Customer Experience News & Trends

15 great ways to reward customers for their loyalty this year

9. Make it a team effort

Creating and building customer loyalty is best achieved when it’s a team effort.

At the Ritz-Carlton, they make sure everyone knows who their loyal customers are so all employees can extend some special recognition.

Example: The bellhop asks arriving customers if it’s their first time visiting. Then he puts one color tag on new customers’ luggage and another on returning customers’ luggage. Then all employees know what kind of special treatment to give.

10. Create goodwill

shopping bagVeridian Credit Union in Coralville, IA, started new customer relationships and built loyalty with a “Surprise Squad.” The group went around town looking for opportunities to please people and make a positive name for the credit union. They handed out tokens to kids for a local carousel ride, bought groceries and gas for locals, dropped cookies off to librarians, donated coats to a children’s center and even paid the deductible for a family to have its car fixed. They gave surprised recipients their business cards, but didn’t make any kind of pitch.

Thanks to word of mouth, the goodwill efforts paid off more than any ad campaign, according to company leaders.

11. Adapt for customers

The more flexible you are to accommodate customers’ ups and downs, the more likely it is they’ll stay with you and recommend you.

At software maker Sage North America, leaders saw their customers face difficult times, which meant they had less money coming in with which to buy Sage’s products. So Sage created different options for customers select for paying and receiving its services. They ended up offering their products as a recurring service on a subscription basis — much like gym or Netflix memberships.

It allowed customers to stay afloat in tougher times — and stay with Sage then and beyond.

12. Learn from the loyal

Competitive advantageCaritas of Glen Falls, NY, which provides assistance to the seriously and terminally ill, was able to build loyalty with more customers based on the success they’d had with other long-time customers.

They went through the current customer list and picked the biggest and best accounts. Then they spoke to the reps responsible for those accounts, asking them to recall how the relationship started, what special things they’ve shared along the way and why they thought the customer had stayed loyal.

Caritas featured one customer profile in monthly group meetings. It gave reps a chance to show off the great work they’d done and share unique strategies they used over the years that could be deployed going forward with other customers.

13. Respond to all feedback

When customers realize that a company really listens to what they think and say, they will keep the conversation going with that company.

That kind of responsiveness is one of the reasons J&P Cycles can boast that 98% of its customers say they would recommend the motorcycle parts and accessory retailer to others. J&P responds to every customer survey it receives. Someone either thanks customers or follows up on issues that need to be fixed. The top brass even get involved by personally responding to big issues brought up at monthly meetings and by recognizing employees who did outstanding work that was mentioned by customers, too.

14. Shine bright

177699048Nearly every company will fail from time to time. One of the best ways to maintain customer loyalty through those setbacks is to shine bright at other moments.

Cable company Bright House Networks encourages its front-line customer service employees to do something “Moredinary” when an opportunity is presented — things that go beyond the call of duty that would create extra special experiences for customers.

Managers then post details on their acts on an in-house Moredinary site so colleagues can congratulate reps on their great work.

15. Fess up

Customers like to see the human side of a company — even in an apology. So you can build customer loyalty after a misstep if you apologize right. It’s worked well for AeroMexico.

The airline started a customer feedback program that included a monthly CEO-review of customer calls. He personally follows up on two issues and makes call to those customers, apologizing for the problems and asking them to give AeroMexico another try. The CFO and senior VPs do the same three times a month. And all supervisors take on 10 calls a month.

Pages: 1 2

Subscribe Today

Get the latest customer experience news and insights delivered to your inbox.