Illustration of two people engaging through their smartphones. On the left, a person with long blue hair wearing a yellow sweater with red dots is reaching up towards a lightbulb symbol, visible through their phone screen. On the right, a person with purple hair and wearing a blue shirt and orange pants is doing the same from their side, suggesting a shared idea or connection over a digital platform.

Creative ways to build customer loyalty: 9 simple yet effective tips

MarketingCategory
9 min read
Dan Hughes

Whatever your niche, having plenty of loyal customers is key to thriving as a small business owner. 

By inspiring customer loyalty, you have a better chance of growing your business in an increasingly competitive digital world and can possibly boost your revenue.

Did you know? 59% of American shoppers say that once they’re loyal to a brand, they’re loyal to it for life 

Since retaining a new consumer costs more than retaining an existing one, there’s every reason to boost customer loyalty.

Knowing where to start can feel daunting—but don’t worry—we're here to help by sharing X essential tips on improving customer loyalty and earning more sales.

Let’s go.

Why customer loyalty counts

Aside from having a loyal fan base being a cost-effective way of earning a healthy flow of monthly sales, here are some additional insights that prove exactly why customer loyalty counts:

  • 57% of shoppers spend more on brands to which they are loyal. (Zinrelo)
  • A 5% rise in customer retention is linked to at least a 25% increase in profits. (Bain & Company)
  • 75% of people favor a brand if there is a loyalty program. (KPMG)

How to boost customer loyalty: 9 essential tips

Now that you’re familiar with the power of customer loyalty, we’ll show you how to make it happen with these eight essential tips.

1. Gamify your data-gathering efforts

First, to earn customer loyalty, you must get to know your customers. In addition to sweating your internal data and creating buyer personas, you can gather insights into what your customers want from you by gamifying things.

When we say “gamify,” we essentially mean incentivizing your customers to fill out forms or surveys (and sharing information that will help you improve your products or services) by making them fun.

Here are a few ideas for your consideration:

  • Create a snappy quiz.
  • Create a fun-filled survey with a discount code as an incentive.
  • Create a visual poll with engaging images and copy.
  • Create a short problem-solving game that requires customers to share their thoughts and feelings on your brand, service, or products.
  • Launch a competition that requires your customers to share useful information via your email or social media channels.

By making sharing information fun, you’ll gain a wealth of insights that you can use to improve your brand messaging, marketing campaign, customer experience, and products. And when you do that, your customer loyalty rates are likely to skyrocket.

2. Level up your mobile game

A person holding a smartphone with both hands against a blurred background of colorful city lights at night
Credit: ipopba - stock.adobe.com

In this day and age, optimizing your online store or website for mobile browsing is essential.

As the majority of shoppers conduct product research and make buying decisions through mobile devices, any snags in the browsing experience will see your loyalty levels drop.

The best online store builders will automatically optimize your web pages for mobile. But it’s always worth testing and checking your store to ensure everything works seamlessly for mobile browsing.

In addition to making sure you offer your customers a top-notch mobile browsing experience, having a mobile app can help to increase your retention rates and boost sales.

Having a mobile app will empower you to deliver exclusive content to your customers, offer incentives, and keep people coming back for more. And, while it might seem like an investment, there are plenty of cost-effective platforms for mobile app development in today’s digital world.

Plus, if you get it right — you’ll enjoy a very healthy return on investment (ROI).

3. Improve your UX efforts (sweat the small stuff)

Many small business owners overlook this smaller detail—but improving your user experience (UX) offerings will boost customer loyalty.

In a highly competitive landscape, the smaller details can set you apart from the pack. By making your user experience as seamless as possible across all channels and touchpoints, you’ll accelerate your growth, earn customer loyalty, and boost sales.

Here are a few UX-boosting tips to consider:

  • Improve your website speed.
  • Make your navigation bars easy to use.
  • Categorize your products clearly.
  • Customize your 404 error pages to make them fun and engaging.
  • Don’t make your page designs too busy.

Also, by working on your UX copy, you can bring your brand to life and keep your customers engaged throughout their shopping journey (time and time again).

Pro tip: Check out our essential guide to UX copywriting to level up your skills, cut through the noise, and inspire more customer loyalty.

4. Offer a rewards program

Did you know that the average American shopper belongs to 16.7 customer loyalty programs? Wow, that’s a lot.

By launching a loyalty or rewards program, you’ll add an element of exclusivity to your brand and make your customers feel more valued.

From friend referral schemes and personalized incentives to rewards points, access to exclusive content, and beyond — there are lots of ways you can boost customer loyalty with a rewards program.

