5 tips for building long-term customer loyalty.

Beauty and value are in the eyes of the beholder. That’s why they say a business is only as good as the customer says it is.

One study found that almost 70 percent of 2,000 people surveyed, and 82 percent of millennials surveyed, check online reviews before they buy a product. Another report shows that 88 percent of people trust an online review as much as a review from someone they know.

It’s not a surprise, then, that most businesses crave the kind of quality feedback that entices new shoppers to make purchases, whether that means visiting a website for a product or service or stopping into a brick-and-mortar store. Excellent customer service is vital for those reviews and recommendations, but the key to this success comes when businesses build long-term relationships that go beyond a one-time project or purchase while providing continuous benefits to their clients.

Building a loyal customer base takes time and effort, but a small investment of your resources could help you see a boost that both retains current clients and attracts new customers.

Try incrementally incorporating these 5 tips into your business routine to get started building loyalty today.

Pay Attention to Details

Once you’ve landed your customer, always keep your CRM at hand.

Use your software to keep notes every time you interact with a customer, jotting down information about their family, birthdays, and anything interesting that they might mention. Then, follow up next time to you talk to them!

Customer loyalty expert Fred Reichheld wrote about one experience where an employee at a web hosting and cloud computing firm was troubleshooting with a customer. In the background, the customer mentioned getting hungry, so the employee put them on hold and called to have a pizza delivered. By paying attention to the situation surrounding the phone call, that employee was able to go above and beyond to WOW their customer.

Go Old-School

A handwritten note, even if it’s just a few short lines, can make a world of difference in how your customer perceives you. It’s an opportunity to display your appreciation and convey a deeper investment in their happiness. A handwritten note gives them a lasting reminder that keeps your name and business in front of them, and reminds them that you care. Plus, as a bonus for you, expressions of gratitude have been shown to give the writer better health and satisfaction in life.

Treat Your Employees Well

Happy employees lead to happy customers.

When you treat employees well and earn their respect, they’re much more likely to display the positivity that wins over customers. A corporate culture that fosters loyalty is more than just fair and consistent; it demonstrates excellent customer service in each and every interaction.

Teaching and hiring for positivity and good customer service is effective, but not nearly as effective as teaching by example.

Keep Your Word

If you make a promise or guarantee, do your best to meet the deadline.

Reliability is vital to building a long-term customer base, as customers know that you not only value your service or product, but you also value their business specifically. Reliability includes getting products delivered on time, ensuring that you’ve completed the projects promised, and being honest and genuine with your customers. If something comes up that keeps you from maintaining that deadline or schedule, promptly communicate with the customer while finding a way to make the situation right.

More often than not, customers just appreciate the honesty.

Communicate Well

As you can see, all of these tips boil down to good communication. Whether you’re on the phone, sending an email, sending a thank-you note or setting up a customer rewards program, clear and compelling communication should be your priority.

Strong customer communication could mean offering loyal customers a first look at a new product or service, developing a protocol that involves prompt response, or even offering customers more in-depth how-tos or free guides. Add informative pieces to your marketing and advertising communications by sharing information that will serve your community of customers.

Ruby Receptionists caps its Ruby Service Pyramid with “making meaningful connections.” These connections developed over regular, consistent communication and a commitment to giving customers the absolute best service possible. Ruby keeps its infrastructure ready to keep its word, and put customers’ needs first.

Take a look at how your company is serving customers in both the business and non-business areas. They want to like you and be loyal, so show them why they should.

Gabe Arnold

Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.