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30 business leaders share tips for building customer loyalty

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The Team at CallMiner

November 23, 2022

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Man talks on phone while using laptop

Building customer loyalty is one of the most valuable things a business can do to ensure long-term success, but where do you start? At CallMiner, we focus on offering solutions and delivering insights to help businesses understand their customers’ needs and wants, making it possible to develop a data-driven customer loyalty program. This guide includes effective customer loyalty strategies you can put to use today, provided by dozens of experts who share their most overlooked tips for building customer loyalty and customer experience.

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What are the most overlooked tips for building customer loyalty?

Building customer loyalty is often a multi-faceted process, but some of the most effective (and overlooked) tactics for building customer loyalty are:

  • Providing an omnichannel customer experience
  • Customer recognition
  • Consistently delivering on your promises
  • Sending handwritten thank you notes
  • Offering exclusive VIP programs
  • Making it easy for customers to do business with you (improving customer effort score, or CES)
  • Creating a sense of community
  • Prioritizing social engagement
  • ….and more

Today’s consumers expect businesses to understand their wants and needs, and a data-driven strategy is the key to unlocking those insights. CallMiner’s conversation intelligence solution helps businesses drive customer satisfaction and boost customer loyalty by analyzing every interaction with AI insights. Combining these insights with other strategies to build customer loyalty and enhance customer satisfaction will empower your business to cultivate loyal customers and brand ambassadors that will fuel your business and create lasting success.

Keep reading to learn the other valuable tips our panel has to offer for building customer loyalty.

Jon Torres

@realjontorres

Jon Torres is the founder of JonTorres.com.

“My most overlooked tip for building customer loyalty is…”

Valuing and recognizing customers.

It’s very easy for customers to slip into insignificance when they feel less visible. Customers are part of your business. You need them more than they need you. Failing to recognize their contribution to your business makes them feel less valued.

Regular shout-outs and mentions, such as naming a ‘customer of the week’ are a simple way to acknowledge their contribution to your business if you want to keep them. Another simple way to build customer loyalty is to offer free access to premium content or discounts.

Matt Shirley

Matt Shirley is the CEO of Splinter Economics.

“There are many factors that contribute to customer loyalty, but one of the most important is…”

Consistency. Building customer loyalty means making a series of necessary steps to make sure customers feel appreciated. Customers want to feel like they can rely on your company to be there for them when they need it — whether that's with quality products and services or with timely and helpful support. And this can only be done if you have consistency.

Make sure you set your standards high and always aim to deliver on your promises. Be reliable and consistent in all you do, and your customers will soon learn that they can count on you. Never lose a step; your customers will leave you in a heartbeat. You should always be visible and available no matter what!

Mike Albrecht

@heyfresha

Mike Albrecht is the Marketing Specialist at Fresha.

“My most overlooked tip for building customer loyalty is to…”

Maintain relationships with your customers even when you're not doing business.

You'll establish long-term loyalty when you show your clients that you care about them beyond just completing sales transactions. Many companies organize unique events to show their gratitude to their customers or raise money for a good cause.

Your brick-and-mortar business may also be a source of excitement for your customers. Even if skating aficionados don't buy anything from Vans, they can still utilize the halfpipe in their stores to perfect their moves.

Customers may get to know your staff and your brand better by attending events hosted by your company.

Marcus Astin

Marcus Astin is the Chief Operating Officer at Pala Leather.

“One tip for building customer loyalty that has proved useful to me and our business is…”

Building an exclusive VIP program.

This is a very effective way you can retain customers. They can enroll themselves in special reward systems that offer unique discounts that are only offered in that particular program.

Amazon and its Prime membership program are a great example of a company that does this well. Benefits such as two-day delivery, early access, streaming services, etc., give customers a sense of being VIPs and make them stick to the company.

Megan Young

@MCSHireSoftware

Megan Young is the Marketing Manager at MCS Rental Software.

“My most overlooked tip for building customer loyalty is…”

Make it easy. Make your company the easiest (as in most convenient) to do business with. Be available whenever and wherever the customer requires you. When possible, use technology to improve the experience.

