What is Customer Loyalty?
Customer loyalty is the practice of attracting repeat customers through good customer service and brand and marketing practices. Loyal customers will return to your business time and again, and, equally importantly, will refer your business to individuals in their sphere of influence. This means that customer loyalty also acts as free marketing- happy customers will spread your brand and message free of charge.
How to Build the Foundation of Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is a cornerstone of your business: without it, your business will quickly fail. That being said, you can efficiently achieve customer loyalty by building it into your strategy. Building customer loyalty into your strategy ensures that you have a plan in place and that it is implemented throughout the entirety of your company. To build your strategy consider the following:
Design Your Customer Loyalty Strategy
This process will be different for every business, but there are a few main points to consider. Make sure to cover the following in your strategy and how each instance will be handled:
- Set levels of service that you will deliver to your customers and ensure that your employees know the service they must deliver. This will help them achieve this service and will help customers understand what they can expect from your business.
- Create procedures for handling customer contact. This could be as simple as defining how quickly customers will be tended to, how long resolution time will be, who will address issues, and what solutions will be offered when issues arise.
- Make sure to address all issues that will regularly occur and how they can be managed. Keep in mind that your strategy can always be updated as you continue to learn what issues may need to be addressed.
- Empower your employees to serve customers. This means a few things: your employees should have the tools they need to adequately serve customers, the information they need to problem solve, and the freedom to make certain decisions independently. Without these things, your employees will be unable to deliver to your customers and create a positive experience for them.
Document Your Customer Loyalty Strategy
Simply talking about your customer loyalty strategy isn’t enough. While you’re building your customer loyalty strategy document it. This will serve two purposes:
- Documenting your strategy will help you recognize holes in it and will allow you to address them.
- Documenting your strategy will ensure you have a clear cut strategy to refer back to and to share with your employees.
Communicate Your Customer Loyalty Strategy Company-Wide
Just having a customer loyalty strategy isn’t enough. Make sure to communicate your customer loyalty strategy company-wide, and often. Consider including it in your employee handbook, in your training, and frequently refer back to it.
Spread Your Customer Loyalty Message
Build your customer loyalty through repeated positive customer interactions, but don’t stop there. You can continue to spread your message by building a brand around your company and how it treats your customers. Once you’ve developed your customer loyalty strategy and implemented it in your business, simply associate it with your brand: if your customers can identify your brand and feel good about it, they are likely to remain loyal. To do this, simply:
- Create a consistent brand for your business and include your customer focus. Advertise to build your brand awareness.
- Ensure that all of your communications are in line with your brand and customer loyalty values.
- Provide consistent customer service.
Monitor Your Customer Loyalty
While you can quickly and efficiently build customer loyalty, your strategy for doing so can’t be “set it and forget it.” To ensure that your strategy is working and that customers remain loyal over time, it’s important to monitor your customer loyalty and adapt your strategy as necessary.
Measure Customer Loyalty through Point of Sale (POS) Analytics and Reporting
One tool for monitoring your customer loyalty is through your Point of Sale (POS) system. By using the analytics and reporting feature within your POS, you can quickly understand which customers are returning and for what items. You can use this information to improve your customer loyalty.
Does your POS offer your business the support you need? Are you ready to simplify your business with the use of a new POS? SilverEdge can help. If you are ready to talk with a SilverEdge representative about the right choice for your business, contact 970-800-2890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.