Attracting new visitors to your website is an important task, but turning those visits into actual customers is another one – especially if you would like to cultivate some customer loyalty. Geoffrey James’ article in Inc, “Create True Customer Loyalty: 10 Rules”, is a great place to start and offers some tips worth discussing.
He says, “Customer loyalty comes from having a strong relationship with your customers. When they see you as a friend and ally, they’re reluctant to jump ship, even if it means they can get something a little cheaper.”
We agree with James both as entrepreneurs ourselves and as customers who give brands our loyalty selectively, but enthusiastically. Take Tattly, for example! Brands that get it right get our business.
James’ goes on to talk about how the right attitude and behaviors build the kind of relationships that develop into sincere customer loyalty. He mentions Jerry Acuff, author of The Relationship Edge in Business and the advice he gives for building customer loyalty through relationships. Here are a few of our favourites from his list:
Turning customers into fans
“1. Make relationships your priority. Customers immediately sense if you’re using them (and the relationship) to work your own agenda. Put the relationship first and treat it as more important than making the sale. Your customers will sense you’ve got their best interests at heart.
2. Get curious about people. People are drawn to those who show a true interest in them. Honest (but non-intrusive) curiosity helps you understand how you can better help your customers, while giving you the opportunity to learn new things and make new connections.
3. Be consistent and reliable. People only offer loyalty to those whom they trust. Customers decide whether to trust you based upon your day-to-day behavior. If it’s unpredictable, they’ll shy away. If it’s consistent over time, they’ll know you can be counted on.
4. Cultivate fearless integrity. Never be afraid to take a stand, even when it’s unpopular with your customer or your company. That does not mean being picking unnecessary fights, but it does mean being willing to make decisions based upon what you know is right.
5. Decide to make selling more fun. Building great relationships is not just good business, it’s also great fun. Consider: wouldn’t you rather spend time with people whom you like (and who like you in return) rather than trying to manipulate people into buying stuff they don’t need?”
What we like about these tips is that they can be applied just as easy to a giant international e-commerce business as to a small local storefront. One of the ways to do this is through your communication, like your website or social media. Get in touch if you would like us to take a look at your website and talk about ways to build your customer loyalty.