What is the most direct cause of customer loyalty? This is something all businesses should be asking themselves. Returning customers are reported to spend more, as well as make more frequent purchases, which means customer loyalty is just as important as attracting new customers. The question is, how can you increase customer loyalty?
There are many factors that contribute towards how loyal your customers are to your brand. Here, we’ll explore eleven direct causes of customer loyalty you can incorporate into your strategy today.
1. Excellent customer support
Your customers want to know you have their back if something goes wrong. 90% of consumers say that customer service is important to their choice of, and loyalty to, a brand.
The better your customer support, the higher your customer retention rate will be. So, if you’re wondering what's the most direct cause of customer loyalty, the answer is excellent customer support that goes above and beyond what's expected.
2. Exclusive offers and rewards
Offers and rewards will always keep customers coming back for more. Recent research revealed that 80% of Millennials and 68% of baby boomers would take part in a company’s loyalty programme if the offers were valuable.
The trick is to offer exclusive offers and rewards. Most companies save these for new customers, which can have a potentially negative impact on customer retention. Offering returning customers exclusive rewards that new customers can’t take advantage of will help keep loyal customers happy.
If you really want to go the extra mile, create offers and rewards that are personalised to your customers - they'll feel more valued as a result!
3. Loyalty programs
Did you know more than 70% of consumers are likely to recommend a business if it has a good loyalty programme? A good loyalty programme encourages your customers to keep coming back to your business, rather than heading to a competitor.
To introduce a loyalty scheme that your customers love, first ask for their input. What type of loyalty programme would they like to see? Identify customer trends that could pinpoint the type of rewards and offers they would find most attractive.
If you can get an effective programme set up, it could also increase customer spend. Statistics show that customers who belong to a loyalty scheme typically end up spending between 12% and 18% more over the course of a year.
4. Listening to customer feedback
You’ll struggle to keep hold of your customers if you don’t listen to their feedback. There are a lot of ways to gather feedback, but reviews tend to be one of the most effective methods.
According to a study from BrightLocal, 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. The content of the reviews is ultimately the most important factor in their decision to do business with you. However, did you know that your response to the review could be just as important?
Customers want to be acknowledged when they leave a review. Whether they left good or bad feedback, the way you respond will determine their loyalty.
5. Repeat purchases are kept simple
Another factor to focus on when looking into what is the most direct cause of customer loyalty is 'simplicity'. You should make it as easy as possible for your customers to make a repeat purchase.
Amazon has one of the most successful repeat purchase systems. The brand provides subscription purchases, allowing customers to automatically repurchase goods they regularly buy. This is the ultimate in convenience as it requires very little effort on the customer’s part. They can simply choose to 'subscribe & save' at checkout, and the product will be automatically repurchased and delivered without further action.
The way Amazon encourages customers to use the subscription service is through discounts. If they choose the subscribe & save option at checkout, they get a discount on the product. It is simple, but highly effective.
Think about how you could make it easier for your own customers to make a repeat purchase.
Personalisation is something every business should focus on right now. There are numerous studies showing the benefits that personalisation brings to a business. One recent study shows customers value personalisation more than speed when it comes to customer service.
Customers like to stay loyal to companies that understand them and their needs. Personalised marketing provides a more personal connection between you and the customer. This in turn drives up trust and increases loyalty.
7. Products that are consistently good
You can’t just get by having one or two good products. Every single item that you sell or offer should provide the very best quality. If customers have a hit and miss experience when they buy from you, they aren’t likely to return.
Having products that drive consistently good results is going to build customer trust. This is just one of the many benefits of consistently high product quality.
8. Environmentally and socially conscious
A 2017 study found that 92% of consumers are more likely to trust brands who are socially or environmentally conscious. In light of the ongoing climate crisis, this has become even more important to customers today. They want to know the businesses they buy from are committed to doing their part to help the environment.
Similarly, showing support in the local community is also great for customer loyalty. If you prove that you give back to those in need, it will encourage more people to buy from you.
Think of the ways you can currently help the environment or your community. Could you switch to more sustainable packaging materials? Is there a local charity or community project you can help through your business?
If you can show that you are environmentally and socially conscious, it also gives you an edge over some of your competitors.
9. Being part of a community
If you want more loyal customers, the trick could be to make them part of a community. People seek connections, whether that be through their relationships or the brands they shop with. Business communities help to provide this connection.
You could set up a membership section on your website, or on your social media. For example, you could set up a private Facebook group that only your customers can join. This will give it an exclusive feel and allows your customers to connect with one another as well as the business.
Having a community is a unique selling point and one that is sure to help you build customer loyalty.
10. Offering little extras
One thing that can boost customer loyalty is the little extras you provide. Going above and beyond to ensure your customers are satisfied won’t go unnoticed. But what does it mean to go above and beyond for your customers?
You need to do more than is expected of you. If a customer has a problem, they expect it to be resolved. However, they don’t always expect to be reimbursed for the inconvenience. Providing a discount or vouchers may even turn unhappy customers into loyal ones.
Think about how you could go that extra mile for your customers. When you treat them like they matter, they are sure to stick with the business.
11. A smooth shopping experience
Convenience plays a large role in purchasing decisions. A new report has revealed that customers are willing to pay up to 86% more for a better shopping experience.
There are a lot of factors to consider when looking to improve the customer journey. Your website should be glitch-free and easy to use. You will also want to ensure that the checkout process is fast and easy to understand. Provide a variety of delivery options and make sure you work alongside a reliable courier. These are some of the best ways to enhance the shopping experience.
If you are wondering what the most direct cause of customer loyalty is, the points outlined above are the main factors to consider. Customer loyalty often develops due to several things, rather than one specific factor. By focusing your efforts on customer retention, it could greatly boost your bottom line.