Client loyalty is more important than you might realize. In the marketing world, most experts tend to focus on elements of client acquisition—the ability to attract new paying clients. This is important, but think about the value breakdown of a new client versus a recurring one.
Let’s assume your client pay you an average of $1,000 a year; in this scenario, increasing the average length of time a client stays loyal will objectively increase the total value of every new client. To make the case even more compelling, it often costs far less money to retain an existing client than to attract a new one entirely.
Today, just about every marketplace is flooded with competition, and because users can do research and switch easily, brand loyalty isn’t as common or as easy to attain as it used to be. Still, there are five surefire paths you can take to cement loyalty in your own client base:
This path is a little ambiguous, because it doesn’t necessitate you have any real relationship with your consumer. They might not even recognize your brand out of a lineup—but as long as you’re there, giving your clients exactly what they need for a better price than anyone else, you’ll be at the top of their list. This is also one of the hardest paths to achieve, since all your competitors will be striving for the same advantage.
The goal here is to offer something unique, that nobody else can offer. For example, you might offer a turnkey suite of services as a collective package that no other firm offers in such a bundle, or you might have an integration that no other software on the market currently supports. Obviously, this differentiating factor must be inherently valuable, but it can’t be directly compared to a competitor, and it’s rare—and those two things are what will allow it to secure further client loyalty.
The benefit here is clear; clients are motivated to stay with you to continue receiving these rewards (as long as the rewards themselves are valuable enough). This is even more powerful if the rewards escalate in a kind of chain—a repeated pattern of habits, which, as Jerry Seinfeld reminds us, is very difficult to break once created.
If you’ve ever experienced the other side of this, you should know, intuitively, why it works. Going out of your way to make a client happy shows incredible commitment, and will cement your brand reputation in that person’s brain. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile, even if it’s extra work. It’s worth it to secure that individual’s loyalty forever.
Growth and Development
Regularly introducing new features, new values, and new benefits to your clients keeps the novelty factor strong, and shows that you’re committed enough to your clients to initiate and manage real growth. This shows that you’re worthy as a long-term partner, and will keep people around for the long haul.
You aren’t limited to only these five paths of client loyalty, but they are the most powerful strategies I’ve found (for the vast majority of businesses). Similarly, don’t feel limited to using only one of them; in fact, these strategies complement and enhance each other, so it’s in your best interest to use several of them simultaneously. As always, your biggest tool to success here is feedback; pay attention to what your clients do and don’t like, and correct your approach accordingly over time.