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Mobile Marketing
User Experience

8 Ways to Turn Satisfied Customers Into Loyal Customers

Berkem Peker
November 28, 2022

Of late, there has been a lot of emphasis on ensuring customers are satisfied to keep them coming back. But that's not all there is to it—it's just one piece of the puzzle. Customer satisfaction is an essential key to securing customer loyalty. So, before you start thinking about turning satisfied customers into loyal customers, the first step is to ensure they are satisfied.

Are you treating them with kindness and respect? Are all problems addressed respectfully? Do you respond to customer reviews? Are you doing everything to create the best customer experience? Do your products or services fulfill their needs?

Your customers are likely satisfied if you answered yes to all these questions. So, you can move forward with making them loyal to your brand.

Why You Should Pursue Customer Loyalty

Customer satisfaction

There are several reasons why you should be pursuing customer loyalty. Here are the most important:

To Boost Your Profits

The more your loyal customers are, the more your profits. Increasing your customers' loyalty by 5% could boost your profits by 25% to 95%. More so, repeat customers tend to spend more on your products and services than new customers. In fact, the longer they stay loyal, the more they spend.

Also, because your existing customers understand how positive the experience with your business is, they shop more frequently, bringing in more cash.

To Enjoy Higher Conversion Rates

New and prospective customers visiting your site are less likely to convert to buying customers than loyal customers. Loyal customers have an average conversion rate of around 60% to 70%, compared to 5% to 20% for new customers.

To Save Money

It is more expensive to acquire new customers than retain your current ones—about five times more expensive. So, if you focus on loyalty, you save the money you could've spent acquiring them.

To Plan Ahead

Most businesses thrive due to proper planning. And, with loyal customers, you can make plans months or even years into the future because you can accurately forecast your earnings.

This shows how loyal customers are essential to every business. They improve sales, reduce marketing costs, and allow you to plan for the future effectively. 

How do you make loyal customers out of satisfied customers?

The following are eight ways:

1. Encourage Feedback

For your customers to keep coming back, you have to show them you value them. One way to do that is to ask for feedback.

Feedback is important both to you and your customers. It gives you ideas and tips to improve your products or services. To your customers, they will feel that you value their opinions and insights, making them more willing to invest in your business.

You can encourage feedback by asking them to leave a review, sending them questionnaires or other survey tools, requesting email reviews, or even putting a suggestion box where they can drop their ideas anonymously.

It shouldn't end at soliciting feedback, though. Periodically, after receiving a certain amount of feedback, you should sit down with your team, filter out the most impractical ideas, and work on implementing the viable ones.

Your customers will feel unvalued if their suggestions are not implemented and might take their business elsewhere. For example, if a customer suggests installing air conditioning because your restaurant gets too hot, then weeks go by without you taking action; they'll feel like they don't matter and will choose to eat in another establishment.

2. Create a Loyalty Program

Customer loyalty strategy

A customer loyalty program is a system that recognizes and rewards your customers based on how loyal they are to you.

These rewards and incentives are very effective in turning satisfied customers loyal, as well as getting them to spend more. According to studies, members of customer loyalty programs spend 18% more than other customers.

You can implement several types of loyalty programs, and because it is so common in large businesses, you have so many instances to learn from. Some types include:

  • A points system, where each purchase earns the customer points they can convert into rewards or money. You have to make the relationship between buying and points as straightforward as possible for everyone to understand it.
  • Offering tiered rewards, where you give your customers a small incentive for the initial purchase, then gradually increase the value of the incentive as the customer moves up the loyalty ladder.
  • Charging an upfront membership fee, like Amazon Prime, to give them access to certain perks.
  • Offering distinctive rewards such as free tickets to events or donating a fraction of the price of the product or service to social and political issues.

The best part of these loyalty programs is that they don't have to cost you much, so you will reap multiple in return for every cent you invest. Psychologist Norbert Schwarz found that spending as little as 10 cents can create reciprocity between two people.

3. Use a Referral Program

Just like the loyalty program, a referral program is a system that rewards your current customers for referring you to others. It effectively attracts new customers and boosts your ROI, but how does it turn satisfied customers into loyal customers?

First, you have just given your existing customers a reason to return to your business. They could even consider themselves your "partner" and work hard to get more customers as they keep purchasing from you themselves. They also spread the good word about your business, giving you free marketing even to prospective buyers who won't buy directly through them.

Second, customers that come to you through referrals by close friends or relatives are very valuable. They are four times more likely to make a purchase and have a lifetime value that is 16% higher than other customers. They also have a 37% higher retention rate and spend more than non-referred customers.

Customers brought in through referrals can be fully loyal from the word go.

4. Exceed Your Customer's Expectations

It's not enough to provide your customers with a product or service that works well—they can get those from the tens or hundreds of your competitors. What should you do to make yours feel superior and, in effect, turn satisfied customers loyal?

The first step is to understand what your customers are expecting from you. You can get this information by soliciting feedback from them, asking your customer service team, studying your competition, etc. Once you understand your customers, it'll be easy to meet, and ideally, exceed them.

First, you should cover the basics, such as ensuring your processes are completely efficient and all your teams, especially the customer service team, are highly trained. It is impossible to exceed their expectations without covering the basics first.

