Undoubtedly, customer retention is the key to success.
In other words, whether you’re a startup or a multinational company, your customer base is what matters most.
For that reason, it’s important to give back and make sure you’re keeping your long-term clients, as well as your new clients, happy.
In this post, we’re going to discuss some of the most effective ways of giving back to your clients in order to maintain healthy client relationships and customer retention.
More specifically, we’re going to be taking you through the following routes:
- Why the customer journey is important and how to make it more meaningful
- How to use loyalty programs and rewards
- Why you should be a useful resource for your clients
Let’s get right into it.
Method #1: Enhance the Customer Experience
The first way is to enhance the customer experience.
To give back to your long-term clients and keep them happy and satisfied means that you’re doing your best to improve the customer experience you’re offering them.
In other words, to make sure you create tailored, easy, and fun customer experiences that will not only keep them coming back, but will also cover their needs and give them exactly what they need the way they want it.
But first, what is the customer journey?
Have a look at the graphic below:
As you can see, the customer journey involves all steps from the moment someone realises that they need a new product or service, to the first interaction with the brand that can cover that need, all the way down to making the purchase and establishing a relationship with a brand.
Because of the amount and diversity of the touchpoints between a customer and company, we understand that tailoring the customer experience can sometimes be challenging.
A company needs to take into account all those different touchpoints and make sure they’re giving their best self in each and every one of these moments when the client is getting closer to the company’s services or products.
How do we do that?
First, by mapping out the customer experience.
You can map out the customer experience by creating a customer journey map that’ll help you visualize all the important points you should pay attention to.
Additionally, a visual representation of the journey can help you take great care of all points and make sure you’re not missing anything.
An infographic template like the one you can see below can be your ally in doing so.
This beautiful timeline template can be easily edited in no time so it can fit the needs of your audience.
Overall, creating such a process helps a company be organized and offer a great service.
After having established what the main touchpoints are between the company and your clients, you can go on enhancing the customer experience by improving your customer service.
This’s pretty self explanatory, but let’s highlight a few things all companies can do to improve their customer service:
- Understand your customers’ needs
- Always respond to customer queries
- Ask for feedback – it’ll make you better!
Before moving on to the next thing you can do as a way of giving back to your loyal customers, just keep in mind that no matter what the future of work might be, your customers’ journey is and should always be one of your top priorities.
Method #2: Establish a Rewarding Loyalty Program
The second method I have for you is to establish a loyalty program.
This will allow you to build a loyal customer base.
What’s better than that, right?
In fact, repeated customers represent almost half of a site’s revenue.
More specifically, they represent an impressive 41%, as you can see illustrated below:
That’s why companies should invest in long-term relationships with their clients.
Let’s have a look at a definition of customer loyalty that’ll make this a bit more clear.
As we can see, a rather important element in terms of customer loyalty is to do with the positive experiences a client has with a company.
In a few words, positive experiences are what make them keep them coming back.
For that reason, you shouldn’t only focus on customer experiences that are in relation to purchases, communication with the customer service, etc.
Although these are very important, incorporating a loyalty program can be yet another experience a client has with your brand, thus making the company-client relationship more frequent and stronger.
Finding the most effective and appropriate customer loyalty program, one that fits your customers’ needs and makes them feel that they’re actually getting something back from you, can be a little tricky.
In no circumstances do you want to overdo it and become spammy.
Also, you don’t want your customers to feel that you’re not giving back enough.
Our advice would be to do a survey and find out what your long-time customers, as well as new customers – yes!the ones you want to stay for a long time – would like to get from you and what some of the main elements of the ideal loyalty program would be for them.
Here’s some key elements of an effective loyalty program:
Take extra care of some particular aspects of your loyalty program such as making it easy for a client to join and use it, making it compelling and exclusive, as well as ensuring it benefits both the business and the client.
It’s as simple as that!
Keep reading to find how corporate gifts are another way of giving back to clients.
Method #3: Offer Corporate Gifts
Similarly to loyalty programs, corporate gifts are another great way to give back to your clients that support your brand and engage with it.
Put another way, corporate gifts can help you maintain better and stronger client relationships.
The gifts ideas can be as diverse and imaginative as you want.
It can be anything from gift baskets with snacks and drinks, to travel accessories and apparel.
Have a look at some of the most popular corporate gift types:
The amount of money that you’ll get to spend on gifts for your clients could be in relation to your relationship with that client, how close you are, how long they’ve been trusting your company for, as well as how much they’re supporting you.
For example, you might have clients that have only recently started using your brand but are really engaged.
Maybe they’re doing a great job spreading the word about you on social media or they’re bringing their friends and family members in.
In such cases, it shouldn’t matter whether they’re long-term clients or not.
They deserve a good gift just because they’re showing their love and support in such an active and lovely way.
Keep in mind that referrals must be one of your top reasons for giving a gift to someone.
They’re extremely beneficial for a business.
The graph below says it all:
In addition to giving gifts as a reward for customers bringing their friends and family into your business, holidays are also a fantastic opportunity for a company to show gratitude with a gift.
Who wouldn’t love to get a Christmas gift from their favorite brand?
I know I would!
However, there’s no need to always look for a special occasion to give a thoughtful gift to someone.
You can also consider sending out samples, offers, and/or other types of gifts as a surprise to your most loyal current customers.
