The Art of Retention: How to Build a Loyalty Program that Keeps Customers Coming Back

As a business owner, it’s not enough to just attract new customers. You also need to keep them coming back for more. This is where the art of retention comes in, building a loyalty program that makes your customers feel valued and special.

A well-designed loyalty program can have a significant impact on your bottom line, from increasing customer lifetime value to creating brand advocates who will recommend your business to others.


Build a Connection with Consumers


A customer loyalty program thrives when there is a connection between consumers and your brand. Creating a brand community is a great way to establish this connection. Merchants can create a Facebook group for subscribers or give shoppers a chance to give back with their purchases.

Encouraging and sharing user-generated content also fosters this bond between consumers and the brand.

Provide Flexibility

Retention is all about providing flexible purchase options and opportunities for engagement.

When existing customers have the option to skip a shipment, add items to their order, or further customise their subscription through transactional SMS, they are more likely to stick around. Mobile devices offer an ideal platform to reach and retain new and existing customers.

Offer Incentives

Incentivising subscribers through special discounts, free shipping, or allowing early access to new products makes customers feel valued and encouraged to return. Merchants can create memberships that offer exclusive benefits and rewards for loyalty.

Make Subscription Management Easy

Creating a customer portal that’s easy to use and manage can be crucial for boosting retention. Allowing customers to easily reschedule orders, update their address, or skip a shipment provides the flexibility and convenience that consumers desire.

Incorporate Customer Feedback

Structuring products based on helpful customer feedback can help entice customers to stay with your business longer. By tracking consumer behaviour through analytics, merchants can learn and evolve their products based on customer needs, keeping them engaged and more likely to return.


Flexibility: A Major Factor in Increasing Customer Lifetime Value

Flexibility is a crucial component in customer retention, and it can increase the customer average lifetime value by up to 30%.

Customers want to be able to manage their own subscriptions easily without relying on customer support. Subscriptions that offer the ability to skip a shipment, add items to an order, or customise subscriptions through transactional SMS increase customer loyalty.

Additionally, offering special discounts, free shipping, and other perks for subscribers can encourage customers to come back and purchase again, rewarding first-time customers with early access to new products, or allowing them to donate to a meaningful cause.

Incentives: Rewarding Loyal Customers

Incentives can be a powerful tool for increasing customer retention. By offering special perks, discounts, or access to exclusive benefits, businesses can show their appreciation for their most loyal customers and encourage them to continue purchasing.

Some ideas for incentives include offering early access to new products, free shipping or discounts, and the ability to give back to a cause related to the company’s mission.

Another option is to create a membership program that offers additional rewards and benefits. Incentives can also be an effective way to acquire new customers and increase average lifetime value.

Make Subscription Management Easy

Allow customers to easily manage their subscriptions. When customers feel locked into their subscription with no options to skip or reschedule, they are more likely to cancel. Through  creating a customer portal that’s easy to use and navigate, customers will have the flexibility and convenience they need to manage their subscription.

    • Offer flexible options for customers. Customers want to be able to customise their subscription, add items to their order, or skip a shipment. Transactional SMS is one of the best ways for ecommerce brands to provide that needed flexibility.

    • Incentivise customer loyalty program. Customers love feeling valued and appreciated. Offering perks such as special discounts, free shipping, and early access to new products can entice customers to come back and purchase again.


    • Actively incorporate customer feedback into product development. Through soliciting customer comments and tracking consumer behaviour through analytics, businesses can learn and evolve based on helpful customer feedback, enticing shoppers to stay with your brand longer.
    • Consider offering a prepaid option to customers. When consumers see their credit cards charged less often, they are more likely to stay subscribed. Also, offering customers access to exclusive rewards and benefits through a loyalty program is another innovative way to keep customers around and make them happy they are a part of your brand community.

Incorporating Customer Feedback into Product Development

1. Encouraging customer feedback is essential for building customer loyalty. Feedback helps to identify which parts of your product or service work and gives you an idea about where to go next.

