Customer loyalty is when your customers repeatedly choose your products and services over your competitors. They might be loyal for many different reasons, regardless of your pricing. Your most loyal customers are often more willing to try new products from your company rather than shopping around.

In a world where competitors are only a click away, customer loyalty is more important than ever, says Michael Keenan, a marketer and SEO expert. To determine if your company needs to stake steps to earn more loyal customers, Keenan recommends examining customer satisfaction levels through a Net Promoter Score survey. You could also look at customer lifetime value (CLV), which is annual revenue per customer multiplied by customer relationship in years. You then subtract customer acquisition costs to get CLV.

Once you have an idea of customer loyalty, you can take steps to expand it. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Keenan’s guidance on how to build customer loyalty.

Elevate your customer service. Keenan points out that consistently strong customer service is why most people stay loyal. You may not be able to out-spend bigger companies on marketing or customer acquisition, but you can commit to taking excellent care of your customers. In fact, if you’re a solo business owner or you work for a small company, your size is an advantage. You can provide a level of service no big company can match, says Keenan.

Promote what you care about. If your customers see that you support similar causes and share the same values, they will likely want to continue working with you. Think about TOMS shoes and how the company donates a pair of shoes with every purchase through its One for One movement. Keenan notes that your company doesn’t have to do something on that scale, but you should make your voice known on an important issue. He says that communicating your brand’s higher purpose outside of making money is how to create a genuine connection with customers.

Create a helpful community. To improve your customer loyalty, create opportunities for customers and prospects to interact with each other. This could mean creating a Facebook community where people can share tips, insights or experiences, says Keenan. Once you start this community, give people a reason to engage in it. For example, you might provide free training or first looks at new products.

Partner with relevant brands. According to Keenan, another great way to grow customer loyalty is to build strategic partnerships with other brands. These partnerships give you access to new customers and allow you to provide exclusive experiences. The idea is to find a partnership that keeps your customers coming back for more.

Launch a loyalty program. This allows you to understand what matters to your customers and connect with them on important moments, from birthdays to anniversaries with your brand. Keenan says that loyalty programs can help you drive daily engagement, reward customers based on their spending and even reactivate lost customers.

Loyal customers are the lifeblood of any business. Understanding customer loyalty and then taking steps to create longer-lasting relationships can help you grow your bottom line. You can inspire more customers to repeatedly return to you by considering the points above.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Michael Keenan is a SaaS marketer and SEO expert.