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Six ways to get customers to love your business

Customer loyalty is all about attracting the right customer. It’s about getting them to buy, buy often and deliver you even more customers, and the following six tips will help you make customers feel more attached to your business.

Last month, one of Australia’s biggest retailers, Coles, took its war with Woolworths to a new level with the relaunch of its loyalty program, Flybuys.

The campaign saw Coles target eight million existing, and previous, customers issuing them with a new card which will enable them to cash in loyalty points and potentially save hundreds of dollars a year on their grocery bills.

Coles MD Ian McLeod summed it up well when he said “Our aim was to find new ways to give our customers something truly worthwhile as a thank you for choosing to shop with us.”

Basically, Coles wants to get customers back in store and buying more. The idea behind this campaign is based on one of the oldest theories in marketing:  It’s easier and more cost-effective to sell to existing customers than it is to go out and win new ones.

While most of us cannot afford to directly target eight million people, all business owners can look to the Coles campaign for a lesson in how to reward loyalty in their own business.

Customer loyalty is all about attracting the right customer. It is about getting them to buy, buy often and deliver you even more customers. The best way to encourage customer loyalty is through customer engagement – or connecting a customer to your brand or business.

How do you actively engage loyalty from your customers?

1. Define your values

The first step in engaging loyalty with your customers is to define your values. This will determine what your brand is about. If your customers like or connect with these values, they will be more inclined to buy from you.

2. Bring them to life

Make sure you reflect these values throughout your entire business. Carry them through your products, services and all marketing messages. These values should not just be communicated to your customers either – ensure staff and suppliers know and understand your values as well.

3. Make it easy for customers to communicate with you

Ensure your customers find it easy to communicate with you. The most valuable resource you can give customers is your time and by opening the lines of communication, you will be able to discover what they need, want and feel. This is the only way you can solve their problems and meet their needs.

You can communicate with customers through feedback forms and social media.

4. Keep those lines of communication open

Once you have opened the lines of communication, keep them open for good. The biggest mistake I see in business is people that stop communicating once they get busy. Stay in the forefront of your customers’ minds by sending monthly newsletters to your database, updating your status on Twitter or uploading information videos to the web.

5. Connect one-to-one

Now and then, connect one-to-one with your customers. Coke did this fantastically last year though their “share a coke” campaign.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to make it work. Sending birthday cards, making phone calls or a handwritten thank you note will work just as well.

6. Offer rewards to loyal customers

Make customers feel special by offering rewards for loyalty. This doesn’t always have to be a massive price reduction, either. It can be a flash sale for Facebook followers, a value-add to those on your database or, as Coles has done, a loyalty card for frequent shoppers. Make sure the offer is only available to customers who are engaged with your business.

Marketing Angels recently hosted a webinar on the topic of customer loyalty and engagement. If you’d like to find out more about it, you can view the presentation here.

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Michelle Gamble

Michelle Gamble

Michelle is the Chief Angel of Marketing Angels, an entrepreneur who has built Marketing Angels from the ground up over the past 10 years. Marketing Angels has grown into one of Australia’s leading marketing consultancies providing marketing education, advice and outsourced marketing management to business. Michelle claims she's a bit of marketing geek, having started her marketing career in telecommunications and online working for both Telstra and Optus before starting Marketing Angels. Michelle is also a busy mother to 3 children, and lives in Manly NSW.

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