Are you trying to build your super fans? Or maybe you’re just simply trying to find more ways to build rapport with your customers. Whatever the case may be, you’re going to want to stick with me until the end of this article, because I’m about to go over seven things I’ve learned when it comes to building customer loyalty.
Tip 1: Answer every message within one business day, if not, within a few hours
The first piece of advice when it comes to building customer loyalty is to answer all of your messages within one business day, if not, within a few hours. Nowadays, we have a couple thousand customers, but back in the early days, we had no customers. So, one of the ways I decided I wanted our company to stand out in, was in our service levels. That meant that if anybody had any questions before or after the sale, that we would strive to answer within an hour, if not a few hours during regular business hours.
Back in the early days, this meant often being on late at night when I had no other support. But as we began to scale, we started shifting towards a one business day approach. Whatever the case may be, the important thing here is to build the habit and the expectation from your customers that you are responsive and that you are ready to serve them whenever they have any potential issues.
Today, I don’t own any particular customer relationships, but I still have some customers from five or six years ago that’s still reach out to me every single year when it’s time for their renewals, because they know that they can get to me and they know that I can solve their problems within an hour. Build that sort of expectation in place and hold everybody on your team to that same standard.
Tip 2: Communicate the way your customers like to communicate.
The second thing I’ve learned when it comes to building customer loyalty is to communicate the way your customers like to communicate.
Early on you want to ask your customers if they prefer to communicate with you via email, phone, text, conference, or whatever. And the main reason why you want to ask this is, because you want to be able to leave a note in your CRM that takes note of their preferences. That way, when you actually need to get in touch with them later on, for anything like a potential feature release, a renewal conversation, whatever the case may be, you’re going to actually be able to reach them in the highest probability way.
This varies very much by industry, but for industries in which you have a older demographic, you’ll typically find that people like to communicate more via phone than via email, whereas with a younger generation and they may prefer email communication over an actual conference call or phone conversation.
I had a customer, for example, that preferred to dial into a Google meet conference to share his screen, but then also dial in on his phone to connect with me. And the reason why was because he was in his sixties and he liked to have the assurance of knowing that in the case where his internet went out or for whatever reason you lost connection, he would still have me on the line via the phone connection.
Whatever the case may be, the important thing is when you’re trying to build your customer loyalty, you want to meet your customers at where they’re at.
Tip 3: Recall past conversations and goals of clients.
The third thing I’ve learned when it comes to building customer loyalty is to recall past conversations and goals of clients. Make sure that you can show that you listen. The reason why is because clients are so used to being just sold something and then never hearing from you again. That when you show that you can recall small things from past conversations, you show that you’re more than just a number or a contract to them.
If you ever watched The Office, this is the reason why Michael Scott is so effective and is early as the top salesman of the Scranton branch. It’s because of the fact that he remembers the small things about his clients and brings them up later on when it’s a low stakes conversation.
The reason why it’s so important that we remember the goals that our clients set for us before the sale and bring them up constantly in the post-sale process is because it shows that we actually care about them helping them meet their goals and also it’s where our entire value derives from when it comes to providing a product or service.
So make sure you listen to what your customers say in those past conversations and bring it up frequently in your check-ins with them as well as later on in your renewal conversation.
Tip 4: Show your gratitude at least twice a year.
The fourth thing I’ve learned when it comes to building customers loyalty is to show your appreciation for your customers at least twice a year.
There are a ton of ways to do so. And if you want to check them out, I have an article on how to say thanks to your customers, but it can be as simple as a quick video message, a handwritten thank you note, or a small token of appreciation. The keys to this step is to make sure that it doesn’t come off as contrived or disingenuous.
In other words, don’t just send this to your clients a month or a few weeks before the renewal. It’s helpful to do so typically a few weeks after they’ve been onboarded or when they’ve been a customer at a midpoint in their contract. Just so that there’s enough space between the next time that you’re going to be asking for a potential sale.
To help you with this, I recommend you take a step back and think about the last time that a company expressed appreciation for you and think about what you liked, what you didn’t like and what you would have improved.
Tip 5: Be proactive when meeting needs.
The fifth thing that I’ve learned when it comes to building customer loyalty is to make, make sure that you are proactive when you’re meeting your customer’s needs.
Reach out ahead of time when it comes to things like renewals and other key events in your customer success journey. This builds on the prior tip, but essentially you want to make sure that you are always thinking ahead in the interest of your customer. You should act like a fiduciary as much as possible when it comes to the responsibility of delivering the core value of what your product or service intends to do for them.
This means whenever you think about a past conversation, you’ve had, whenever there’s a new feature that’s released, that could potentially benefit them or anything that could potentially give them more value than what they’re getting from you today, you should feel free to reach out to them. You may want to share something your marketing department put together that might take that may new feature on your site, or just make sure that you’re reaching out at least 90 days ahead of their renewal schedule so that they have ample time to loop in relevant stakeholders.
From my experience, I found that clients are super receptive to talking early about renewals when you give a friendly nudge halfway through their contract. From my experience, an easy way to lower your customer churn and open up some early renewals, is to make sure that you reach out to your customers halfway through their contract, just to remind them about initiating that conversation. And then also to send an email, offering a couple incentives to open up an early renewal.
This is an easy way for you to avoid some awkward or difficult conversations that would have happened at the end of their contracts, just because you didn’t check in with them. And it also makes it so that you have a lot of low stakes conversations that still allow you to build in some high value deals.
Tip 6: Follow through on past feedback received.
The sixth thing I’ve learned when it comes to building customer loyalty is to follow through on the feedback that you’ve received. Back in our early days, I would always leave little notes for myself as to different pieces of feedback that I was hearing from both prospects as well as customers. And whenever our dev team put together a feature set that address that particular need, I would make sure that I reached back out to that group of customers that I left that note on and then tell them about the fixed that we had implemented for their particular issue.
These users were honestly, so surprised to hear back from me. And I think the reason why is because you and I and everybody else are so accustomed to companies having a feedback form and that feedback just not resulting in anything.
Tip 7: Create a home for your super fans.
The seventh thing that I’ve learned when it comes to building customer loyalty is to make sure that you build a home for your super fans. As you get more and more super fans, you’re going to want to create a place where people can embody your brand and share their love for your brand with others.
One of the ways that we did this was, after a few years, when we had built up our client base, we created a certification process in which our super users could test their knowledge of the platform. And in exchange of getting certified, they would get promotional swag along with special invites for their friends that weren’t already on our site and other early releases of features.
It was a great way to engage our super fans in terms of feedback, on new features that were in our product roadmap, as well as making sure that they felt like they were part of this building process of creating an awesome product. By creating a home for your super fans, you’re creating a place in which they can connect with other people that love your brand just as much as they do while also allowing them to champion your brand for you. It’s a really easy way to create a win-win situation for everybody involved.
Two of the easiest ways that companies do this today is through training or certification programs and workshops or affiliate programs.
There are two things I want you to remember from this article.
- The first one is that going the proverbial extra mile really does make a big difference, and is the easiest way for you to build extreme customer loyalty.
- The second thing is that doing the small things, make the world of a difference. If you can help your customers feel like they are interacting with a mom and pop shop, even if you aren’t a mom and pop shop, it’ll build customer loyalty like crazy.
Also, if you find it helpful, I put together these tips as well as other customer success tips and tricks in a free download in the link below.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might benefit from learning how to build customer loyalty.
That’s it for this time though. I’ll catch you guys next time in which I’m going to go over, how to onboard you or new clients.