Let’s move to the next method we have for you.
Method #4: Be a Trustworthy and Useful Resource
This one is one of my favorites.
A great way to show appreciation and give back is to be a trustworthy and useful resource for your clients.
The screenshot that follows shows us Twine’s blog, a place where people can learn about freelancing:
Creating a useful resource for your clients, as well as the rest of the world, could mean that you create a blog that offers a wide range of topics, like the topic categories I’ve highlighted above.
Whether you’re posting your brand’s news, informational content, or testimonials and real stories by people who’ve used your services, it’s important to create a space where potential clients, as well as current clients, can find such content.
Building a relationship with your clients through your blog is a great way to do so.
To be a trustworthy resource means that you create content that’s authentic and can be helpful for first time readers as well as long-time clients in terms of how they could make the best use of your company’s services and products.
Similarly, if you’re a live streaming platform, it makes sense to provide live streaming stats that can help your clients understand current trends in terms of live streaming.
Or, if you own a chatbot creation software, then building a blog that gives insight, tips, and tricks on chatbots would be ideal, right?
For an SEO agency, publishing blog posts about B2B SEO and other types of relevant content is what their clients and audience would expect to read.
And so on and so forth.
What’s great about that is that the topics can be as diverse as you want them to be.
The broader the scope of your topics, the more chances you have your blog to be a truly useful resource for your clients.
Here’s a few examples, once again by Twine:
However, always keep in mind that you shouldn’t put quantity over quality.
Providing well-informed content should be your first priority.
Also, creating useful resources and content for your clients makes you part of their routine and shows how much you care about staying in touch with them.
More on that a little further down in this piece.
Method #5: Offer a Killer Newsletter
The second to last idea of giving back is to offer a great newsletter.
A great newsletter helps you make sure that the people on your email list – those people that have stated that they want to hear from you – don’t miss out on any important brand news or valuable content that you’re publishing in your blog.
This is, again, a way of giving back to your community by giving them access to content that’ll add some value to their lives and will show them that you care about them.
Whether you’re a small business or a big one, a newsletter is a great way to build rapport with your customers and provide them with information on how your business is doing, whether you’re keeping up with prior commitments.
You should seriously consider making a newsletter part of your digital marketing plan.
Author’s Note: Part of your plan should be developing a strong brand identity. Never underestimate the power of building a brand because this can separate you from competition.
Let’s say that a company made an announcement that they’re targeting to reduce their use of plastic in their packaging a year ago.
Informing their audience on how they did a year later – hopefully they did super well – and showing them stats and graphs is a truly honest and transparent way to do it.
Your clients will appreciate it and be happy to do repeat business with you.
However, I can’t stress enough how significant it is that you use your newsletter as a way to pass on information and avoid being spammy in terms of both the quantity of the emails you sent out as well as the content of the emails.
Of course, you’re allowed to send out promotional content from time to time and inform your clients of offers you might be running, but those shouldn’t overpower the amount of informational and valuable content.
Have a look at the graph below:
The percentage should be 90% informational content and only around 10% promotional and sales material content.
Author’s Note: Using a newsletter maker can help you save both time and money when designing your newsletters.
Let’s now move on to the last tip we have for you.
Method #6: Invest in Relationship Building
Similar to what we discussed a little further up, with regards to staying in touch with your customers and showing how much you care, here we’re talking about investing in relationship building.
Sometimes you might need to financially invest in tools that’ll help you with outreach or public relations—tools that’ll allow you to stay connected with your audience on social media.
When it comes to social media, the same rule of sharing valuable and useful content and trying to not be spammy applies.
Companies should think of social media as channels of communication with their audience as well as platforms that allow them to run giveaways and contests, thus giving them the chance to give back to their loyal customers and digital community members.
A CMO survey from Deloitte gives us interesting insights into what business spending on social media will be in the next five years.
We can only assume that if firms expect to raise their social media investment by 62% over the next five years, they must have valid reasons to do so.
One of the reasons is that social media can truly help a business not only raise awareness but create relationships with their audience in a way that other types of media can’t.
Social media platforms are interactive and provide users with direct contact with their favorite brands.
However, you should stay away from overly promotional content and content that gives your audience no value.
Remember, the goal is to give back and make your customers feel appreciated and that you have a strong brand-customer relationship.
In a few words, active social media accounts help you stay in touch with your customers, which is something many clients desire.
Another thing that can enhance relationship building is to organize events and other fun and interesting activities for your clients to participate in and have the opportunity to get to know you better.
At the same time, you’ll have the chance to meet them, thus making it more possible for you to understand what they like and need from your brand.
Whether the events are taking place in a physical space where you can meet face-to-face or they’re virtual events, make sure you make them fun and worth spending time at.
Let’s wrap this post up with some final thoughts.
There you have it.
You’ve now got six ways to give back to long-term clients and make sure you’re showing them how much you appreciate them.
In this post we’ve talked about tailoring the customer experience and always trying to improve it.
Also, we’ve discussed how loyalty programs, gifts, and rewards are a fantastic, direct way to declare your gratitude.
In terms of giving back to your clients, keep in mind that the type of content you provide them with plays a significant role in the way they will relate with your brand.
Last but not least, invest in building and honest relationships with your clients; this is really key!
Bottom line, be imaginative and spread the love.
Your clients will be thrilled.