2. Incorporating customer feedback into product development makes customers feel valued and heard, which encourages customer loyalty.

3. Feedback requests should be timed correctly, sent within a few days of purchase, and tested for frequency until you get it right.

4. Use different types of feedback surveys, such as CSAT (customer satisfaction) surveys, to gauge loyalty and pinpoint areas of improvement.

5. Actively listen to customer feedback and work to address their concerns or suggestions in your product development.

6. Continuously iterate your products based on customer feedback to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty.


Loyalty Programs: Innovative Ways to Reward Loyal Customers

Loyalty programs are a great way to keep customers coming back and increase revenue. But with so many brands offering similar programs, it can be difficult to stand out. Here are 8 innovative ways to reward loyal customers:

1. Gamification: Turn loyalty into a game by offering challenges and rewards for completing certain actions.

2. Surprise and Delight: Surprise loyal customers with unexpected perks or gifts for their continued patronage.

3. Experience-Based Rewards: Offer exclusive experiences or events for loyal customers, like private sales or VIP access.

4. Social Media Incentives: Reward customers for sharing your brand on social media with discounts or special offers.

5. Personalisation: Tailor rewards to each customer’s preferences and past behaviour to make them feel valued.

6. Charitable Giving: Partner with a charity and allow customers to donate points or rewards to make a difference.

7. Referral Programs: Encourage customers to refer their friends and family with incentives for both parties, like discounts or free products.

8. Tiered Rewards: Offer increasingly valuable rewards for customers who reach certain milestones, like a certain number of purchases or points earned.

Implementing these innovative loyalty program strategies, brands can not only increase customer retention but also build stronger relationships with their customers and boost brand advocacy.


10 Tips for Leveraging User-Generated Content to Build and Maintain Customer Loyalty

1. Create a hashtag for your brand or campaign to encourage participation from your audience.
2. Share user-generated content on your social media platforms and website.
3. Hold a contest or giveaway for the best user-generated content.
4. Offer incentives to customers who share their experiences with your brand on social media.
5. Feature user-generated content in your email newsletters and other marketing materials.
6. Use customer reviews and testimonials on your website or product pages.
7. Engage with customers who share your content and show appreciation for their support.
8. Encourage customers to share their experiences with your brand by providing a space for reviews on your website.
9. Utilise influencer marketing to share user-generated content from social media influencers who support your brand.
10. Monitor user-generated content to gather feedback and insights on customer experiences with your brand.


Outstanding Customer Service Principles: The Foundation of Customer Loyalty

1. Consistency is Key – Customers expect a consistent experience with the products and services you offer, and this includes your customer service. Provide reliable, professional responses to inquiries or complaints and follow up if necessary.

2. Listen to and Empathise with Customers – If customers are unhappy, take the time to listen to their concerns and show empathy for their situation. This can help diffuse tension and turn a negative experience into a positive one.

3. Train Employees – Ensure all employees are trained to handle customer interactions professionally and provide the level of service customers expect.

4. Transparency and Honesty – Customers appreciate transparency when it comes to pricing, policies, and procedures. Avoid misleading or making false promises as this can harm trust between your brand and customers.

5. Go Above and Beyond – Surprise customers with gestures that go above and beyond their expectations. This could be a personalised note or gift, a follow up call or email, or quick and efficient problem-solving.

6. Accessibility – Provide customers with multiple channels of communication such as phone, email, and chat. Respond to inquiries or complaints promptly and with a friendly tone.

7. Delight Them – Delight customers by anticipating their needs and providing solutions before they even ask.

8. Keep it Simple – Avoid complicated menus, forms, and procedures that can frustrate customers. Simplify the process and make it easy for customers to do business with you.

9. Measure Customer Satisfaction – Regularly measure customer satisfaction using metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score (CES) to identify areas for improvement and gauge the effectiveness of your customer service initiatives.

Through implementing these principles consistently, you can build a foundation of excellent customer service that provides the necessary framework for customer loyalty and business growth.