Sales & Marketing

How to build brand loyalty by getting to know your existing customers

6 min read

20 October 2015

Acquiring new customers can cost up to seven times more than retaining customers. Here are five tricks to getting to know your existing customers better.

Recently, the epic budget battle between customer acquisition and customer retention has been won by the former. 

Studies show that acquiring customers can cost up to seven times more than retaining them, and a rule of thumb in business says that roughly 25 per cent of the marketing budget should be kept for nurturing existing clients. 

Moreover, the same study shows that businesses with 40 per cent repeat customers generated nearly 50 per cent more revenue than similar businesses with only 10 per cent repeat customers. This means that, in the near future, keeping your existing customers happy might result in a bigger slice of the budget pie. 

The Global Loyalty Sentiment Report by Nielsen shows which one attribute would encourage someone to switch brands, providers and retailers. 

This report is a clear indicator of what customers care about when it comes to products they purchase across various geographical markets. Although it does not make things clearer with your customers, the report gives an indication of what your next step should be: research. 

Find out more about your customers and what they desire so you can understand what it will take for them to stay loyal. Here are five things you can do to achieve just that:

(1) Listen to what your customers have to say

Listening to customer feedback and acknowledging it is one of the most simple yet efficient ways to increase brand loyalty. This is caused by the fact that your service or product constantly improves and it does so by figuring out what your clients want.

Sincerely ask for feedback through a web form, via a suggestion box on your website or on your social media profile. Finally, if a specific feature request has gone through thanks to that feedback, give credit where it’s due.

(2) Respond promptly to customers

Quickly responding to customers is a key tactic in keeping them happy and loyal. Keep them company along the way until their issue is resolved and keep a detailed account of your interactions with them. 

If the customer comes back, you will have a history of your previous conversations and this will make them feel valued. If they’ve had a special request that took a longer period of time to sort out, let them know the second it’s done and make them feel highly involved in the process.

(3) Organise a contest asking for contributions

A fun and engaging tactic for increasing brand loyalty throughout your customer base is through contests. People love competitions. You can build a web form asking for their most amazing experience with your product, or the funniest, or how it helped them reach a certain business or personal goal. 

This way, you can find out how people are using your product or service and it also gives you the opportunity to hold interesting campaigns that really do wonders for brand loyalty. For example, some users can be featured in your content, ads, testimonials or other promotional materials and help highlight the relationship with your customers.

Continue reading more brand loyalty tips on page two…

(4) Find out as much as you can about the customer from the start

When users sign up for your service online, try to categorise them as neatly as possible so future loyalising tactics are better targeted. 

Asking for user information is always tricky and there is a fine line between what customers perceive as normal and what they feel is intrusive. Studies show that a web form should have between three and five fields before conversion rates drop drastically. In these fields, you can only ask for valuable information such as email address, the industry they work in and maybe the company name. Whatever you ask for, be careful not to overdo it.

(5) Use social media as you first line of communication 

Social media can be the best place to find out all the necessary information about your customers, as well as their wishes. For example, Facebook is not only a good place to share forms, used primarily for lead acquisition, but also a valuable tool for getting information for future campaigns. 

Social media can be used for every point mentioned above, meaning collecting feedback, using it as a support platform and promptly responding to customers, organising contests and finally, directing leads to your website where they can sign-up.

Slowly but surely, businesses are discovering that retained customers have a higher value than newly acquired customers. This happens largely because of the high number of options customers have when choosing a product or service. 

Given such a wide variety of companies to choose from, customers are less forgiving if a company makes a mistake. This means that, as a business, you must remain constantly on your toes and nurture your existing customers. But the more time and effort you take to do so, the greater the rewards you will reap.

Alex Balan is a consultant for 123ContactForm.