How to Improve Customer Loyalty in Your Business

I promised I’d talk in greater detail about customer loyalty, and by goodness, I practice what I preach, so today, as a start, we’ll be talking specifically and in depth about incentives, which are the crux of customer loyalty alongside brand recognition and good customer service.

Customer service, though, is probably the biggest factor, because it is what you will be judged for in the long run. But, we’ve talked at length about how to improve customer service, as have others, and it seems like that advice is being heeded. Let’s talk about incentives, and see if people take to heart how to improve customer loyalty too.

So, what exactly is involved in incentivizing your customers? What do they value, and to what lengths and expenses must you go, to see it happen? Surprisingly, you’ll find that in most cases, it doesn’t take a lot as far as value, but a good deal in sincerity.

In fact, the more selfless the reward is, the more genuine and valued it is, even if in the grand scheme of things, its value itself is not costing much, or that standardly valuable.

In many cases, discounts of quantifiable level work just fine, especially in the SaaS field, but in other fields, upgrades, discounts that last, and loyalty privileges are excellent ways to drive positive loyalty.

This isn’t something new actually, as some companies have done it for eons. Most famous of these are airlines and car rental companies, which have frequent user rewards. These are costly rewards, so this may be ambitious for many business scales, but … it’s a good example of boundless budgets for boundless loyalty.

Now, awesome swag is one part of this that really drives it on the customer side, but there’s more to it than just free stuff. It’s a sign on the part of your company, that you appreciate them, and wish to express your thanks in a tangible way. You show that you know you are nothing without them, and that you exist to serve them at the true value of their expenditures.

Incentives deserve mention for their extended capacity as well, as they are a good marketing tool to drive word of mouth recommendations by customers to friends, family and coworkers. So, when it comes to incentivizing your customers, there are two driving business forces upon which it has major effects. So, while the concept itself is very simple, it’s something that’s simply got to work. Everyone, even small businesses, have some way of doing this to one level or another, and nobody can afford to be the company that inexplicably doesn’t.

So, the first thing pertaining to how to improve customer loyalty, that being incentives, I think is pretty demystified now. The next time I touch on this topic, I’ll be getting into the one everyone’s wary of, and that’s the digital social environment. Fun times, right? For now, though, take to heart the importance of incentives in loyalty. This works in personal relationships, and that’s exactly what a customer/company relationship is, at its core. It doesn’t take much, it just takes being truly genuine, and appreciating your customers.

Stefanie Amini
is Specialist in Customer Success and chief writer and editor of I Want It Now, a blog for Customer Service Experts. Follow her @StefWalkMe