What does customer loyalty mean, really? Customer loyalty describes an ongoing relationship between you and your customer, which makes them more willing to engage with and repeatedly purchase from you.
Let’s look at how several business leaders see customer loyalty and what they suggest to improve it.
Step by Step Business helps startups get up and running and building customer loyalty is a crucial part of the process. Founder and COO Daniel Javor defines customer loyalty as "a relationship between a business and a customer that comes from trust and respect and the value each receives. If both receive maximum value, the relationship will last long term. For the business owner, this means they will maximize the customer’s lifetime value. For the customer, it means security of having a trusted product or service provider.”
When customers feel like you know and appreciate them, they're more likely to buy again, despite competition. Shannon Howard, customer marketing manager at Litmus, an email marketing company, knows that repeated communication with customers can help build loyalty, “I like Patrick Campbell’s definition of customer loyalty,“ she says. “It’s when your company and its products elicit positive emotions in your customers, prompting them to remain loyal to your brand. Beyond simply liking your product or being willing to purchase again, customer loyalty is an indicator of likeliness to refer and willingness to stay with your product—even when other options are less expensive.”
Helen Baptist, COO of PathFactory, believes that customer loyalty can be influenced and increased through better content intelligence. “The more relevant content your customers consume, the more likely they are to learn, share, and grow with your products. Knowing whether customers engage with your content and how that correlates with retention is critical to understanding and fostering authentic customer loyalty.”
According to SoStocked cofounder Chelsea Cohen, loyalty is a marathon, not a race. “Cutting corners may get you to the finish line, but without genuine reward. If you take time to nurture customers into a lasting relationship, they’re more likely to engage and re-purchase with you because of the value you add to their lives. Rushing customers into a sale won’t create loyalty, even if they make a purchase.”
Loyal customers are the lifeblood of every business, big or small. Having an effective customer loyalty marketing strategy will help you connect your largest and most valuable customers with loyalty and rewards programs specifically targeted to them.
Waynette Tubbs is responsible for content strategy and development for Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience and is Editor of the Modern Marketing Blog. She has developed a comprehensive portfolio of strategic business and marketing communications during her career spanning more than 20 years of magazine, corporate communications, and agency work.