Then, you can exceed your customers' expectations through small things such as improving your response time, using their names to address them, engaging with them on social channels, involving them in the development process, providing delivery services, ordering items you don't usually stock, and carrying things into the customers' cars. You can also send them a surprise gift such as a free ticket to a company event.

Doing these extra unnecessary things surprises your customers, keeping them coming back because they believe they are valued. It also makes them spread the word because they didn't expect you to.

5. Store Your Customers' Data

If your customers have to go through a lengthy process each time they buy from you, such as entering their credit card data and delivery information, it is likely that when they find a faster option, they won't stick around. Storing data makes it easy for them to shop with you often.

You should store their basic data, such as delivery details and payment information. This data will simplify their shopping experience, increasing the likelihood of doing business with you often. For example, Amazon Prime only asks shoppers to click on "buy now" under the product they want.

You can also collect data such as records of past communication and past problems. However, storing sensitive data needs you to invest in data security first.

6. Engage With Your Customers

Engaging with your customers involves cultivating your relationship beyond the transactional and is vital to turning them loyal. According to a study by Gallup, when companies engage with their customers successfully, they experience a 63% lower customer attrition rate and perform 23% better than the competition.

One of the ways you can engage with your customers is through social media platforms. It is an effective way to reach and communicate with your current and prospective customers. Also, customers expect convenience when seeking help, and if you can't offer it by being available on all platforms, it's unlikely they will become loyal.

By engaging with your customers, you will know what they feel about your product or service, what they value, what you can improve to provide a better experience, and any relevant data or trends in the industry or their expectations. You will also know what they need, allowing you to develop a solution for them, making them loyal to you.

By showing them genuine interest and letting them know they are appreciated, they can trust you and increase their likelihood of buying from you again. They'll stop viewing you as a company that merely offers them a product and start seeing you as a friend with a solution to their problem.

As you engage with them, you can educate them about your products and services, making them 131% more likely to buy from you, according to research by Conductor.

Apart from making them loyal, engaging with them gives you insights you can leverage to upsell and cross-sell.

7. Know Your Customer

For your customers to trust you enough to make you their go-to to fulfill a specific need, you have to get personal. You need to learn their buying habits, interests, pain points, income range, preferred solutions, and even names if possible.

Once you understand your customers, you will know what they want and their preferred and most effective way of presenting the solution. This is very important in marketing. Even if they come across your marketing messages for the first time, they are more likely to engage with you and become loyal if you show them that you understand what they want.

Knowing your customers also determines your business structure. For example, if you know that your customers have a low income, you can offer them several payment plans so they can find one that suits them. This makes them loyal because it is hard to find a business that cares for each customer's individual needs.

There are several ways to know your customer, including engaging with them on social platforms, segmenting them, tracking their real-time behavior using a CRM, etc. It goes both ways: you have to let them know you too by sharing information about your business and even news before it reaches the press.

If they feel like you know each other personally, they will be comfortable doing business with you and become unlikely to take their business elsewhere even if you make a mistake.

8. Use Stories

No, not stories as in narrative accounts of something; stories as in those used on Instagram, Snapchat, and referred to as statuses on WhatsApp.

They can enrich your customers' shopping or browsing experience due to their convenience and ease of access. Do you think all these major social media platforms would be using them if they weren't effective? In fact, at a conference a few years ago, Facebook's chief product officer, Chris Cox, said stories are "on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends".

And that was a few years ago, so you can imagine how powerful they are now that most of us are used to them.

Incorporating them into your website or app can make your customers loyal because they are already familiar with them, so they'll appreciate them. Also, your customers will view you as forward-thinking because incorporating it into apps and websites is still a new practice and not many businesses and apps have it.

You can also use these stories to poll or collect feedback from your customers so they can feel valued. Additionally, each user can receive personalized stories, so they will feel like you understand them, which builds trust. This connection with your audience automatically turns them loyal.

Now that most of us are used to them, we instinctively click when we come across them. That means they are pretty effective and perfect for introducing new features and products. And if your customers feel privy to this information, they're likely never to leave.

Wrapping Up

Customer loyalty

As you may have noticed, there is a theme in all the above tips on turning satisfied customers into loyal customers: enriching their experiences. That is the one line that separates satisfied customers from loyal customers. 

Once you know and understand your customers, offer them rewards programs, constantly engage with them, and exceed their expectations, they will have such a rich experience that they would never want to try anyone else.

That said, you shouldn't stop at these guidelines. You should always look for other ways to improve and enrich your customers' experience.

If you are looking for a different way to share content, you should incorporate stories into your app or website through Storyly. It allows you to integrate stories on your app or website, whether you want to share photos, videos, or story ads. For a personalized experience, Storyly allows you to tailor each story to each user by connecting data to your product fees, ad accounts, personalization platforms, and more.

Sign up for free to use the Storyly dashboard and design studio to create compelling stories to turn satisfied customers into loyal customers.

Berkem Peker

Berkem is master of none, jack of all trades. Happens to be a Growth Strategist at Storyly. Knows/writes about growth frameworks and user behavior.

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