Customer Experience News & Trends

5 unique ways to build customer loyalty

The best way to keep your customers loyal tomorrow is to make their experience better today. Here’s how five companies are creating fierce loyalty.

It’s too easy for customers to jump ship these days. Companies need to provide customers value beyond the products or services they provide to maintain loyalty.

Try one of these ideas:

1. Make it personal

What impresses one customer won’t likely impress the next. That’s why companies like Orange take steps to personalize the rewards customers receive for staying loyal.

Orange invites customers to register what they enjoy doing. Then Orange, a mobile phone provider, sends them discounts and offers on tickets and events in their area based on what they like and where they are. Customers can choose how they want to be rewarded.

2. Do the basics consistently

Most people who are involved in the customer experience know that personal thank-you messages, cards on special occasions, surprise bonuses and extraordinary service build loyalty. But few places employ people to take care of those “extra efforts.”

At Zappos, dozens of employees are expected to do the special things for customers. They might send flowers for special occasions (that were casually mentioned in a conversation), hand write thank-you letters or arrange a quirky gift. It pays off well, too: Company officials have said that 75% of Zappos’ business is from repeat customers.

3. Educate them

You’ve probably seen — or experienced — a wine maker who offers wine tastings. They aren’t just letting customers try their products. They’re teaching customers how the product is developed and helping them savor the experience. That shared knowledge also helps build trust. Customers continue to do business there because they know what goes on behind the scenes.

Invite your customers to experience something behind the scenes, too. Host an open house. Create YouTube videos that explain what you do. Even better, ask staff members to explain their work.

4. Get them involved

Customers who are asked for direct feedback are often more loyal than customers who don’t get a chance to share opinions. Take it a step further, and get customers actively involved in development, and you can increase loyalty.

For instance, when Ford wanted real-time and candid feedback on a new vehicle, it invited some customers to drive the Fiesta for several months, post videos on YouTube and put up reviews on several social sites and blogs. That experience deepened existing relationships, and the social media exposure encouraged more loyalty.

5. Praise them

Customers aren’t likely looking for fame. But if you tout how great they area you’ll create goodwill that builds loyalty.

Use your website, social media posts and marketing material to highlight customers’ successes with your products and in their own businesses.

For instance, BunchBall uses a standard format to explain how their customers have succeeded: goal, challenge, solution and result. It’s easy to read on its website. It’s gratifying for customers to see. It deepens the relationship.

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