To put it another way, lessen or eliminate friction. The brand that is the most convenient and easy to do business with has a huge competitive advantage that can disrupt the market and create a lot of loyalty. Customers will find it easier to work with brands who engage easily on social media, provide convenient delivery alternatives, and provide other conveniences. They are more likely to attract repeat clients who have no desire to shop elsewhere.

Tomasz Niezgoda

@surfer_seo

Tomasz Niezgoda is a Marketing Executive and Partner at Surfer.

“When it comes to building customer loyalty, one of the most important things you can do is…”

Create a sense of community. Customers want to feel like they're part of something larger and that they're being heard.

One way to create this feeling is by actively engaging with customers on social media. If you have a Facebook page for your business, make sure to post regularly and respond to comments and questions in a timely manner. Show that you're invested in your customers and their experience with your brand.

Patrick Casey

@felixhealthca

Patrick Casey is the Director of Growth Marketing at Felix Health.

“Make customer loyalty easier…”

Customer loyalty is not only about using loyalty cards and sending personalized emails. These strategies are tried-and-tested but do little to differentiate you from your competitors. There is a single, untapped technique that most companies have yet to discover, and it plays a starring role in every successful company's retention strategy.

That technique is called usability.

Usability answers the question of how easily customers can perform an action that they intend to do. If they want to open your app and claim loyalty points for a purchase they're ready to make, can they do so without digging up an old password? If a customer is trying to check out online, do they need to enter their delivery address over and over? By removing these road bumps, no matter how small, customers will turn to you first when they next shop around for products that you sell.

By making this process seamless, evaluating the process becomes less about the offer and more about something else you're giving back to the customer: *time*. If there's one thing that everybody needs more of, it's time.

Anything which makes your customers' lives easier is a value proposition in and of itself and can be the deciding factor between two competitors offering otherwise equal value. The ultimate goal is to minimize unnecessary touchpoints and bring customers as close as possible to whatever action they're trying to perform. If you make that experience easier and easier over time, heightened customer loyalty will naturally fall into place.

Rodney Warner

Rodney Warner is the CEO and Business Development Manager of Connective Web Design.

“One of my best strategies for building customer loyalty is to…”

Prioritize social engagement. This is a highly underrated strategy that most marketers don’t focus on, but it has realized many benefits for us.

The consumer market is now majorly composed of the younger generation. Gen Z and Millennials prioritize customer engagement when evaluating a brand regardless of its product. As such, it is one of our main focuses for building loyalty.

Brands should focus on engagement in their social media marketing strategy. They must reply to reviews and comments on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Consumers expect brands to interact with them through their social media accounts. When they do so, they’re forming a much more personal connection with them that is just not possible through email or SMS marketing.

Jeff Mains

@jeffkmains

Jeff Mains is a 5x Entrepreneur and CEO of Champion Leadership Group LLC.

“It's one thing to get people hooked, but it's another challenge to keep them as clients…”

This is something that most marketers learn the hard way at some time. Increasing client loyalty should be a goal since losing the consumers you fought to acquire might happen before you even realize what has occurred. With that in mind, here's my most overlooked tip for building customer loyalty: Learn to interact.

You shouldn't simply follow the crowd. Be present on social media platforms where your clients spend the most time. Your consumers aren't merely a bunch of numbers to you. Even if you generally have good relationships with your consumers, utilize social media to thank them for their support.

Use incentives to get people to do things. Too many companies rely on incentives such as iPads or gift cards as a quick fix. This is good, but you risk attracting attention from individuals more intrigued by your incentive than what you offer.

Think beyond the box and come up with inventive ways to reward your most loyal clients, such as allowing them to bypass the queue or hosting a luxury event where you showcase your newest and greatest. Free samples are a great way to test a physical product before making it available to the public. Make them feel like they matter.

Cornelius Fichtner

@PMExamTiips

Cornelius Fichtner is the President of OSP International LLC.

“My most overlooked tip for building customer loyalty is to…”

Listen to the customer, not just data. Much of modern marketing boils down to statistics: CAC (customer acquisition cost), lifetime value, RoAS (return on ad spend), etc. But if you only focus on numbers, you miss the people behind them. I run a customer-oriented business and always ask my employees to talk to customers whenever possible.

