Businesses value loyalty the most. Customer loyalty creates brands and brings steady income that can be used for further company development. Still, customer loyalty is a two-way process. It requires lots of gratitude from the business itself. Unfortunately, many companies have lost their gratitude momentum, while growing their business operations. Losing gratitude for your customers in most cases leads to tough PR disasters and a fast business decline. In this article, we’ll explain why gratitude is so important for keeping your customers loyal and your business healthy and smooth.
Many marketers don’t realize that nurturing customer loyalty is the most important part of their work. Instead, they solely focus on gaining the new leads and opportunities. A reliable marketing research has shown that retaining current customers is much easier and more economical than attracting the new ones. There are many ways how companies can express their gratitude to customers. Before the digital age, the most prominent practice for retaining the customers were the loyalty programs.
Loyalty programs are still extremely popular. Although they are usually viewed as a more traditional marketing practice, they can be easily implemented in the digital world. Various software and internet businesses reward their loyal buyers and subscribers with coupon codes that guarantee lower prices, presents, additional features and better contract conditions.
There are several types of loyalty programs, including:
1. Point system – is the most common type of loyalty program, where customers earn points with their purchases, which can later be turned into discounts and other rewards.
2. Tier system – rewards the initial purchase decision and encourages first-time customers to spend more. Tier system also provides better rewards for customers while they’re climbing the ‘loyalty ladder.’
3. One-time fee for V.I.P. – enables customers to instantly get the premium status with paying a fixed one-time fee.
4. All-inclusive offer – is usually provided by partnerships. Its purpose is to make customers’ lives easier and provide better value for money than several individual offers.
5. Loyalty game – is a contest organized by the company, whose purpose is to promote its brand and encourage customers to purchase more. Customers, on the other hand, can receive valuable prizes.
Loyalty programs bring great benefits to both businesses and their customers. Still, one of their biggest downsides is the price that businesses have to pay for creating an effective loyalty program. These programs are often too expensive, and small companies sometimes don’t have enough funds to offer attractive rewards and promote the program among their audience.
Many businesses take loans for organizing these programs. Small businesses without a proven credit record can take smaller loans at competitive rates from companies offer business loans to both businesses and individuals with poor or bad credit score. This way even small businesses and sole proprietors can show gratitude to their customers and benefit from their loyalty.
Other ways to show gratitude
Many companies have drastically improved their cash flow, by replacing bragging and selling with showing gratitude. The advanced tech and social media allow entrepreneurs to show how grateful they are. Some of the platforms that can be helpful for retaining the high loyalty of your customer base include:
- YouTube – where you can share videos that express appreciation to your customers and share your company’s mission, interests, and principles.
- Twitter – offers an ideal opportunity for showing gratitude to individual customers, by retweeting their remarks about your brand. You can also comment on your customer’s tweets and thank them for mentioning your business.
- Facebook Live – allows you to show gratitude in a live video. You can also tag your followers or share their videos.
- LinkedIn – notifies members about their followers’ work anniversary and it is the best place to congratulate professionals on their career achievements.
- Instagram – allows you to repost your followers’ photos. Both Instagram and Facebook can be used for organizing specialized loyalty contests under appropriate hashtags and rewarding your most loyal fans.
Although gratitude can go a long way when it’s expressed online, thanking or congratulating your customers on paper or in person is still much more efficient. If you know your customers’ addresses, don’t hesitate to send them a handwritten thank-you note or to wish them a happy birthday. You can also organize a meeting with the most loyal customers, welcome them as the dearest guests and give them plenty of presents and free samples. Gratitude can go a long way, and it will drastically improve customer loyalty, which will have great benefits for your business in the long run.