Customer loyalty is a priceless asset to any Business who has it. Strong customer loyalty allows a company to maintain higher prices during industry price wars. It protects a core market share even when under attack from new big budget Marketing campaigns from new or existing entrants. Most of all though strong healthy customer loyalty is a steady source of the most effective and credible advertising that exists; "word of mouth" advertising.
A business with solid customer loyalty is a business that has its customers doing the advertising and marketing for them. People talk. People recommend and condemn businesses, services, and products.
4 Key Marketing Practices that Build Customer Loyalty
- Make it Personal, not Business - Develop personal relationships with your customers. The way this is accomplished is dictated by the willingness of the company agent positioned to develop the bond. Starbucks strongly encourages the employees to remember the names and drinks of the individual customers that come in regularly. A small local service business may want to make personal conversation encouraged by sales agents. managers and the customers. People are always going to favor doing business with the people they know and trust. Company employees are more than able to develop such relationships with customers give the time and opportunity is present to do so.
- Personalized Reward Programs - Everyone has a reward program. If you really want to build some legitimate customer loyalty then go a step further by coming up with some personalized customer rewards that will just wow your individual customers. To do this you have to demonstrate that you both care, and know them and who they are. The way you do this leads me to the next practice.
- Collect analyze, and Utilize Personal Customer Data - Study your customers on every level possible. Know what makes the average customer happy, know what the different classes of customers prefer and value and how they differ from each other, and finally know your customers on an individual basis. Know your customer's habits and their absolute favorites. Once you know all these valuable pieces of information find a way to show them that you know it. This will allow you to wow them! This will allow you to earn their customer loyalty and recruit them as a lifetime member of your word of mouth marketing and advertising team.
- Build and Establish Your Company Brand - The bigger and better you are able to build your brand and separate yourself from your competitor the easier you will make it for customers to show you favoritism and the more likely consumers will take that mental leap and decide to stick with you through thick and thin. Quality branding and market positioning is an absolute must if you plan on creating an effective and powerful population base of loyal customers who will sing your praises to the masses. If a brand plays their cards right the loyal customer can morph into what looks more like a fan than a customer. This has been done by Coke, Apple, multiple beer brands, and other product brands backed by top performing marketing and advertising plans.