Ways to improve your client base loyalty
Flip Keijzer, September 15, 2019
Finding new customers is one thing. Retaining them is another. In order to maintain long-term relationships, you need to keep your client base happy. In this blog, you can read how you can bind your customers more closely to your company. We’ll give practical examples of successful models for building a loyal customer base.
The importance of loyalty
No company can be successful without a satisfied customer base. Customer satisfaction arises when the quality of your product and/or service at least matches the expectations that customers have. Customer loyalty goes a step further than customer satisfaction. Loyalty (as opposed to actual profit and turnover) is a factor with predictive value and therefore an indication for future success. Especially in the B2B segment, there are often a limited number of loyal customers who are responsible for a large part of the turnover.
Customer loyalty can be divided into two types of bond, emotional and rational bonding.
- Emotional bonding is created by exceeding the expectations of a customer. In return, you are often rewarded with trust, loyalty, and goodwill. Tools for increasing emotional bonding are brand experience, entering a dialogue, interaction and stimulating a sense of value, trust, and satisfaction. Emotional bonding does not arise from one day to the next but is built up steadily over a longer period of time. It sometimes takes months to convince a customer, but only a few seconds to lose one.
- Rational bonding has a more businesslike and utilitarian character than its emotional relative. The reason for clients to remain loyal to an agency is mainly practical in nature. For example, you offer a service at unique conditions and prices, you give discounts that depend on the duration of a customer relationship (think of no-claim insurance) or you deliver a product that is based on tying (e.g. Apple hardware).
Investing in sustainable customer relationships is the best way to gain customer loyalty. Such an investment only pays off if there is a win-win situation. Both parties need to benefit from a close relationship. There are various models that can help you generate customer loyalty. Time to take a closer look at the best variants.
upselling is selling a more expensive product or a higher-priced service from a similar category. it’ss a proven way to engage in customer loyalty. With upselling, you offer customers an improved overall experience and help people find the version of a product or service that best meets their specific needs and desires. However, it is important to take a few important points into account.
The psyche of the consumer
Upselling is mainly based on developing a close relationship of trust with existing customers. In order to make this sales strategy a success, it is important to listen carefully to the wishes and needs of customers. The secrets for a successful upsell-strategy often lie in the human psyche.
- Come up with upselling opportunities when leads are ready to buy. This is when they have already made their purchase decision, but have not yet paid for it. Preparations for a purchase (frequent or extensive viewing of certain product pages, visits to comparison sites, abandoned shopping cart, mail contact) are an indicator for this.
- Most customers compare prices before deciding where to make their purchase. They are often more likely to respond to an upsell if they feel they are getting a benefit.
- Scarcity and urgency often make a product wanted and more valuable. By making use of short-term offers, displaying prices in red letters or showing the number of products sold or remaining, many customers are encouraged to take advantage of them for as long as it is still possible.
Do’s en don’ts
There are several tips and tricks you can use to make upselling a success. Pay special attention to the do’s and don’ts below.
- Check what customers do online. You can do this by viewing reviews and interactions on social media or websites. What do my potential customers share? What channels and media do they follow?
- Track a customer’s purchase history. Here you can extract useful information to optimize your marketing strategy.
- Use a CRM platform to track customer behavior and track demographic data. With the help of a good CRM, you can gather a wide range of information, from interactions on social media to previous purchases.
- Provide options, but do not exaggerate. An excess of irrelevant services or products mainly leads to confusion.
- Only show services or products that fit together and support the customer’s purchase intention. These can then be brought together in a bundle.
- Don’t be too persuasive. If the customer feels that an additional product or service is being imposed on him, upselling is counterproductive.
Examples of upselling
Upselling can be applied to both products and services. A good example is the proven strategy of car dealers. They usually advertise with the ‘bare’ price of a car. By adding all kinds of accessories and extra functions, the amount you actually pay is usually several thousand euros higher.
Software suppliers are also usually skilled in the art of upselling. For example, they often offer subscriptions or packages in a few different versions, such as a starter, pro, and enterprise version. The temptation to opt for the more expensive version with more functionalities and possibilities is then great.
