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6 tips to encourage customer loyalty

When a loyalty program is done well, your members should feel just that, loyal to your store. They should feel compelled to shop at your store above the competition, and tell all their friends about it. With all the stats about the power of referral. There's a valuable opportunity for creating a loyal referring database. So how can you encourage customer loyalty to your store?

1. Provide a great customer experience

The ‘customer experience’ is every interaction a customer has with your brand when making a purchase. This could be online, in-store, email, social media. To see how your experience stacks up, go through the touchpoints that customers do when purchasing something from you online, or offline, and remove any small bumps or friction in the process. And add anything that you think will make a customers day.

2. Reward customers for repeat business

Wouldn’t it be nice to know the name of your most loyal shoppers? And reward them with the occasional discount when they buy something, just to make their day? But unless you’re behind the counter all day everyday, your most loyal customers can go by undetected – especially if you have an online store. With Collect, you can pull data from all touch points a customer has with your brand – whether it’s with your online store, social media, or purchasing from your store. So you’ll know how your customers like to shop with you, and recognise their loyalty, without the pressure of having to recognise their face.

3. Give them a heads-up and exclusive offers

Storewide promotions are a great way to attract new shoppers to your store, but it helps to offer something special for your loyal customers, or people who have joined your database – this helps to make them feel more loyal toward your store. You can give offers to wish someone a happy birthday, or if they haven’t shopped with you in a while, to keep them coming back. Export your customer database information into your email marketing tool (or with a product like MailSync you can do it automatically). And then you can send targeted emails to customers about relevant exclusive offers. Like a special deal on their favourite product.

4. Keep in touch with relevant things that are happening at your store

Is there a new product line launching that this customer has asked for, or you think a certain customer may be interested in? How about your holiday opening hours for people that live near your store? When you keep your customers in the loop of what is happening at your store it not only keeps them up-to-date with your business and makes them feel that they are ‘part of the club’, but it keeps your store top of mind.

5. Encourage customers to tell their friends

We all know word-of-mouth has a powerful impact on purchase decisions. Research has found that it’s one of the top 3 factors at every step of the customer decision making journey. So how can you encourage your customers to spread the word about your store? On top of providing a great customer experience, which will attract the raving fans, you can also reward customers when they share the word about your store – almost like an affiliate program for your happy shoppers. Why shouldn’t customers get a little kick-back for helping you grow your business? Track sharing on social media, and also who is forwarding your emails and promotions.

6. Treat their personal details with respect

When someone has given you their details or agreed to join your database then they are giving you something extremely valuable, their personal details. This means being thoughtful before you contact people, and keeping their details safe (not giving them away to a third party spam list). Making sure you don’t over contact, and that you're getting in touch with something relevant. A great way to get a feel for this is keeping an eye on your open rates, and unsubscribe. You also don’t have to send everything to everybody, keeping things targeted shows that you respect their time, which goes a long way with customers.

Is there something else that works well for you? I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you encourage loyalty at your store.