There’s no denying the value of loyal customers. In fact, an Adobe study shows that repeat customers generate three to seven times more revenue per visit. So it’s not surprising that improving the customer experience is the top priority for 72 percent of businesses, according to recent data from Forrester.
Wondering how you can increase customer loyalty? Here are five surefire ways to keep them coming back.
5 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty
1. Deliver what they want. Order accuracy is critical. That may sound obvious, but 54 percent of consumers surveyed say that up to 10 percent of the items they’ve ordered online or by phone have been incorrect due to retailer error (i.e., incorrect size, color, product, etc.). And that inaccuracy has a direct correlation with the likelihood that they’ll order from the same retailer again.
A good quality management program is a must. Incorporating methodologies like Lean and Six Sigma can help to reduce defects and ensure order accuracy. And never stop improving. Always be on the lookout for new ways to improve processes.
2. Provide a personal touch. In today’s competitive omnichannel environment, the ability to personalize products is vital for establishing a more loyal customer base. In fact, a new study shows that, with each new generation, personalization becomes more important to building customer loyalty – from 40 percent for Baby Boomers to 52 percent for Millennials and 54 percent for Generation Z.
Embroidery, engraving and customized gift sets are just a few examples of ways in which you can customize products. Leverage these value-added services to set your business apart from the competition.
3. Offer convenient, affordable shipping options. While “fast and free” is all the rage, studies show that consumers appreciate having a variety of shipping options to accommodate their needs.
Establish a network of carriers and negotiated rates, so you can allow customers to select the delivery mode and speed that best fits their needs. Some carriers will even provide a longer pickup window, so your orders can ship out same day.
It is also wise to expand your distribution network, so you can ship products from the DC closest to the consumer. With a multi-site distribution model, you’ll be able to reach nearly all your customers in two days or less using via cost-effective ground service.
4. Ensure good communication. An informed customer is a happy customer, so provide touchpoints along the package journey from post-cart to doorstep delivery.
A robust order management system (OMS) will give you real-time data, so you can provide shipment tracking information, order status updates, etc. Regular communication helps to build trust – a critical foundation for customer loyalty.
5. Focus on service excellence. An overwhelming 73 percent of customers commit to a brand because of strong customer service, an Oracle report reveals.
It is critical to be professional and responsive to your customers’ needs. Ensure that your call center is a positive extension of your brand. Customers expect to speak with knowledgeable, attentive agents who will go the extra mile.
If this seems like a tall order, a third-party provider can be a valuable resource. They have the services, technology, facilities and expertise to help you build a loyal customer base. Talk about a secret for success!