Building Customer Loyalty During the Holidays

Customer retention is one of the most significant challenges a company faces. There are many ways to build customer loyalty in your business, such as establishing a long-term relationship, understanding clients' wants and needs, and communication. Customers love when they feel like a priority, and if you make them feel that way, you are way ahead of the game.  If you can meet your customers’ needs during their most hectic time of year, they’re more likely to keep coming back to you in future and more likely to provide recommendations.

This holiday season, you have a real opportunity to create momentum around your business. Here are a few simple ways to do it.

Customer support should be simple

Look at your website. How easy is it to find your business phone number or email address? How quickly do you respond to questions and complaints? The holidays are usually the busiest time of year for most customers. When they need support, they don’t want to dig through countless menus to find answers. They don’t like to reach out to an email address and never receive a reply.

Really nailing your customer support should be your top priority. It will create goodwill and positive feelings around your brand that live long beyond the holiday season. Start by placing your customer support contact information in prominent places. Perhaps it’s on your website front page; maybe it’s in your social media bio information. Make it easy and accessible to anyone.

Prioritize responding to issues promptly. If someone has a problem with a product or service, respond to them about how you’d like to be treated if you were in the same position.

Every complaint is a marketing opportunity

Customers have never been more empowered to provide feedback. Whether it’s services like Yelp or Google Reviews, more and more customers are sharing their thoughts on companies. Your business will inevitably receive negative feedback at some point. If you respond to it well, it’s a huge marketing opportunity for your business.

Respond to issues publicly on the platform. Show others how you’re working to fix the problem. Matching the proper fix to the customer's values will turn a complaint into a reason to keep doing business with you. Before long, you’ll have built a track record of reliability, and others will know your brand can be trusted.

Follow up on purchases

If you don’t follow up with a customer after a purchase, it’s a missed opportunity to build customer loyalty. As we discussed above, customers love to give their feedback. Whether positive or negative, create a pathway for this feedback to be provided. Pick at least one customer each day and consider contacting them directly to ask how their experience was. Get their opinion on ways you can improve.

You can gather this feedback in several highly effective ways. Consider setting up a feedback form and providing a link for customers at the point of purchase. Alternatively, you can ask for feedback on social media or through your email marketing.

Implement a customer loyalty rewards program.

If you are trying to attract more consumers to your business, you may also want to implement a rewards program. The first stage of setting up this type of program is to formulate a strategy, which will often include collecting basic customer data. Having that information on hand allows for greater customer engagement. For example, you can use an email service, such as ConstantContact, to send out email blasts to shoppers about ongoing specials, promotions or coupons.

Offering a rewards program has proven benefits.  Customers who enroll in the program are more likely to spend more money with you since they have an established relationship with you and receive perks in exchange for their business. Consumers who connect to your brand, products and services are also more inclined to be loyal and participate in the program.

Share your story

We live in the age of social media. People are comfy sharing their stories online, and they increasingly want to do business with companies that align with their outlook on life. Rather than hiding your background and values, put them at the forefront of your brand.  Start with considering why you’re in business – why you do what you do. If you can explain this to your audience, it’s the essence of your brand story.  Customers increasingly want to do business with companies they align with, so make sure to share the “why” behind your business.