audience is primarily made up of graphic designers and audiences. To appeal to these customers, their Facebook features memes about problems all graphic designers face, and helpful articles about the industry.

4. Notice their absence

If you only contact your customers when they first join your mailing list, you may be missing out on valuable interactions. It’s important not only to notice a customer’s activity, but their inactivity as well.

For example, you might reach out to a customer who would normally buy from your company on a monthly basis, but has not made any purchase yet, and either solve an issue they were having or receive valuable feedback on your services and product. This can be particularly useful if you have an online store, which allows customers to keep products in their basket before checkout. Contacting a potential buyer about their abandoned baskets can be all the difference between a sale and losing that customer forever.

5. A/B testing

Your company may be too large to personalise your marketing too deeply, but that’s not to say you cannot personalise at all. A/B testing, or split testing, can be a great way to reach out to customers in a more personal way. By analysing how your customers react to different email subjects, or Facebook posts at different times of day, for example, you can begin to piece together a picture of who your audience is and connect with them better.

For example, if you find that most of your emails are opened during commuting hours, you may think to include a reference to public transport and work in your subject line or content. Your customers will appreciate the extra thought.

6. Reward them

Make your customers feel valued by rewarding them for their continued loyalty. Most coffee shops, for example, offer a loyalty card which gives buyers one free hot drink once they have purchased nine, and you might consider something similar. Can you offer free delivery on orders over a certain value, or give a discounted price to buyers who have been with you six months? Think of how you might show them that their business means a lot to you.

7. Listen

Make your customers feel even more valued by listening to them. This means asking for their advice, feedback, and maybe even conducting surveys to tap into their buying habits and thoughts on your business.

The key here is not just to hear what they are saying, but then to do something about it. You might simply respond to a query they have to explain why your business runs a certain way, or go further and change the way your company works based on this feedback. For example, Olympic Lifts, a stair lift installation company based in Ireland, conducted a survey to find out how often people in Northern Ireland were able to visit their grandparents, given the current statistics on loneliness amongst the elderly. When it was revealed the 44% of people were only able to visit their grandparents once a month or less, the company created a directory of local social groups for over fifty-fives, so that they might make friends and find community even if their families were more distant.

Customer loyalty is hard earned and seemingly impossible to measure or track. However, whether you like it or not, it can be your business’s make-or-break so don’t sidetrack your business’ humanity and personability in favour of big numbers.


                   



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