3 Keys to Building Customer Loyalty

BY Rachel Cagle
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At this point in your sales career, you hopefully know what the best (and most lucrative) type of customer is. That’s right, the loyal client. Loyal clients bring in consistent money for your company. The problem is many sales reps believe that retaining clients doesn’t take much work after the initial sale closes. After all, the quality of your product or service should be enough to keep them coming back for more, right? Wrong. Don’t forget, you sold yourself as part of the deal and your service has to reflect the promises you made. You have to work to continuously build customer loyalty.

How to Build Customer Loyalty

Colin Shaw, writing for CustomerThink, points out that, before you can build customer loyalty with your clients, you need to understand what loyalty is. “…loyalty goes beyond things like price and efficiency,” Shaw says. “It’s emotional.” Here are Shaw’s rules for establishing loyalty:

You’re in this business relationship for the long haul

Yeah, new clients help you achieve your monthly or quarterly quota, but you have to think beyond that. Building customer loyalty means looking past the short-​term gains they provide you and focusing on a long-​term business relationship. You can’t make promises about the service you’ll provide to land the initial sale, then not deliver and still expect them to be a repeat customer. And you can’t litter their inboxes with sales pitches desperately trying to get them to buy products that aren’t a good fit for them just because you think they’re now an easy sell. Instead, you need to fulfill your initial promises and only reach out to the client in order to check on them and alert them of new products or services that could benefit their company. Shaw also points out that, like most people, your customer’s needs and perspectives will change over time. “Unless you work at it, adapt, compromise, and change, you could lose them.” Make sure you do all those things for your clients.

Loyalty goes both ways

One of the best perks of retaining clients is that they tend to be easier to sell to. However, that’s only the case if you make it easy for them to be a repeat customer. In other words (Shaw’s): “How much work do people have to put in to be a customer?” Do your clients have to jump through hoops just to get a hold of you if they have a problem or are interested in one of your new products? Are there any obvious perks to being your client? Building customer loyalty means making the answers to these questions easy and obvious to answer. For example:

  • Do your clients know the best contact method to reach you at different times of day?
  • Do those contact methods align with their preferred contact methods/​the ones they’re comfortable using?
  • What perks can they expect as a client of yours? For example, are you always getting your clients the best prices on new products or services?

You have to be putting in as much effort, if not more, into your business relationship with your client if you want to inspire loyalty and keep them around.

Loyalty is linked to memory

If you provide your clients with consistently good experiences, they’ll commit those experiences to memory. “Loyalty is about remembering an experience and going back,” says Shaw. “It recognizes that you liked it.” The more positive experiences you cultivate with a client, the more you and your company’s names will be associated with good feelings when clients think of you or see outreach from you. You can build customer loyalty by giving them consistently good experiences to remember. That way, when they receive emails, calls or texts from you, they’ll be more likely to answer because they’ll feel good about what will come from doing so. And it will be more difficult for them to consider other options when your competitors inevitably come to call.

Want to learn how to build your sales credibility to start inspiring loyalty from the get-​go? Download a free chapter of the Sales Cred book authored by our CEO, C. Lee Smith. 

Photo by Szepy on Unsplash