How to build customer loyalty

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In retail, customer loyalty remains priceless. So, after working hard to acquire and convert your customers, your next move should be to keep them coming back.

Getting a customer to return to your brand time and time again is essential to the longevity of any brand. Once you build their loyalty to you and your products, even your competition will not manage to convince them otherwise. That being said, building customer loyalty is easier said than done and requires a multi-pronged approach to achieve. In this guide, we’ll dive into how you can ensure your customers always come to you as their trusted brand of choice.

Why is customer loyalty important?

Successful businesses like Amazon and Starbucks know the immense value of customer loyalty as it has been the key to their incredible success. These brands understand that a customer will more than likely return when they have a great experience the first time, and so have invested heavily in building up the customer experience.

The nature of driving loyalty operates similarly across industries. If you provide quality services to your customers and deliver continued value, they will trust you and return to you. This fact is particularly true in the post-pandemic era where consumers are being more and more cautious with how and where they spend their money.

Apart from current retail trends, loyal customers are generally more profitable customers. According to a study published by Bain & Company and Harvard Business School, researchers found that existing customers are 50% more likely to purchase new products and spend 31% more than new customers. To put it simply, greater customer loyalty can result in more consistent and lucrative profits across the board.

How to build customer loyalty: 6 simple ways

Focusing on customer retention and loyalty can ensure more consistent sales and boost your retail success in the long term. There are a number of strategies that you can implement to enhance customer loyalty, and utilizing all of them can benefit both your bottom line and the satisfaction of your customers.

Offer exceptional customer service

As you expand your customer base, you’ll likely encounter a wide variety of questions and concerns from your audience. From returns to purchasing questions, you’ll want to enhance your customer service options so that all questions can be answered as seamlessly as possible.

The amount of time you take to respond and the value of your response will determine whether they buy from you or not, influencing whether or not you’ll gain long-term loyalty to your product. Additionally, being able to answer your customer’s questions in an effective manner will also drive greater satisfaction and potential loyalty to your brand. Every customer has a need and you can better meet these needs through exceptional customer service.

To improve customer services, ensure that you listen to your customer’s concerns and address them fully and as soon as possible. Provide multiple ways in which they can get help, including email, phone, or instant messaging. Having a variety of communication channels can go a long way in helping them feel as though their needs are met.

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Get personal

A huge part of customer loyalty involves trust, and the best way to earn that trust is to address your customer base on a more personal level. Let them know who you are and what you care about, share with them your values and your story. You’ll be surprised how many customers will remain loyal to you because they identify with who you are and what you do. Once you’ve told your story, the next step is to connect with them on an individual level.

In order to develop an individual connection with your customers, you’ll need to gather information about who they are. The best way to collect this necessary data is through customized forms wherein your customer inputs some basic personal information. Customer data platforms like Lexer can take this data collection a step further by accumulating additional context such as their purchase history, favorite products, and more.

After you’ve collected all you need to know about your customer, it’s time to put that information to good use! Steer clear of one size fits all experiences and create tailor-made connections with your customers so that they feel invested in your brand. Personalized emails, birthday messages, reminders, recommendations, and regionally-focused marketing campaigns can all work in concert to help your customer feel seen and heard. Such actions can shine a light on the human side of your brand and build a deeper connection with your customers.

Offer incentives to customers

Customers love when they feel valued, and nothing shows value better than exclusive incentives and experiences. From discounts and limited editions to free delivery, there is a wide range of methods you can lean on to show your customers how much their business matters.

You can enhance customer incentives by investing in a customer loyalty program that rewards users for purchasing your products. These programs are often quite simple and allow for customers to collect rewards points which they can then use over the lifetime of their relationship with your brand. Loyalty programs can also work to provide you with additional information about your customers’ behaviors, as all purchasing can be tracked with extreme detail. As a result, these loyalty programs can provide further insight into your customers, what their needs are, and how best to grab their attention.

Create a community

In your mission of building customer loyalty, you should also focus on creating a strong customer community as well. The best way to establish a solid community around your brand is by engaging with your customers directly on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. Through these social channels, you can create a social circle where like-minded individuals can share support for your business and build deeper connections with your brand, and other consumers.

Better yet, once this community is established you can more seamlessly connect and communicate with your customer base. Likewise, your audience is going to feel as though there is more transparent access to your brand, giving them the option to ask questions, give reviews and recommendations and point out their pain points. These open channels of communication can work to develop a deeper trust and relationship between both brand and customer.

Introduce a referral program

A referral program is a powerful marketing tool where your existing customers refer people in their social circles to your brand. However, good incentive is crucial in any referral program, and while brand value is a great start to driving participation, rewards for their efforts will only up the ante. These rewards can vary depending on your brand and the product or service you are providing, but nudging your customers to share through tangible benefits goes a long way in spreading the word about your brand and expanding your base of loyal customers.

Additionally, deploying the use of loyalty tiers can enhance your referral program, wherein the more referrals one brings, the higher they rise in rank. These rank gains can translate into benefits such as higher discounts or exclusive items, in turn, your customers are more likely to develop an even deeper relationship with your brand.

Utilize social proof

There’s a reason social media influencers are a proven marketing strategy. Social impressions can go a long way in driving acquisition, encouraging conversion, and building loyalty. Use raving fans to show potential customers how they use and love your products. This method of social proof sparks interest in prospective buyers and boosts the confidence of existing customers in the value of your products.

You can do this through proven impact and statistics from credible sources, user reviews on trusted review sites, influencers, or celebrity endorsements. The goal is to positively influence people and boost your brand’s credibility, growing your customer base and turning first-time customers into lifetime customers.

Build customer loyalty with help from Lexer

Focusing on customer loyalty is incredibly important for the long-term success of your brand and with Lexer’s customer data platform (CDP) you can enhance your customer retention strategies. Through Lexer, you can access detailed data on the behavior of your customers so that you can ensure your loyalty-building strategies are as effective as possible.

Use the calendar below to book a demo of Lexer’s CDP-powered Customer Experience Tools and discover how you can enhance the way you connect with your customers, meet their needs, and build long-term relationships.

Use the calendar below to book a demo of Lexer’s CDP-powered customer segmentation tools.

Conner Jones
Marketing Content Manager

As a Marketing Content Manager, Conner utilizes his expertise in content development and strategy to help enhance awareness of the Lexer brand and better define the company voice. Conner finds energy and empowerment in telling the Lexer story whether that be through blog posts or in-depth marketing strategy playbooks.