What Makes Customers Loyal?


So what makes customers loyal?

Loyalty comes at a price, and it’s often the business that has to pay it. However, that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile.

The dictionary definition of being loyal reads “faithfulness to commitments or obligations“. When put into real-life, practical terms, loyalty means a customer returning to the same brand they bought from last time. It means a person who recognises their logo, can sing the tune from their advert and recite their best products in order. It means that even if the price is cheaper or the billboards shinier elsewhere, they’ll stick with you because you’ve got that special something they want. So what makes customers loyal?

All of this is gold dust to a businessperson, yet it doesn’t come for free. Here is a variety of initiatives you can take to turn one-off clients into long-term acquaintances.

Reward commitment

People like saving money, even if it’s only a fraction of the original price. Sometimes it’s just the fact that they got a bargain which pleases them.

Offering stamp cards or digital alternatives to all paying customers makes them the master of their own prices. Should they continue to stick with you in the future, after a certain number of purchases they will be given a discount. When there is little difference between market competitors, this minor bonus can be the game-changer. This makes customers loyal.

Tier system

This takes the original idea and turns it into a long-term strategy.

Rather than just giving out the same discount once every five or so purchases, you give out a series of increasingly better rewards over time. So whereas you may get 10% off after the first five purchases, by the time you’ve bought your twentieth that’s doubled to 20% plus a free cookie, t-shirt or other relatively cheap industry giveaway. This approach encourages people to see through their commitment, going from buying for the perks towards loyal to the end.

Give them a say

Customers don’t always like being treated as customers. Often people want to be talked to like a friend, with respect and consideration. Give them what they want and they’ll come back for more.

This is why allowing people to give feedback works so well. Whether it’s an in-house survey, online questionnaire or something more interesting like letting them submit ideas for your latest product name, it shows that you not only care about their opinion but trust it to be useful.

Good customer service

It sounds matter-of-fact, but it’s ignored far too often.

If you want customers to remain loyal, then sometimes the best initiative is to re-train staff, increase investment or boost employee numbers to the point where every one of them can be treated like a monarch. It’s simple, but then the best approaches often are.

If you would like to read more about your customers we recommend you read our blog post about “What you should know about your customers”.

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