Customer relationships are critical for businesses growth but maintaining customer loyalty while attracting new ones is easier said than done.
Utilising our own experience with customer loyalty, we’ve put together some ideas to help you along the journey.
If you’re not already focused on existing customer retention, consider these stats:
- An established rule-of-thumb says that it costs five times more to attract a new customer than retain an existing one.
- For SMBs, where growth can hinge on repeat business, Bain Consulting found that a customer is four times more likely to buy from a competitor if there is a problem with the service, compared to price or product related concerns.
- A study of over 7,000 consumers in three countries showed that 64 percent cited shared values as the largest driver of loyalty to brands—people are not loyal to companies, but to beliefs.
With this in mind, what are some ways you can improve the experience of existing customers?
Making it personal
Digital giants like Amazon and Netflix have changed customer expectations dramatically. No matter the size of your business, standards have shifted, and consumers are demanding personalisation, choice, 24/7 responsiveness, and a good user experience from all of the brands they engage with, regardless of size.
SMBs may feel at a disadvantage in a rapidly changing landscape, but they have a distinct advantage over the big guys: customer relationships. More agile businesses can build more meaningful interactions, anticipate needs, and create brand loyalty in a way that is far smarter than any internet algorithm.
The key is understanding the “why” in everything your customers do, and informing your decisions based on theirs.
Marketing gurus Experian say that 72 percent of businesses with loyalty programs see a return on their investment that increases over time.
Fostering loyalty extends beyond a free coffee card. When putting together a program, key considerations should include:
- Providing multiple enrolling opportunities
- Rewarding a range of customer actions, and offering a variety of meaningful rewards
- Structuring non-monetary rewards around your customers’ interests and values
- Engaging in partnerships to make your offers more compelling
- Making it fun and rewarding
Working behind the scenes
Ultimately, managing your business effectively hinges on meeting consumer needs. You may have a killer product, but people won’t want to buy it if they can’t rely on the logistics and supply chain behind it. Personalisation is one of the key trends in B2B e-commerce, with 70 percent of websites expected to offer personalisation in the coming years.
As early adopters of the trend, we at Zoom2u offer a full integration with our API so that businesses can seamlessly build our delivery service into their system. We support B2C and B2B online buying and selling fulfilment and return experiences, and allows our clients to brand our delivery options and tracking pages.
Finding the right partners
Taking advantage of fast, reliable partners. When looking for partners, any service that is helping you to connect with your customers should be smart, transparent, safe, and trustworthy. Remember that good technology doesn’t remove the human connection—it amplifies it!
Steve Orenstein is the Founder and CEO of Zoom2u