This includes hearing ALL customer complaints out all the way through, asking for positive and negative feedback, respecting both, and following up with old customers to see they’re happy and succeeding with our product. On feedback platforms like Trustpilot, we keep an eye on all the reviews and try to focus on the negative ones to ensure we’re constantly improving.

Everyone prioritizes their bottom line, which is a bit selfish — and doesn’t build long-term loyalty. To build strong customer loyalty, you have to put the customer first and really LISTEN to them. The customer needs to feel valued and appreciated. This is what keeps them coming back for more.

Paul Mallory

@consumergravity

Paul is the Co-Founder of ConsumerGravity.

“The most overlooked tip for building loyalty is…”

Customizing consumer feedback. Many companies make an effort to improve their services by considering their reviews. However, they don’t go the extra mile by personalizing their surveys accordingly, which can further help make positive changes. Clients appreciate these small gestures and come back for the same user experience, which positively reflects on customer loyalty.

Cold calling is one method many companies believe is an orthodox practice, so it’s often neglected. But it directly impacts customer loyalty. That’s because customers find it refreshing to hear from a brand they recently purchased from. This way, they can give feedback about their shopping experience and offer a few other valuable suggestions. As a result, you’ll build strong client relationships and increase your sales.

Jessica Kats

Jessica Kats is the E-commerce and retail expert at Soxy.

“The most overlooked tip for building customer loyalty is…”

Developing a brand ambassador program. Such individuals can help spread the word about your company and its offerings. They would then help spread the word in the market, increasing the venture’s visibility. Cultivate a sense of loyalty in the ambassadors by tagging them in stories on the brand’s social media profiles, such as Instagram.

Another overlooked tip for building customer loyalty would is to ask consumers for feedback. Consumers should be given incentives if they take part in the survey. A brand should be open to all sorts of criticisms and allow individuals to voice their concerns openly. It helps build loyalty and helps businesses identify any bottlenecks and remove them accordingly.

Maria Shriver

@mosh_life

Maria Shriver is the founder of The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement and Mosh Life.

“Taking a customer-centric approach to your product development ensures your products solve their problems again and again…”

There is always a level of uncertainty when it comes to product decision-making. Sacrificing the time it takes to validate your ideas and concepts typically leads to a disconnect between consumers' needs and the end products.

By having a robust understanding of our customers and their needs, we can use that knowledge to create products they find helpful and want to use each and every day.

Eric Jones

@CoutureCandy1

Eric Jones is the CEO of Couture Candy.

“The three most overlooked tips for building customer loyalty are…”

  1. Select the right brand appeal: First and foremost, it's important to select the appropriate appeal for your target audience so they can establish a connection with the goods and services offered by your brand.
  2. Turn customers into brand ambassadors: Customers can become brand ambassadors by sharing a representative position of your brand with the general public in order to increase brand trust and faith and persuade consumers to try your product.
  3. Emphasize your rewards system: Shower your devoted customers with incentives, discounts, coupons, and freebies. You’ll keep their attention and encourage them to return by giving them these chances.

Mike Chappell

@FormsPal

Mike Chappell is the Founder of FormsPal.

“My most overlooked tip for building customer loyalty is to…”

Create a sense of belonging. There is no excuse for not forming a community on one of the various social media platforms available.

Communities are a great way to start a conversation with your consumers and encourage them to share their own material. For example, you may ask customers to submit photos of themselves using your product on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Neil Davies

@talentifyio

Neil Davies is the Director of Talentify.

“Authenticate your value proposition to build customer relationships…”

There is no better strategy to build a strong, long-lasting customer relationship than promising and delivering. In a world full of innovation and new trends at any moment, it seems that the old and good action of saying what you do and doing what you say is still effective.

Authenticating a value proposition has always built trust and will always do it. You create a strong bond when you tell your customer that you will solve a problem and stay close to them to uncover issues they cannot solve. Such kinds of connections certainly build a strong, long-lasting customer relationship.

Robyn Newmark

Robyn Newmark is the founder of NewMark Beauty.

“Your customer experience encompasses all aspects of your consumers' interactions with you…”

From when they arrive on your website to when they phone your customer care department for help.

Individuals have high expectations, particularly about customer service. A prompt answer to an initial inquiry is crucial when determining who to purchase from.

