Way back in a time we’ll call “the day,” customer loyalty kind of just happened.
When business was done face-to-face or even on the phone, customers and small business owners got to know each other. If a customer was satisfied with his experience, he’d buy again (especially if the business was the only game in town).
Now, customers can buy anything from insurance to a car without talking to a single human.
And countless other businesses that sell the same products or services are a click away. Not even happy customers automatically pledge their allegiance to your company. Their loyalty has to be earned.
We rounded up five articles that help illustrate what customer loyalty looks like in today’s day.
Despite being big proponents of the buying-without-talking-to-anyone thing, millennials are actually more loyal to their favorite brands than previous generations, studies show. This article in Inc. suggests why: Millennials rely on social media to learn what others are doing and buying, and they care about having authentic experiences with brands (like the kind that social media can provide).
If social media factors heavily into customer loyalty, things aren’t going to end well for the brands that Sprout Social says ignore seven in eight social messages. The social media management platform explores social storytelling, user-generated content, and posts from executives in explaining how effective social media use can create brand loyalists.
To create customer loyalty, you can’t merely hope customers buy from you again.
In this post, the e-commerce platform Shopify looks at seven actions that drive repeat business, including sending an e-newsletter, surprising customers with a show of thanks, and using automated emails to remind customers to purchase at exactly the right time.
It’s not that companies shouldn’t try to please their customers. But research shows that customers are more likely to punish companies for poor service than reward them for going above and beyond.
Rather than trying to “exceed expectations,” this Harvard Business Review article argues, companies should focus their efforts on solving customer problems easily and quickly.
Spend more time with customers, and make their lives easier. Surprise them, but be reliable. Be an expert, but admit when you’ve made a mistake. This article from Entrepreneur explains these and many more strategies that can inspire a customer to feel more loyal to your business.
Want to read more? Check out our free e-book, “Repeating History: Small Business Strategies for Earning Repeat Sales and Customer Loyalty” to learn from small business owners who are using automation software to achieve these strategies.