Traditional forms of subscription, such as newspaper or magazine subscriptions, have been around for a long time and are well known. But there are also other, more modern ways to use subscriptions creatively for customer loyalty. For example, Lena Library is a platform that allows customers to borrow clothes. This is useful if, for example, you need a special outfit for a certain occasion that you will probably not wear often in daily practice. Depending on the subscription you choose (small, medium or large), you get a certain number of points that you can use to borrow clothes of your choice.
Another example of a 2.0 subscription is Amazon Prime. If you subscribe to Prime, you can have unlimited Amazon products delivered to your home without having to pay delivery charges. Returning the items will also cost you nothing. A bargain for regular customers. Amazon also wins, because on average Prime-users spend three times more than customers who don’t use the service.
Goodwill and image
Offering a personal experience is becoming increasingly important at a time when people are buying more and more online and the number of webshops is growing rapidly. People like to do business with people, especially at a time when many consumers feel that they are sinking deeper and deeper into a swamp of digital anonymity. For agencies, therefore, investing in goodwill and image is an important form of customer loyalty, especially because it creates a high award factor. There are various ways in which an agency can forge a lasting relationship with its customers.
Personalized emails and offers
Targeted and personalized email marketing is a good way to maintain closer contact with (potential) customers. E-mail marketing lends itself perfectly to the personalization of messages and offers, without you having to type out every e-mail yourself. By cleverly segmenting the data collected from customers, you know exactly what information you can send to whom. These e-mails are then automatically generated and sent. By sending a personalized e-mail with a special offer or recommendation, the customer knows that you are thinking about him or her. The result? You become more visible and top-of-mind.
You can also apply the same personalization principle to discounts and promotions for loyal customers. You will see that they have more impact if they are carefully focused on the recipient. Offering personalized products is also a proven way to provide your services with the ‘personal touch’ that many customers are looking for.
Surprise with excellent service
Meeting expectations is a prerequisite when it comes to customer loyalty. But there is still room for improvement. Seemingly trivial things, such as a simple gesture (e.g. an extra loyalty discount), a small gift, extra attention or good and free advice, confirm your image of involvement and strengthen the bond between an agency and target audience. By exceeding expectations, your customers turn into fans. The advantage of this? Fans are loyal and less price-sensitive, while they also like to bring your agency to the attention of their friends, acquaintances and business relations.
Customer loyalty through social media
Social media are also marketing tools that can be used for customer loyalty. After all, most people and companies today have a profile on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or LinkedIn. Social media provide extra brand awareness and offer plenty of opportunities for interaction with the customer.
Remember that being serious about marketing via social media is not a one-time thing that you ‘just add to it’. It does take time and knowledge to achieve results. To engage with customers through social media is more than just posting a message or a photo now and then. Moreover, realize that it’s a long-term process: it can take a while before efforts on social media actually lead to significantly higher conversion and sales figures.
It is especially important that social media activities create serious added value and have practical value for your relationships. This can be done in the following ways.
- Channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn (especially B2B) and Twitter are very suitable for one-to-one communication with relations. Such contact moments ensure strong customer loyalty.
- Also, use social media to get feedback on the services or products provided by your agency. In this way, you can find out what could possibly be improved in the future and the customer knows that you take his needs and wishes seriously.
- Provide valuable content with practical added value. Think, for example, of useful tips and tricks or information about the particularities of a service or product, for example in the form of an instructional video, manual or background article.
- Many companies also set up part of their customer service using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or WhatsApp. This is not surprising, as many people can be found on these channels for several hours a day. The threshold for contacting customer service via social media is therefore low.
Make customer loyalty a priority!
A good customer loyalty model is indispensable if you want to bind your relations to your agency for a long time to come. Strategies such as upselling, personalization, subscriptions and good use of social media offer sufficient opportunities to set up such a model in a practical way and to stimulate customer loyalty, especially if you grow goodwill and cultivate a customer-friendly image by offering a very strong service.
Would you like to know more about or receive help in developing a good customer loyalty model? Do not hesitate to contact us. At Savvii, we have plenty of experience in optimizing the services of a wide range of different agencies.