Let’s state the obvious: Businesses would cease to exist without customers. Establishing a loyal customer base is crucial to every brand’s success, but it doesn’t happen overnight and it certainly doesn’t happen by accident. There’s an art to understanding how to build customer loyalty.

For over a decade at Imprint Engine, we’ve mastered the art of creating programs and experiences that strengthen customer loyalty. It’s overwhelming to narrow down ideas and decide which efforts might be most effective. Partnering with a brand experience expert not only makes your job easier on the front end, but ensures you have the tools to analyze what’s working best to retain your unique customers for years to come.

Why Is Customer Loyalty Important?

Customer loyalty is a must-have, especially for businesses in saturated markets. It costs a lot of money to acquire new customers. Between the marketing and advertising and the sales skills needed to attract new customers, retaining your existing ones ultimately improves your bottom line. Plus, loyal customers are likely to buy more often, spend more money, and refer others to do the same, further reducing the need for large-scale ad campaigns. 

Putting your existing customers’ needs first will reward you in the long run. 90% of customers will spend more with companies that personalize the customer service they offer them. And nurturing these relationships even gives you a little room for error: 74% say they will forgive a company for its mistake after receiving excellent service.

6 of Our Best Tips for Building Customer Loyalty

You may have invested a lot of time, money, and energy into a customer, but they still ended up leaving. Customer loyalty requires more than just a good product at a good price. You must nurture and invest in customer relationships in order to make them stick. Here are six of our best tips for building customer loyalty. 

1. Make Sure Your Product Quality is Top Notch

First things first: Your customers have to actually like your product or service. Nearly half of customers point first to the quality of the product or service as a factor that earns their loyalty. Quality is part of your marketing strategy, because a better product will sustain a higher level of customer satisfaction. When customers are satisfied, they’re encouraged to make another purchase, so loyalty is gradually developed over time.

2. Design a Seamless Customer Experience

The overall customer experience makes or breaks whether or not people convert into loyal, repeat customers. This experience begins the moment customers first interact with your website and persists long after their order is fulfilled or their customer service request is resolved.

One study showed that 89% of customers believe a quick response to an initial inquiry is important when deciding who to buy from, and another study found that respondents who had a bad customer service interaction were 50% more likely to share this on social media than those who had good experiences. 

Try not to look at customer service as only an outlet for issues and complaints. Customer service is part of the overall customer journey. It’s an opportunity to leave a better impression on customers by efficiently communicating throughout their purchasing process. 

Customer service is part of our expertise, especially when managing global projects with tons of moving parts. Implementing a consolidated platform that stores all communication is a great way to streamline your customer service operation. When brands partner with us to build their company stores and experiences, they have full access to our customer support teams stationed all over the world. Read more about how we work.

3. Ask for Customer Feedback

Don’t just say you value customers’ insights — ask them for genuine input! Show customers that you are constantly improving and listening to them by encouraging feedback. Send surveys or incentivize reviews and truly absorb the responses. In order to build customer loyalty, you have to know where your customers stand. 

4. Develop a Customer Loyalty Program

Who doesn’t like a little reward? Customer loyalty programs are excellent tactics to not only collect consumer data, but to make customers feel valued for continuing to purchase from you. And it’s effective: 77% of consumers say they are likely to stay with a brand that has a loyalty program, and 63% of consumers say they’re prepared to modify their spending habits in order to maximize the benefits of a loyalty program.

Your loyalty program could be a virtual punch card, like the kind you see at your local coffee joint. Customers can acquire points by spending a certain amount of money, making a certain number of purchases, or by referring friends. You could also implement a subscription-based program where customers pay a fee to gain access to perks or exclusive products and events. Your loyalty program can also be as simple as sending a gift or offering a discount on customers’ birthdays. These efforts to connect with your customers will encourage them to keep coming back. 

5. Clearly Communicate Your Brand Identity

Customers are more likely to develop a sense of loyalty for your brand if they feel aligned with your identity and values. Who are you beyond your logo? What makes you stand out? Why should customers feel more loyal to you than your competitors? To connect more deeply with consumers, you have to stay true to your identity and clearly communicate it. 

When marketing your brand, focus on the attributes that set you apart and align with consumers. Two-thirds of customers buy based on beliefs, but that doesn’t mean you need to get political. Your brand identity could align with a cause, a lifestyle, or even a persona. We connect with our customers through our Imprint Impact program, an ongoing effort to use products and services that have a minimal impact on the environment. 

6. Stay Connected with Customers on Social Media

Like it or not, social media is a massive part of our lives, and it’s not going anywhere. Reaching your customers is easier than ever thanks to our increasingly digital world!

You can leverage social media to build customer loyalty by sharing what you’re up to behind the scenes, interacting with followers in the comment sections, teasing what’s to come for your brand, and engaging with any relevant content in your industry. A strong online community shows people that they’re part of something cool just by being your loyal customer.

Build Customer Loyalty with Imprint Engine

Loyalty takes time, but it’s worth the work to achieve it. From their very first inquiry, customers need to feel seen, valued, appreciated, and satisfied. We’re here to help make that happen. Contact our brand experience experts.