It’s no surprise that customer loyalty can be as elusive as it is coveted. In the wake of an increasingly digital economy, some analysts have even gone so far as to declare loyalty dead. Due to ever-changing consumer trends and expectations, such declarations had been based on the rise of daily deals sites, ecommerce domination, and devotion only to the lowest price or estimate.

Rather than abandon all hope for building an engaged customer base, there is much to be gained from adapting your approach to become more customer-driven. By harnessing the power of such prevailing trends, businesses will find success in their pursuit of this elusive loyalty. The return on such investments is staggering, with repeat visits generating up to 10 times as much as their first. Similarly, increasing customer retention by 5% boosts profits anywhere from 25 to 95%. So fear not, by utilizing the following best practices you can keep your customers nurtured, informed and engaged on the offerings they care most about and will keep them returning!

Businesses using Signpost enjoy an average of 25 loyalty offers claimed per month! Click to find out how Signpost can help your business to get more value out of customers, today!

1:1 Personalization

Remember, contacting clients via email or SMS message is a privilege and not a right, so make sure they actually want what you’re sending their way. It’s vital that you are segmenting your customer contact lists to ensure that they’ve expressed an interest in the types of offers and updates that you’re sending them. Similar to custom recommendations popularized in ecommerce by giants like Amazon, segment your customer lists by interest, demographics, or other areas specific to your business. For example, if your business specializes in fitness programs, you may want to segment by the type of classes they tend to take, whether only yoga, cardio, strength building, etc. Or, you may want to segment by subset of these, frequency, or skill level, in addition.

For businesses with less frequent repeat customers, it’s important that you keep them nurtured for months or even years in between transactions. Many home service businesses might fall into this category, where only annual maintenances may be required or less frequent, larger projects. If you notify customers too frequently about other offerings, they could get annoyed and unsubscribe, but with the right messages they’ll remain engaged, nurtured, subscribed, and hopefully call upon your services again. It’s hard to stay top-of-mind, when it’s not a regular cadence, so by striking the right balance between helpful resources for home care and improvement, you will make certain your business is the first on their list when the need arises.

Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates, so it’s worth investing in this area, in order to both delight customers and boost repeat business!

Increasing customer retention by 5% boosts profits anywhere from 25 to 95%

Utilizing artificial intelligence throughout the customer lifecycle

Additionally, AI can seamlessly bridge channels and funnel stages, to foster loyalty beyond the initial purchase. Signpost’s Digital Advertising services enable the platform to achieve this full lifecycle marketing. For example, a prospect that clicks on a Facebook ad and fills out the lead form is then automatically added to the core CRM, and sent exclusive new customer promotions and communications. After the prospect responds to any of these or transacts, their customer profile is updated and powers personalized messages via email and SMS. It will continue to remarket and reinforce loyalty while also generating more new business through referral offers and requests to post reviews across vital industry sites.

Using loyalty to grow your business

The process of turning prospects into customers and customers into advocates is as old as commerce itself. It’s no wonder that most SMB’s attribute up to 85% of all new business to word-of-mouth. However, in our connected world, like in many other aspects of life, there has been a shift in the way consumers advocate for the businesses they love. 88% of consumers trust online reviews and ratings as much as personal recommendations from friends and family. Purchasing choices become a decision by committee, with input from strangers who’ve taken the time to post a review of their experience. Since people are more likely to remember (and unfortunately post about) negative experiences than positive ones, it becomes imperative to adjust your approach to managing your business’s reputation.

By identifying your best customers, beyond just frequency of purchases or average transaction amount, allows you to tap this devoted group and transform them into brand promoters. You can tap them for feedback and suggestions to zero in on areas where service can be improved, or to discover additional areas of opportunity for your business to expand into. This can be a real win-win for businesses, highlighting your commitment to both customer experience and satisfaction. Encourage loyal customers to share their thoughts on Facebook, Google, Yelp, or any of the many industry-specific sites, such as HomeAdvisor, Zillow, ZocDoc, etc. This way other prospects in search of your solution can be certain that your service will delight them and meet (or exceed!) their expectations. Finally, do not forget to actively seek out referrals from your best customers. Most are happy to do so following a pleasant interaction, so plant the seed early and often (and you can check out this three-post series on building and implementing a referral strategy, for pointers!).

Finally, do not be shy about expressing your gratitude to your loyal customers. Most are happy to help and patronize your business, but be careful not to take them for granted. Identify them, get to know them and keep them happy with input, incentives or rewards. Like any other relationship, it needs to be a two-way street.

Want to start your customer-centric approach today? Signpost uses innovative AI technology (we just call her Mia), to identify your best customers and create robust profiles of your base. She gathers insights on their preferences and affinity for the business to automatically drive more five-star reviews across the sites that matter most for your business, as well as more repeat business and loyalty. To find out more and see how it works, speak to one of our local business consultants, today!