Customer Service

Customer Loyalty: Increase Revenue by Putting the Customer First

By Rieva Lesonsky

It’s true—focusing your efforts on customer loyalty can help substantially increase your revenue. While you may think most new marketing ideas focus on attracting first-time customers, according to Marketing Metrics, the probability of actually selling something to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent, while the probability of selling something to a new prospect is only 5 to 20 percent. Plus, marketing to new customers costs more!

It’s a vicious circle for many a small business owner: You get so caught up trying to attract new customers that existing customers feel abandoned and move on. Then you’ve got to work even harder to get even more new customers—leaving even less time for your existing customers. Want to sell more to your existing customers? It’s all about how well you know them.

Do you keep detailed records of their purchases? Do you ask them for feedback? How about using shopping analysis tools on your website to find out where on your site your customers spend their time and where they go from there? Then there’s the personal touch—meeting customers face-to-face.

In order to sell more to current customers, you need to build and reward customer loyalty. Here are a few ways to do just that:

1. Start immediately

Creating customer loyalty starts with the first purchase. Don’t wait too long to follow up with a quick email thank you and announcements to bring them back for more. Also, be sure and ask the customer to contact you with questions, give feedback, or discuss additional requests.

2. Set up a customer loyalty program

Loyalty programs are growing in popularity, and today’s technology makes them fairly simple to operate. Customers want an easy way to accumulate points as well as reward levels that are simple to understand. No one wants to carry around cardboard cards anymore, so make sure your program is mobile-friendly and can be accessed on any smartphone. Make the program a win-win by using it to gather feedback about your customers’ favorite purchases so you can create future promotions targeted to their interests.

3. Offer referral rewards

Rewarding customers for giving referrals is a great way to spread the word about your business, gain new customers and create loyalty. Ask customers to share the news about your company on their social media platforms and offer discounts for every referral. Keep your program exciting by offering different referral promotions, such as a special rate for your top referrers, a “Friends and Family” promotion or a time-limited special offer.

4. Treat them right

Why would customers want to be loyal to your business if they don’t feel appreciated? Most customers will just seek out a similar product or service somewhere else and not tell you they’re leaving you. To prevent this, show them how much their business means to you:

  • Offer loyal customers new products before anyone else
  • Create new products or services specially tailored to the likes and aspirations of your loyal customers
  • Woo current customers with free delivery, customer events, or free add-ons.
  • Be personal. Greet them by name, ask what’s going on in their lives, offer birthday or anniversary promotions. You get the idea.

By following these tips, you’ll find yourself making more sales and more money with less effort.

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