Consumers are also likely to switch to a competitor after a single instance of poor treatment, so it's easy to understand why focusing on customer service is crucial for fostering brand loyalty.

You can begin by broadening your channel options to quickly reply to consumer requests. Implementing an omnichannel strategy for customer care will enable you to give a quick, helpful experience regardless of the channel via which consumers contact you.

Deepasha Kakkar

@crackitt_

Deepasha Kakkar is the CEO & Founder of Crackitt.

“The principle of a loyalty program is straightforward…”

Reward client loyalty with special offers or perks. A well-designed loyalty program is very effective in retaining valued consumers. This benefit helps clients feel indispensable to the company.

The key to creating a successful client loyalty program is to make it mutually beneficial. The points program is perhaps businesses' most commonly used loyalty incentive scheme. The concept is to award points for each purchase made by a consumer. Clients who accumulate sufficient points may redeem them for a special promotion or product.

Shaunak Amin

@snackmagic

Shaunak Amin is co-founder and CEO of STADIUM and SnackMagic.

“As consumer needs are ever-evolving, staying ahead of those needs is how to ensure their loyalty when they're craving something different…”

For this reason, we continue expanding our product line to coincide with the latest trends in healthy eating, sustainability concerns, and tastes. But we also focus on how customers want to use our service offerings. Doing so enables us to offer more comprehensive solutions that make us the one-stop shop they'll turn to again and again.

Ben Richardson

@AcuityTraining

Ben Richardson is the director & owner of Acuity Training.

“It is less expensive and easier to keep existing consumers than it is to find new ones…”

Finding people to listen to you and care enough to buy from you is becoming more difficult and expensive as the internet becomes more crowded. We all know these things are true and clear, but when was the last time you made a concerted effort to contact your previous and present clients, engage with them, and encourage them to return? How much time and effort do you put into ensuring that your customers are satisfied? It necessitates a significant amount of effort. We become preoccupied and forget. However, this is to our detriment.

Your existing client base is your most valuable asset, yet many firms fail to capitalize on the goldmine that is there in front of them. There is nothing that can replace the personal touch; even in this day and age, calling your customer and asking how they are doing and what you could help them with goes a long way. If you want to build a long-term business, customer retention and optimization should be at the top of your priority list.

Something as simple as a handwritten thank you card makes a huge impact when businesses today rely almost exclusively on email to communicate with their customers. It costs you very little to show you actually care.

Teo Vanyo

Teo Vanyo is the CEO of Stealth Agents.

“The most underutilized piece of advice for developing customer loyalty is…”

Providing help for your consumers and making it possible for them to communicate with you on their chosen channel(s). Increasing client loyalty requires a good customer interaction strategy as the foundation.

Customers expect that brands will anticipate their requirements and have high hopes of being continuously engaged and supported on their chosen channels. Businesses can engage customers across all their preferred channels in real time if they develop strategies with the most recent digital channels and support them.

Meaghan Brophy

@meaghanbrophy

Meaghan Brophy is the Retail Expert at Fit Small Business.

“One of the simplest, yet overlooked ways of building customer loyalty is…”

With a handwritten note. Taking a few minutes to write a thank you note when you sign on a new customer or ship an order goes a long way in making the customer feel valued. It also humanizes your business and helps establish a personal connection.

Writing a thank you note doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Tailor it so that it makes sense for your business. For example, if you have a retail or eCommerce business you can add a quick handwritten note to the packing slip inside the order. If you have a membership-based business, ask employees to write a card when they sign on a new customer. You could also opt for a heartfelt birthday card or holiday card if that is more practical. But taking the time to handwrite a message shows customers they’re appreciated.

Daniel Tejada

@sug_ads

Daniel Tejada is the Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer at Straight Up Growth.

“Responding quickly and proactively whenever a customer interacts with our brand is how we retain their loyalty…”

These days, consumers are looking to engage with their favorite brands both online and offline. And ensuring you get back to them immediately, address them by their name, ask questions, and actively listen to their ideas and opinions lets them know they are important and helps them feel validated.

Focusing on the positive while welcoming negative feedback engages prospects and lets you see things from their viewpoint. It also leaves them with a favorable impression of their interactions with your business, making it clear that the end goal is not selling your product but building long-term relationships with your customers.

