Customer loyalty: How to turn your customers into fans

John Sherman

Considering the fact that the average customer loyalty rate is only 5%, it takes little imagination to see the incredible benefits to a business if it is able to give that number a significant raise.

Indeed, customer loyalty, it’s fair to say, is one of the most important aspects in the success of a business; returning customers are the bread and butter of an organization, regardless of its size.

Consider some companies with fierce customer loyalty. Apple, for example, still has one of the most devout customer bases and they have, in effect, a generation of customers who have grown up with Apple products. Customers know the product inside out and considering a change of brand is almost unthinkable.

Though Apple is a company in a million and in many ways unique, there are many ways to carve out a loyal base of customers. The benefits are simple, but here is a small selection:

  • Steady Cash Flow – With a loyal customer base businesses can be more certain of a steady cash flow due to returning clients. Expansion, growth and a secure financial future are the dividends.

  • Referrals – Loyal clients send others your way. Simply put, clients are loyal because they think the product or service you provide is of a high standard and a fair price. Happy customers spread the word so that others march right to your door. This type of brand advocacy is worth far more valuable than even the best marketing.

  • Predictability – Customer behavior is far more predictable when a company has customer loyalty. Planning inventory and stock is less risky as sales forecasts are based less on possibility and more on past experience.

The Course

The customer loyalty course is designed to explain how to build a loyal fan base. To do this, the course breaks down a fair complicated process into easily comprehended stages:

Introduction – The course begins outlining the case for making customer loyalty a priority for your business. It explains how prosperity in many countries has provided many more options for consumers, and consequently, customer loyalty is on the decline.

Consumers are happy to leave one company for the benefits that new customers are offered at many others and this has created a focus on gaining new customers, but all too frequently, at the cost of losing those who are loyal.

Why is Customer Loyalty Important? – The course then goes on to explain why a focus on bringing in new customers should not be at the cost of customer loyalty. This message is underscored by revelations such as; gaining a new customer costs five times that of retaining a current one. But the reasons for a customer to stay loyal to you are not the same as those that attract new clients.

So then, what are the best methods to ensure loyalty in your customers?

Turn Customers into Loyal Fans – This section explains what does and does not work in creating a loyal fan base. For example, do most consumers treat reward cards as a way to express their brand loyalty or as a way to save money? It’s likely the latter reason. Rather than discounts or freebies, superb customer service is the best way to retain customers.

This section is also broken into three smaller parts to instruct users on the methods to improve their customer service:

  • Power of Surprise – Leverage the enjoyment of surprises by offering little thank you gifts, or spending time actually searching out your client to say hello.
  • Appreciation is Key – Acknowledge your appreciation by simply saying thank you. Touches like these stay with people and aren’t common. Stand out from the crowd.
  • Acknowledge Mistakes – When you provide a service that doesn’t meet customer expectation, listen and improve. Offer a small gesture of apology and they’ll likely return.

Final SummaryThis section quickly ties together the threads of the course and asks how you can implement them into the business where you work.

What’s Included?

This course covers many aspects of customer loyalty, and to do this it includes a variety of resources for the learner.

The videos act as the engine of the course to drive the learner to further appreciation of why customer loyalty is so important and how to create it. Other resources sure-up the message, but the videos are the main player. Use these to drive your understanding.

The four-page customer loyalty fact sheet feature the foundations of the course message. Without the researched facts that are provided in these pages the course would be only conjecture. All the hard details can be found right here; everything’s spelled out in black and white.

The course description is a simple one-page document that signposts the way. It allows users to easily navigate through the course and find their place. Use this if you get lost!

Why Customer Loyalty Matters

The market’s shifting sands always offer new customers benefits for pulling up anchor and heading elsewhere. While it’s important to gain further custom and bring new clients in, this shouldn’t be sought at the expense of loyal customers.

Like keeping a partner in your personal life, it is important to show customers that you care. Without reminders every now and again, the reasons behind why a client should use your service, the loyalty of your customer may falter.

Though rates of customer loyalty are lower than ever, those that stay are also worth more than before. Loyalty breeds trust, and with it a bond that runs deeper than the bottom line.

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