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Five ways great companies build customer loyalty

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Christy Skojec Taylor

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BY CHRISTY SKOJEC TAYLOR
Business Columnist

Monday, June 10, 2019

One of the most powerful tools for building a successful business is a loyal customer base that freely advocates for the services or products you provide.

Even the smallest businesses can become a giant when the word gets out that they’ll go the extra mile to build positive relationships with their customers.

But that kind of loyalty isn’t created overnight. In fact, according to research from Yotpo, “37 percent of consumers say it takes five or more purchases before they consider themselves loyal to a brand.” So businesses must be willing to put in the work to create a brand that inspires a devoted fanbase.

Consider these three ways companies build customer loyalty as a great place to start.

■ Make service a priority. According to research from Hubspot, “90 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase more, and 93 percent were more likely to be repeat customers at companies with excellent customer service.” In the end, for any business, the most basic building block of die-hard customer loyalty is great service. From how they’re greeted at the door to how quickly and efficiently problems are resolved, companies that put service at the forefront will prosper.

■ Stand for a noble cause. People like to support products that stand for a noble cause or take a socially responsible stance on certain issues that are meaningful to them. In fact, a recent study conducted by Accenture found that “48 percent of consumers who are disappointed by a brand’s words or actions on a social issue complain about it.” And 42 percent will “walk away from the brand in frustration with one in five never coming back.”

■ Engage personally. Whether it’s to fix a problem, ask for feedback or simply say “thanks,” a one-on-one conversation with a customer goes much further toward building loyalty than a sweeping blanket statement to no one in particular. According to research from Virtual Incentives, 69 percent of consumers say they “feel more favorable toward a company that delivers personalized messages or rewards.” For example, consumers don’t want to talk to ABC Company, the want to talk to “Sarah” with ABC Company.

Christy Skojec Taylor is co-owner of Express Employment Professionals in Rocky Mount.

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