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    How to gain customer brand loyalty in your business:

    Here are 8 ways to improve your bottom line through customer loyalty

    Does your business focus on building customer loyalty? If not, did you know that existing customers spend 67 percent more than new ones and that it is 10 times more expensive to market to new customers than to keep old ones?

    In a world where customers have all the access to information and your competitors, research has shown that customers are actually willing to stick to companies that provide the best customer experience.

    Loyalty can be defined as a customer who believes that your product/service offer is their best option. Customer loyalty can be based on several reasons, some of which may include:

    A contractual agreement is in place
    It takes too much effort or money to change suppliers
    They are loyal because the company is the lowest cost provider
    They are loyal to the company’s employees / owners
    They are brand loyal i.e. they feel that the product / service offers the most value for money and therefore fulfills their needs better than any other service provider’s products / services would

    Marketing tells us that brand loyalty is the highest rung on the ladder of the customer purchase decision-making process. Once you achieve this level with your customers they are less likely to move to a competing brand.

    By analysing the customer experience levels in the image above you should be able to place your product, service or brand in one of the above categories. This will allow you to plan your sales and marketing strategies to maximise each group of customers that you need to target in each of the steps.

    How Do I Improve Brand Loyalty Amongst My Customers?

    To answer this question you need to have an exact understanding of the industry that you are working in and how your customers’ purchase process functions.
    Here are 8 tips that might help you to gain loyalty from your customer base:

    Frequent communication. Collect customer data like email addresses or cell phone numbers or ask them to like your facebook page. Then you can regularly engage with them. We recommend using 123Media for bulk email & bulk SMS services.

    Give loyal customers extra perks. For example skipping ques, a free gift with every large purchase or one free item for every 10 purchased. We recommend adding a loyalty service to your card facility. That way, customers earn points as they shop and can redeem these points if they continue to shop. We are planning to launch such a service to all our customers early in 2017!

    Ask for customer feedback. For every 26 unhappy customers, only 1 ever complains. Research shows that 91% of customers do not return if their first experience was unpleasant. We recommend that you create online surveys or leave survey questionnaires at your till points.

    Create a unique customer experience that customers will remember. We recommend that you experience your product / service like a customer would. For example a guesthouse owner should spend a night in one of their rooms to experience the room and see if they would be happy staying there at the price paid for the room.

    Stay relevant. Customers love to be part of the latest trends and follow what everyone else is doing. Regularly spy on your competitors and stay ahead and up to date.

    Automate, but not to the point where human contact ceases. In a world of technology, it is easy to automate your marketing, sales, refunds, billing and every other process but when an unhappy customer gets stuck in an endless loop of automatic replies or waiting on hold for eternity, consider the customer gone forever. We recommend investing in training your customer service team to provide that special human experience.

    Don’t forget to smile. This one is so obvious but absolutely crucial. Studies into this concept have shown that customers are likely to spend 70% more when they are greeted in a friendly way.

    Be memorable. Do something different and create that lasting impression that customers will tell their friends about. Word of mouth marketing is by far the most powerful marketing of all and can amount to 85% of your business!

     

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    EXSA enables connections through the networking and communication of our Forums and via our website (www.exsa.co.za).

    Besides providing EXSA’s directory of members, an exhibitions calendar and news feed, the EXSA website also offers a wealth of knowledge and industry guidelines available to its members.

     

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