Inspiring customer loyalty should be your top priority as a business owner. Not only does it create a dynamic that sets you up for building a better reputation, but retaining an existing customer is both easier and more profitable than acquiring a new one, anyway.
Research shows that inspiring a loyal customer base is the key to long-term success. But how do you go about creating loyal customers? According to AnnexCloud (a leading marketing platform), “66% of consumers said that features, design, and quality of product or service were the leading factors in determining brand loyalty.” With so many people in agreement, it’s hard not to put a focus on your existing, loyal customers. But how do you go about implementing retention strategies?
1) Simplified Onboarding
Having a simple onboarding process helps make both you and your customers’ lives easier. It also instills in your customers a sense that everything, moving forward, will also be just as simple and easy. Keep in mind, the reverse is true as well. If your customers have a terrible onboarding experience, they’ll likely jump ship early, even if it’s smooth sailing afterward.
Educational resources are probably more valuable for retention and loyalty than the onboarding itself. Yes, you want to land your customers, but we’ve established that keeping them is even more valuable in the long-run. The more comfortable a customer becomes with your brand and product (especially software), the less likely they’ll move to someone else. Apple has become a champion of this methodology and has inspired some of the most loyal customers in the retail industry as a result.
Your customers need the essentials first but don’t overwhelm them with emails. You want to get down to the meat and potatoes first. When they’re comfortable, you can start sending more advanced training videos, documentation, How-Tos, etc.
As your business continues to grow and evolve, so should your educational resources. For example, our educational resources span hundreds of blog articles, training videos, and KnowledgeBase tutorials, that ensure the success of our customers when they use our suite of payment processing products.
3) Personalize the Customer Experience
Personalized customer communication is the height of a customer loyalty strategy! The goal is to be able to communicate with every client as if they were your only one. Granted, that’s not entirely possible right now, but you can get close with email automation and a fantastic customer support team.
The most important thing to keep in mind is authenticity. To forge a lasting connection with your customers, you need to make your messaging both authentic and relevant to their needs.
4) Loyalty Programs
In business, even your biggest/best customers can drop you for something a little cheaper (even if it has less value). That’s just the name of the game. Loyalty programs should be at the top of your priority list because they help you engage with your most loyal customers, and it shows them, they are still a priority for your business. You’re both engaging and rewarding them for their continued business.
5) Optimize Your Billing Process
If you want your customers to remain loyal, the last thing you want to do is make them struggle to pay you. By providing multiple channels for your customers to pay, like IVR, Web Portal, and SMS payments, you give them more opportunities to pay the way they like most.
Even better, giving them options for recurring billing and creating their own payment cycle puts less strain on your staff and gives your customers the chance to pay you anytime, anywhere!
6) Seamless Payments
Surprise, surprise, BillingTree is talking payments! Well, it turns out they are essential to the customer experience.
When a payment fails to process (especially as a result of local/regional billing cycles), the result is always customer frustration. This is something that can be easily avoided by setting up local payment cycles and establishing your billing process.
In addition, this also allows your customers to set up their own payment schedule, giving your business more flexibility.
7) Customer Feedback
If you’re doing something wrong, you probably want to know about it. While negative reviews tend to stick out in your mind. However, many people who are unhappy with a product remain silent and simply stop buying from you without so much as a whisper (which is even scarier).
At the very least, you should consider asking for feedback from your customers using online customer surveys once-twice a year, we recommend quarterly, if not monthly. Having insights from multiple perspectives and seeing commonalities will allow you to fix major issues and grow as a company.
There are many ways you can connect with your customers and make them loyal, lifetime fans of your product or service.
At BillingTree, we strive for better customer relationships every day. We want to give you the tools to offer the same convenience to your customers too.