Are you undervaluing your repeat customers?

It might be time to give your returning customers the attention they deserve. According to market research, they are 14 times more likely to make a purchase, 50% more likely to try something new and they spend 31% more when compared to new customers. Loyalty schemes tend to be expensive and hard to implement, so here are five simple, cost-effective ways you can boost customer loyalty – plus a way to measure what works:

1. Make a personal connection

Buying coffee when you’re somewhere new can be a perfectly pleasant, even excellent experience. But it doesn’t have the same sense of personal connection that you get when you’re a regular at your local coffee shop. The staff recognise you, even with your facemask on, and they know what you like to order. They ask about your job, or your family, and sometimes they’ll slip you an extra biscotti.

Talk to your customers, talk to their children, get to know them and do what you can to make sure they always feel welcome in your store. Online, do what you can with targeted content to make customers feel like part of a community of people with similar interests.

Look for ways to create a personal connection with your customers – they’ll keep coming back and you’ll enjoy interacting with them, too.

2. Create a VIP feeling 

Your regular customers are VIPs within your business. International research indicates that increasing customer retention by 2% is the equivalent of decreasing your costs by 10%.

Are you treating your customers like VIPs? Don’t only get in contact with them when you have something to sell. Let them know about special offers, make sure they’re always getting the best price, and look for ways to give them extra attention. Can you give your customers something on their birthday? If you’re delivering online products, can you drop a friendly handwritten note into their order, or a sample product for them to try?

3. Free shipping

Online retailers have a tougher challenge when it comes to building customer loyalty, but one way is to offer free shipping. While it’s standard in many countries to offer free shipping for online shopping, most Kiwi websites still charge for it. That could give you an advantage: if your competitors are not offering free shipping, this can really make your site stand out in the online marketplace.

US research indicates 96% of online shoppers are more likely to buy if shipping is free, and 62% said they would not have made their most recent purchase if shipping had not been free.

4. Increase customer convenience

Free shipping is one way to increase customer convenience – which can really boost your customer loyalty. Convenience means providing a speedy and pleasant experience, whether it’s online or in person. A more seamless, faster purchase provides a positive customer experience that they’ll want to repeat.

That might mean extra staff members at busy times to keep things flowing smoothly, looking at more payment options, having free parking or reorganising your shelves to make your store flow more easily.

5. Ask for feedback 

Asking for customer feedback is effective in two ways. First, you get useful information about what you can improve and what’s working well. Second, the customers who provide the feedback feel more engaged with your store. Being asked to provide feedback makes your customers feel “important and involved,” according to Forbes. “…You’re communicating that you value their opinion, and you care about what they have to say.”

It’s a win-win situation where you get to improve your customer experience and build customer loyalty at the same time.

Measuring whether your customer loyalty efforts are paying off

With so many ways to show your customers some love, how do you measure which ones are working?

Paymark Insights is now free to all Paymark clients, and it shows you how many customers are coming back and whether they are spending less or more compared to past periods. You can use the Customer Loyalty module within Paymark Insights to check if your loyalty efforts are working, and get a general sense of how your repeat customers are contributing to your business.

An example of the Customer Loyalty module within Paymark Insights.

Not yet signed up for Paymark Insights? Get in touch and we’ll set you up with free, real-time sales and revenue data delivered to any online device.