How to Maintain Customer Loyalty: 7 Essential Practices

Jan 17, 2020 | Business Insurance

Finding out how to maintain customer loyalty in your business is the first big step you’ll take for survival.

Sticky notes with customer loyalty program on an office table.
Sticky notes with customer loyalty program on an office table.

Your existing customer base is what keeps you growing. Serving them, generating additional revenue, and benefitting from the word-of-mouth marketing they provide are critical elements.

But this loyalty isn’t easily won. In the following article, we’ll show you the seven essential steps you’ll need to take to put it in the proverbial bag and keep it there moving forward. Let’s begin!

Why Do Customers Leave?

Let’s talk first about the reasons customers leave before getting into the steps themselves. Understanding the psychology behind those failed relationships is important for avoiding the same fallout in your future connections. While there are varied reasons, the following three cut to the heart of most of them.

They Do Not Feel Valued

Customers realize you’re in business to make a profit. They also understand their power in making that happen. If you make them feel valued, they will use that power for good.

That means spreading the word about a great experience, online or to friends and family. It also means continuing to spend their money with you as long as you can address some aspect of the product or service for which they’re looking.

You Have Solved Their One Issue

Reread the last sentence of that last section. Pay particularly close attention to these words: “as long as you can address some aspect of product or serviceā€¦.” Unfortunately, many great companies run dry on revenue because they haven’t figured out a way to continually serve their customers’ needs.

In other words, your customers may love you. Without more reason to buy from you, however, they’ll quickly forget you’re in business.

This plugs you into a vicious cycle of survival through customer acquisition, which is the hardest way to function in the business community. That’s especially true for the personal and business insurance markets we serve.

They Require Better Communication 

Some customers may feel your product is good enough, but they don’t like how you sort of forget to respond to their inquiries. As a result, they’ll find someone who does value them enough to provide a prompt and courteous response, even if it’s just a quick, “Let me look into that for you.”

Fortunately, these are simple problems to master. You just have to take the following steps.

1. Engage with Customers After the Sale

A customer has bought from you. Great! Now, what will you do to keep them interested or feeling valued?

Your goal is to retain customers. What are 5-10 actions you can take immediately that might keep the conversation going or speak to another need they have?

Customer surveys are effective in doing this. So are periodic emails highlighting some features or benefits the customer may not have thought about. Think of various ways to engage with this base, and you’ll find your way to new revenue opportunities.

2. Encourage Employees to Build Relationships with Customers

Another way to retain clients is to empower your employees to build their own personal relationships with customers. You want to make sure the employee represents your brand well. However, you’ll also want to give them the freedom to interact with the customer in a way that builds a one-on-one connection.

This empowerment makes your employees feel better about their jobs. It also makes the customer feel more highly valued.

3. Use Social Media with Customers in Mind

Another of the more effective ways to retain customers is to use your social media purposefully and with customers in mind. Don’t open a channel until you have some idea of what you’re using it for.

Meandering around without a purpose will make followers abandon you because they’ll see your posts as a waste of time. At the same time, featuring content that’s important or memorable to your customers while being relevant to the products and services you sell will deepen engagement.

Social media also gives your fans an easy yet effective way of showing their support. (Thank you Share button!)

4. Be Clear About What You Will Do

It may sound too simple to make the list of how to retain clients, but it’s worth noting because a lot of businesses fail to clearly define the scope of their services. Tell people what you will do.

Don’t make promises you can’t deliver on. Ideally, you should deliver beyond the promises you make so the client will feel they got more than they paid for.

5. Learn What Makes Your Customers Miserable 

This may be an unusual choice for our list on how to keep customers, but hear us out. Your customers’ miseries will shine a spotlight on the upgrades you need to make to existing products and services.

Those miseries will highlight opportunities for new offerings as well. Either way, realizing what those miseries are will create additional revenue opportunities, turning one-time customers into repeat customers.

6. Own Your Mistakes

We all make mistakes. No one, not even customers, expects perfection. But they’ll watch you like hawks when it comes to how you respond.

The first thing you need to do is admit that you messed up. The second thing you need to do is assure them you’ll fix it. The final thing you need to do is deliver on what you promise.

Accomplishing all of these things will save the interaction. It could also win you a customer for life. 

7. Handle Conflict with Care

You can’t please everyone. Customers will be watching to see how you treat the lost causes. Leaving them with a positive impression can stave off bad press while impressing those who still see the value in what you have to provide.

Protect Your Business by Learning How to Maintain Customer Loyalty

Stop making life hard on yourself. Build on the people who’ve already said yes, and the acquisition experience will be easier to manage.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this look at how to maintain customer loyalty, and that you’ll begin putting the steps into practice immediately if you haven’t already. Good luck, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.