Low-cost customer loyalty

3 ways to manage your bottom line while keeping customers happy.

Low-cost customer loyalty

Satisfying your customers is your number one priority – it increases your business and leads to customer retention. Customer loyalty is worth millions, but doesn’t have to cost you big bucks. There are three easy ways to be true to your brand, as well as impress your customers – all without breaking the bank.

1. COMMUNICATION IS KEY

They say communication is a two-way street and that couldn’t be any truer than with building brand loyalty. Open the channels of communication. Customers actually want to hear from you. Keep them posted on what’s happening in your business. Consider a quick “subscribe” button on your website to collect customer e-mail addresses for weekly or monthly newsletters and promotions or coupons. There are plenty of user-friendly options, like MailChimp, to help you get the job done.

Don’t forget to listen! You also want to create airspace for customers to speak. With an overwhelming number of social media platforms making it almost too easy to air grievances, consider creating positive channels to solicit constructive consumer feedback. If customers feel heard, they’ll be more likely to return.

Plenty of retail and hospitality brands provide easy links to online surveys on each receipt. Places like Taco Bell understand that quality and service are essential to every restaurant, and to ensuring an attractive, standardized experience.

Consider using platforms like SurveyMonkey or GetFeedback to create surveys and connect via receipts, takeaway cards or e-Blasts. A little incentive program never hurt in getting people to respond. Most importantly – make it easy and make changes based on the feedback.

2. SHARE YOUR VALUES

Lifetime brand loyalty begins with aligning your corporate values with those of your potential customers. Make sure your brand has clear and consistent values that customers can connect with.

Think of the impact that sustainable practices can have on a brand image. Green practices are increasingly important to consumers. If they are also important to your brand, make sure you communicate all the ways you’re supporting those efforts.

According to a Forbes survey, 73% of consumers would switch brands if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause (Forbes 2013).

Consider communicating your connections with sustainable partners. Also look for great ways to use eco-friendly products like Vio® biodegradable* foam cups and containers. Vio® is the lowest cost disposable cup you can find when you’re seeking green options. To boost the positive impact on your bottom line, Vio® has the added benefit of allowing you to print custom graphics that reinforce your brand message alongside the eco-friendly biodegradable* messaging.

90% of Americans consider the environmental consequences of their purchases – maybe it’s time to consider the environmental consequences of your processes (Cone Communications 2013).

3. TAKE COST OUT OF THE EQUATION

Don’t forget there are many ways to keep your customers happy and coming back that don’t cost you very much, if anything, at all. Remember that e-mail list you’ve been holding on to? Send your customers messages wishing them a Happy Birthday or create a video of staff singing (since the song is now copyright-free) and show your sense of humor.

Also, make sure to give frontline employees the power to deal with complaints. An apology goes a long way and doesn’t cost a thing. But if some financial compensation is needed, it’s much more likely to cost less if it’s done quickly – and pleasantly – at the first interaction.

Marriott International aggressively trains their frontline customer care associations and teaches them to put customers first. Marriott has made sure that hospitality is at the forefront of each interaction. Customers around the world still flock to Marriott for their great hospitality and excellent customer service.

No matter how you look at it – customer loyalty is the key to your business’ success. So, make sure you’re taking all of the low-cost and no-cost actions you can to leave your customers happy and your bottom line healthy.

*Cups biodegrade 92% over 4 years, lids biodegrade 66.2% over 6.6 years, straws biodegrade 78.9% over 5.8 years. Tested under conditions that simulate both wetter and biologically active landfills using the ASTM D5511 test. Wetter or biologically active landfills may not exist in your area. The stated rate and extent of degradation do not mean that the product will continue to decompose.