Chris Gadek

@AdQuick

Chris Gadek is the Vice President of Growth at AdQuick.

“The most overlooked tip for building customer loyalty is…”

Handwritten notes are a great alternative to email marketing as they humanize your customer interactions. If you want to create an emotional resonance with your customer base — especially during the holiday season — consider writing them a personalized thank you note or greeting card thanking them for their business. Include their name, thank them for supporting your brand, and express how much their business means to you.

Include a customer reward card to offer special discounts and promotions to show gratitude for their repeat business. This is a great way to strengthen their trust in your business while building a long-term customer relationship.

Though writing a handwritten note to your customers sounds a bit old-school, it remains one of the most authentic ways you can show customers how much you value their loyalty to your business.

Dean Kaplan

@TheKaplanGroup

Dean is the CEO of The Kaplan Group.

“The most overlooked, yet most effective way to build customer loyalty is simple…”

Deliver well beyond their expectations. By delivering a ‘wow’ experience for your customers, you’ll ensure they won’t forget you or switch to another brand.

Invest the time to understand each of your customer’s expectations so you can meet and exceed them. Respond promptly to your customers’ queries, personalize your communications, and always follow up to ensure they are fully satisfied.

Adelle Archer

@Eterneva

Adelle Archer is the Co-Founder & CEO of Eterneva.

“The most overlooked tip for customer loyalty also happens to be the most low tech, and that is…”

A handwritten letter or note. Our reliance on technology has turned many customer retention methods into an impersonal exercise. Sending an automated email, survey, or SMS has been substituted for simple tactics that have a more human appeal.

Taking the time to write a handwritten letter or note of appreciation and sending it through snail mail adds a personal touch that appears more human and makes a statement simply because you took the time to do it. Therefore, incorporating this old-school tactic into your modern technology practices can build customer loyalty and separate your business from the competition by being more human than automated.

Marc Bishop

Marc Bishop is the Director of Business Growth at iDigiMagnet.

“The most overlooked tip for building customer loyalty is to…”

Go above and beyond your own expectations. You've probably heard that it's a good business strategy to under-promise and over-deliver. Simply exceeding people's expectations will suffice. You've exceeded the customer's expectations if you state a customer care representative would call the customer within 24 hours and the representative reaches the customer within six hours. Do exactly what you claim you'll do.

Nikole Haumont

@NikoleHaumont

Nikole Haumont is the founder of Shield Bar Marketing.

“In today's modern world, with the convenience of online interaction…”

Actually sending a handwritten thank you note makes a customer remember you. It can be a great marketing tool to create long-term customer loyalty, and you may even get some social media love when they post the thank you and tag your business online.

I have a task in my project manager to send thank you notes on Fridays; it's a great way to end the week on a positive note. Of course, I send custom-designed, branded thank you notes that have my website on the back. Remember to never send a business card in a thank you note, as that is self-promotion and not truly a thank you note.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll and his wife Kelsey developed Caliber Games.

“One of the best things we’ve done to build customer loyalty is…”

We've built a community! Customers buy from us to be part of a community that understands playing with the people we love is essential to a joy-filled life. Once a customer buys an original game from us, they join “Club Caliber.” Once they are a part of the club, they get exclusive access to new games and offers.

We send out tips and tricks, top games to look out for, and provide our existing customers with new fun games to get their friends and family outside having a good time. Our company represents wholesome family fun, a leisurely active lifestyle, and a healthy balance between work and play. We want our customers to be proud to associate with our brand because it connects them to these values and to a strong vision for their community.

David Bitton

@doorloopapp

David Bitton is the Co-Founder and CMO at DoorLoop.

“Never cease making current customers feel valued…”

Marketers get into the habit of using a one-size-fits-all incentive program regardless of demographic. While this saves time and resources, it does little to create consumer loyalty.

Customers must feel appreciated. Provide personalized surprise bonuses, incentives, and acknowledgment messages whenever possible.

Use customer data to determine what incentives would be effective for a particular customer or customer category. For example, you can send customers a birthday greeting combined with a coupon or exclusive savings code for an item they are likely to want to purchase or a service they value, such as free shipping.

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