Here are some ideas for your consideration:

  1. Member’s only giveaways
  2. Buy one, get one free (BOGO) deals and coupons
  3. Exclusive gift cards
  4. VIP privileges (special events, early bird product access, etc.)
  5. Points and rewards for in-app purchases
  6. Free shipping
  7. Pay later or spread the cost initiatives

5. Give stellar customer service

A close-up of a smiling person wearing a headset with a microphone. They are wearing a white button-up shirt and seem to be engaged in a conversation or providing customer service.
Credit: NVB Stocker - stock.adobe.com

Customer service is a deal-maker no matter what the season. Since you can’t actually reach out and touch your customers right now, you’ll need to be creative during this time. Use these points to guide you:

  • Knowing your market as you do, anticipate any common issues your customers will likely encounter.
  • Be proactive and provide customer solutions to respond to these pressure points.
  • Create an FAQ section in your online store or website to address any common shopper queries. This will improve the level of service you offer and build trust in the process.

Introducing home delivery or switching to virtual sessions are two examples of creative adaptation:

  • Use personalized emails or phone calls to discuss orders and make suggestions.
  • With every order, include a tip sheet or freebie with a personal note that will reassure your customers you’re still firmly by their side.
  • If you have supply chain or staffing problems, be transparent and let customers know there may be a delay before they have to ask or learn there is an issue.

6. Get super personal

Another way to win more customer loyalty is to prioritize personalization. By getting super personal with your communications and messaging, your retention rates will likely start to improve (which can then help your sales).

To get super personal and cement customer loyalty, you should send personalized content, offers, and product recommendations wherever possible. Sending personalized deals or incentives on your customers’ birthdays is also another effective way of using personalization to boost customer loyalty and win more sales.

And here’s a helpful tip: By using artificial intelligence to your advantage, you can connect with data-driven insights that will help you get to know your audience on a deeper level by simply punching a few commands or parameters into the right platform.

Armed with these insights, you can create personalized messaging that dazzles your customers and keeps them returning to your store.

7. Host immersive experiences

Giving your customers memorable experiences will keep them coming back for more. Nowadays, VR and AR are easier to get into than ever, making them savvy tools for building loyalty among your customers.

You can spice things up by: 

  • Offering virtual product tours
  • Letting folks try on or try out your products virtually
  • Hosting exclusive online events like Q&As, talks or product unveilings
  • Hosting exclusive physical or in-person events with digital technology thrown into the mix

Immersive experiences are a surefire way to grab attention, spark interest, and keep your customers coming back for more. Go for it.

8. Create engaging social media campaigns

From Instagram to TikTok and beyond—with the right social media content—you can win over more loyal customers and earn a steady flow of sales.

Here are three social best practices for your consideration:

  • Be consistent. Posting on the same days or times your customers are most likely to engage will build trust and expand the reach of your content.
  • Launch innovative social media campaigns to keep customers engaged. One example is to schedule AMAs (Ask Me Anything), during which customers can submit their latest questions and receive your responses in real time.
  • Create a special group on your Facebook page where customers can share their experiences and challenges and support each other. If you can, listen in and respond when appropriate. Get involved in the discussion, and the rest will follow.

The goal here is to start or deepen a sense of community among your clients, customers and leads via social media.

9. Work with influencers

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Credit: Rawpixel.com - stock.adobe.com

Lastly, working with the right influencers in your niche will boost your brand credibility while exposing your business to a wider pool of potential repeat customers.

In fact, 85% of top-performing brands across industries state that influencer marketing helps them snag better customers.

By working on campaigns with micro-influencers in your niche, you will expand your brand reach, gain more customers, and build trust. Hello, sales.

Here are some top tips on working with influencers to build customer loyalty:

  • Partner up with authentic influencers: Choose influencers who genuinely use and like your product and whose audience matches your target market. That way, you can expand your reach and build trust in a big way.
  • Be transparent: Approach your influencers in a friendly, personable way and tell them exactly what you want from a potential collaboration. Always be clear (and upfront) about what you can offer in return too, whether it’s free products, payment or just cross-promotion.
  • Empower influencer creativity: Collaborate with influencers on content creation so you end up with content that reflects your brand while suiting their approach and style. That’s how to build trust and loyalty.
  • Use an influencer search tool: Find the right influencers to approach and save time by using an influencer marketer search tool to find the perfect people for brand-boosting collaborations.

Final thoughts

"You don't earn loyalty in a day. You earn loyalty day-by-day."
—Jeffrey Gitomer

By being consistent and taking measures to connect with your customers personally, you will build trust and, ultimately, earn more sales.

In this ultra-competitive digital landscape, loyalty is everything. Follow the tips we’ve covered in this guide and you’ll earn more repeat customers than you ever could have imagined.

We wish you the best of luck and for more business-boosting pearls of wisdom, check out our essential guide on offering multiple payment options to your customers.