We all know it’s easier to keep an existing customer than it is to attract a new one and hence the focus on loyalty programs for customers. Too often, though, in the search for increased sales, knowledge gets forgotten as businesses focus obsessively on new customer acquisitions and incentives. So how focused are you on your loyal customers and keeping them happy?  I’ve put together a short list of important factors that create and sustain loyalty. How many of these do you have in place and focus on?

1. Communicate with your loyal customers.  Communicating and understanding your loyal customers is critical.  They provide you with the most meaningful feedback on your products and service. Use social media to connect with your customers and get feedback and most importantly let them know what you’re doing with that feedback.

2. Personalise your message.  Make your customers feel important and that they are important to you.  The best way to do this is to show them you understand what they want and what is important to them by personalising any communication you send them.  That doesn’t mean add their name to a generic email.  It means tailoring messages and offers to what is relevant to that customer.

3. Shared values.  Research has shown that consumers everywhere state that they are loyal not to companies, but to the companies beliefs.  This means that they don’t connect with your brand but with what your business stands for. Clearly articulate what it is your business stands for – many businesses align themselves with charities to show they care about the community. Whatever it is for your business, stand for something and let your customers know about it.

4. Customer Service.  This is still the most critical aspect to keeping any customer happy, including your loyal customers. Without this, no matter how good your product, or how well you personalise your messages, if they are not happy with your service, they will not be loyal. How many of these are your business focused on and how happy are your loyal customers? Let us know.